2021 Mercedes-AMG E53

Review, Pricing, and Specs

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2021 mercedes amg e53 sedan front


When the elegant Mercedes-Benz E-class doesn't offer enough excitement, the AMG-tuned E53 fills the void with increased performance and edgier styling. It also earns a spot on our Editors' Choice list. A unique grille and exclusive exterior details help separate its sedan, cabriolet, and coupe body styles from their more pedestrian counterparts. A 429-hp turbocharged six-cylinder powertrain and standard all-wheel drive deliver all-weather traction and zealous acceleration. Of course, the E53 family also maintains Mercedes' luxury pedigree with an eye-catching cabin that boasts cutting-edge technology and upscale materials. In a class brimming with talented competitors, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E53 ranks among the most remarkable.

What's New for 2021?

Mercedes-AMG gives the E53 a mild makeover for 2021. The changes are shared between the four-door sedan and the two-door coupe and cabriolet. These include redesigned front and rear ends, a new steering-wheel design, an enhanced infotainment system, the latest driver assists, and an updated powertrain. The latter combines a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine with a 48-volt hybrid system.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

We'd recommend the drop-top cabriolet model. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, an adjustable air suspension, a fully digital dashboard, and a robust infotainment system. We'd also select upscale options that include the head-up display, massaging front seats, sport-tuned exhaust, ventilated front seats, and the Warmth and Comfort package (heated armrests, heated steering wheel, rapid-heating front-seat cushions).

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Every E53 is powered by an AMG-tuned turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine that makes 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. It pairs exclusively with a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. Manual swapping of the gears is available at any time via paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The last E53 coupe we tested sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The standard air suspension seamlessly makes the switch from twisty-road demon to comfortable freeway cruiser. Swapping drive modes subtly changes the sedan's road-damping demeanor without becoming either pillowy or punishing. The steering—as with the other dynamics—is crisp, sweetly responsive, and well balanced, blending feedback and precision. The E53 rides on standard 19-inch wheels or optional 20-inch rollers.


Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

While the E53 sedan is rated for 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, both the coupe and convertible models scored lower estimates in the EPA's testing. Both the coupe and convertible earned ratings of 21 mpg city, but the coupe is rated for 28 mpg highway while the convertible carries a 27 mpg rating. Once we have the chance to test one on our 75-mph highway fuel economy route, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. The last E53 sedan we tested earned 32 mpg highway, which exceeded its government rating by 4 mpg.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The E53 earns top marks for interior build quality and the ability to make its passengers feel as if they have just walked into a fine high-end pastry shop in Paris. The sporty, upscale cabin is completed by a collection of deluxe standard and optional features. The standard interior is plenty fancy, but deep-pocketed buyers can elevate the experience further with exotic wood trims, a fragrance atomizer, and massaging front seats. Flashy red seatbelts are standard fare but can be replaced with black belts for free, which we would choose to do. The only thing that irked us was the column shifter, which is awkward to use at first, looks out of place in a sports sedan, and feels fragile. The E53 sedan has the smallest trunk volume among most rivals, yet we managed to fit a comparable number of carry-ons in it; with the rear seats in place we managed to fit five suitcases inside. Coupe and convertible models are less practical. Interior storage space is significantly better than the competition, with a commodious center console and a massive underfloor trunk compartment.


Infotainment and Connectivity

A large 12.3-inch touchscreen is standard and supports the company's latest MBUX infotainment system. The unit can be controlled through myriad functions that include a touchpad on the center console, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and voice commands. The latter are intended to be an intuitive alternative to traditional switchgear, but our past experiences have failed to prove its innovation. Every E53 also comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Burmester stereo, and wireless charging.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The 2021 E53 hasn't been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While driver-assistance technology such as automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring are standard, most additional equipment costs extra. Key safety features include:

  • Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
  • Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Available automatic high-beam headlights

    Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

    Mercedes-AMG provides competitive limited and powertrain warranties. However, the company doesn't offer complimentary scheduled maintenance—something that rivals from BMW and Jaguar do.

    • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
    • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
    • No complimentary scheduled maintenance



      2021 Mercedes-AMG E53 Cabriolet

      front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door convertible


      turbocharged, supercharged, and intercooled DOHC 3.0-liter inline-6, 429 hp, 384 lb-ft + AC motor, 21 hp 184 lb-ft; combined output, 429 hp, 384 lb-ft; 0.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack

      9-speed automatic

      Wheelbase: 113.1 in
      Length: 190.6 in
      Width: 73.1 in
      Height: 56.2 in
      Passenger volume: 90 ft3
      Trunk volume: 10 ft3
      Curb weight (C/D est): 4600 lb

      60 mph: 4.1 sec
      100 mph: 10.2 sec
      1/4 mile: 12.6 sec
      Top speed: 130 mph

      Combined/city/highway: 23/20/26 mpg

      More Features and Specs

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