Mild hybrids are slowly gaining floor within the automotive business, and for good motive. A 48-volt system can enhance effectivity by means of prolonged stop-start activation, brake regeneration and engine-off coasting, and it is much less complicated than a plug-in hybrid getup. Some techniques, although, one-up the gentle hybrid’s effectivity push with an electrical motor that may present advantages past effectivity.  The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53’s gentle hybrid powertrain delivers each thrift and thrust in spades. Its refined seems are good for individuals who would possibly need some additional pep of their step with out shouting it from the mountaintops, making it the muted choice for individuals who may not need boisterous visuals current on AMG’s strongest choices. Looks would possibly deceive If you are going for an under-the-radar strategy to efficiency, the E53 — or every other giant Merc destined for fancy males in costly fits — matches the invoice. The seems are understated, with only a few exhausting strains between the entrance and rear. It seems like a carbon copy of each different mainline Mercedes sedan, which it is imagined to. Even although the design language debuted again within the 2014 mannequin 12 months, it nonetheless seems nice.

The solely actual allusions to efficiency on the E53 are the AMG grille up entrance, the 4 spherical tailpipes out again and, after all, the rear and facet badges, which could be optionally deleted for some correct stealth. Trading the chrome bits for gloss-black trim is price each penny of the $650 upcharge. Keener eyes may also observe totally different wheels; my tester rocks a $750 optionally available set of 20-inch alloy wheels with black accents. But whereas the rollers look the enterprise and fill the wells properly, there are some trade-offs in experience high quality. More on that shortly. If you want your engine’s violence with a facet of aesthetic silence, the E-Class retains issues good and refined.
Andrew Krok/Roadshow

While I believed the sport-sport-sport motif within the similarly-sized AMG GT53’s cabin was a bit claustrophobic, I’ve no such qualms concerning the E53. That foolish high-sided middle console is gone, and with it the least ergonomic shifter I’ve ever skilled. Here, every thing is sweet and low, including a bit extra airiness to the inside. There’s nonetheless ample cupboard space within the middle console, and I believe the column-mounted shifter is significantly better to make use of always. While the cupholders are simpler to succeed in, the wi-fi cellphone charger remains to be hidden behind them, locking your cellphone away when you deign to deliver drinks into the equation. In conventional Mercedes sedan vogue, the E53 has greater than sufficient visibility in all instructions. It’s each ethereal and cozy, thanks partially to my tester’s $1,320 massaging entrance seats, that are my favourite within the business. The $2,990 Nappa leather-based improve makes every thing really feel actually costly, though spending $1,600 for a flowery headliner looks like a waste. Both rows are a lot comfortable, with ample area for tall passengers within the again. Going even farther again, the trunk can accommodate groceries, golf luggage, long-weekend suitcases, you title it. It could not have the convenience of entry {that a} hatchback presents, but it surely’s nonetheless capacious as heck. Mean inexperienced machine Every 53-badged AMG carries the identical potent powertrain. It begins with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, which places out 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. That’s supplemented with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that packs each an built-in starter/generator and an electrical compressor, the latter of which may present an additional 22 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The result’s phenomenal. There’s a small gauge on the backside of the digital cluster that tracks whether or not the EQ Boost system is charging or sending energy to the wheels. It does not even take a full stomp to see the gauge’s needle swing towards energy, and when that occurs, the E53 simply pushes itself ahead, but it surely’s so nicely built-in with the gasoline engine that it looks like a singular entity shoving the automotive alongside. It’s a strong 90% of the AMG 63 expertise, at lower than 90% of the value. My tester sports activities the $1,250 exhaust improve, which is a two-mode system that makes the automotive sound surprisingly beefy. There’s only a trace of straight-six rasp in there, however by and huge, I respect the ensuing noise, even when I believe it is attempting greater than a bit to sound like a V8. The inside seems like every other E-Class, however you will not be staring on the stitching when that mild-hybrid torque pushes you into the seat.
Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Whereas the GT53 I drove relied on adaptive dampers, the E53 comes normal with a sport-oriented air suspension. I’m an enormous fan of Mercedes-Benz’s air suspensions, and the story stays the identical right here. In its most snug setting, it does a commendable job dealing with unhealthy roads, though I want it may very well be a bit smoother; a few of that’s as a result of automotive’s sportier setup, and the remaining seemingly comes from the upsize 20-inch wheels wrapped in skinny Pirelli P-Zero summer season tires (245/35 entrance, 275/30 rear). Sticking with the inventory rollers ought to present extra plushness. The the rest of the E53 driving expertise is aces. The steering does not present a complete ton of suggestions, but it surely’s fast to reply and the steering wheel feels good to grip. Save for a little bit of summer-tire noise, the cabin is mighty quiet, thanks partially to my tester’s $1,100 Acoustic Comfort bundle, which provides cabin insulation and a sound-absorbing membrane in each the windshield and facet home windows.

If you are involved about how a lot gasoline AMG’s V8s suck down, and it is lots, you may be pleasantly stunned with the E53. The EPA charges this sport sedan at 21 miles per gallon metropolis and 28 mpg freeway, which trounces each the BMW M550i xDrive (18 metropolis, 25 freeway) and the outgoing Audi S6 (16 metropolis, 24 freeway) — the feds have but to publish check outcomes for the rejiggered 2020 mannequin. Best of all, these have been numbers I’ve no hassle attaining on the common, even with my foot sometimes trying to friction-weld the gasoline pedal to the firewall. Old tech doesn’t suggest unhealthy tech Even although the E-Class is simply a few mannequin years previous, it snuck in forward of Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX infotainment system, the most recent and biggest with doodaddery like a digital assistant that may perceive natural-language requests and augmented-reality turn-by-turn instructions. Despite being a brand new variant, this E53 nonetheless rocks the previous COMAND system, however age is only a quantity. The system nonetheless feels a lot recent, with graphics that are not dated, decently quick boot-up occasions and ample responsiveness. Whereas the GT53 I drove used a brand new model of the system’s touchpad, I really desire the E53’s older setup, which retains a rotary dial for simpler entry to the dense forest of menus and submenus that, whereas daunting at first, could be dedicated to reminiscence comparatively simply. The display screen’s 12.3-inch measurement makes multitasking easy, with a small navigation map hanging alongside the radio or no matter else I’ve open. COMAND is a positive system. It’s just a bit information-dense.
Andrew Krok/Roadshow
The 12.3-inch display screen to the proper is paired with one other 12.3-incher that stands in for a conventional gauge cluster. It’s fairly highly effective in its personal proper, providing three totally different design layouts and all kinds of what can really be displayed. It’s a bit more durable to determine than, say, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, but it surely’s all carried out utilizing the slick little touchpad on the left of the steering wheel (the one on the proper facet works the infotainment). All these items is normal on the E53, too. In phrases of the same old security techniques, the E53 packs normal ahead collision warning, computerized emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring. A surround-view digicam and park help are a $1,290 add-on. All the great things is tucked away within the $2,250 Driver Assistance Package, which provides full-speed adaptive cruise management, energetic lane-keep help, energetic lane-change help, route-based pace adaptation and evasive steering help. It’s a hands-on system, and it is one of many higher ones, with easy motion on each axes, and it is not so heavy-handed that it lulls me into a way of false safety. How I’d spec it My tester’s base worth of $72,500 has ballooned to $98,310 after Mercedes-Benz’s choices frenzy, however as all the time, I can do higher. I’ll begin with the $720 Lunar Blue metallic paint, however I’ll skip the bigger wheels in trade for extra experience consolation. The $650 Night Package and $1,000 panoramic roof are must-haves in my ebook, and I’ll spring for the $800 lighting bundle that provides adaptivity to the LED headlights. Inside, I’ll drop $2,990 for Nappa leather-based as a result of I do not just like the inventory vinyl, and dark-brown wooden veneer trim is a $0 improve, so why not. Winters get chilly, so I’ll spend $1,050 on a bundle that features heated armrests and a heated steering wheel. It’s free so as to add Nappa leather-based to the steering wheel, and who am I to look a present horse within the mouth? I’ll cap it off with $1,320 for massaging seats, $450 for entrance seat air flow, $1,100 foor the sound-deadening bundle and $1,250 for the energetic exhaust. That leaves me with a way more palatable $83,880 window sticker, much less vacation spot. I nonetheless cannot afford it, however now I am unable to afford it barely much less. Down to brass tacks The E53’s main opponents are the Audi S6 and the BMW M550i xDrive. The Audi S6 has a brand new model coming for 2020, with its personal mild-hybrid setup, however no person’s pushed it but so I am unable to converse to it, and I’d decide the Merc over the outgoing S6 all day. The BMW M550i xDrive does not have a hybrid system, but it surely’s faster than the last-generation M5, though I’m not in love with BMW’s present interiors. The E63 is all the time out there, too, however that $30,000 window-sticker premium is mighty expensive. There are some fringe opponents, just like the Lexus GS F, however that automotive presents sub-E53 efficiency at a beginning worth some $10,000 greater. Yikes.  Mercedes-Benz has an actual gem on its arms with the E53. This new EQ Boost system not solely is the longer term, it proves that the longer term does not suck. 

Andrew’s Comparable Picks

Shop Amazon