Images are for illustrative purposes only and may feature different models within the range
0 - 62 mph4.4s
WLTP - CO2215 g/km
By Jonathan Crouch
The Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Coupe is a rare kind of performance sporting car. Not only can it sprint to 62mph in under 4.5s to the accompaniment of an emotive soundtrack but it also has a relatively efficient mild hybrid engine and can properly seat four people. It all delivers a pretty special and rather different Grand Touring experience. There's a sense of class, quality and style here that makes this car unique at its price point.
2dr Coupe (3.0 petrol])
Back in 2018, it'd been a long time since we'd had a Mercedes E-Class that was a proper AMG-fettled serious driver's car but this, the Three-Pointed Star reckoned, was it, the Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Coupe. It wasn't the first Mercedes-AMG version of the fifth generation E-Class Coupe; this '53' variant directly replaced the previous E 43 4MATIC version of this model. That had a V6 engine and 367hp. Here though, you sense that Mercedes' Afalterbach luxury division got a lot more serious about developing this car. There was a change to inline six cylinder power and a power hike to 435hp. At the same time as this E-Class variant future-proofed itself with a switch to mild hybrid technology. The E 53 4MATIC+ Coupe sold until 2022.
What You Get
Visually, the 53-series model has a unique look. AMG-specific side sill panels deliver a more dynamic silhouette and there's a twin-blade radiator grille finished in silver chrome, previously a feature reserved only for the V8 Performance models. The front apron, which has an A-wing design, is equipped with black flics and a front splitter in silver chrome. The outer air intakes have two horizontal fins in silver chrome. At the rear, the classic round twin tailpipes are finished in high-gloss chrome and there's a body coloured spoiler on the boot lid, which was optionally available in carbon-fibre. Inside, there's a AMG-specific seat upholstery and red seat belts, plus trim elements in carbon fibre or a glass fibre and matt silver combination. The interior is rounded off with an AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather, a tiller which offered individualisation options such as wood inserts in piano lacquer or DINAMICA microfibre in the grip area. As with an ordinary E-Class Coupe, you get a Widescreen Cockpit (two high-resolution 12.3-inch displays are merged under a single lens). But here, this set-up also includes a specific AMG menu. In the back, there's just about space for two adults to be reasonably comfortable - certainly far more than you'd get in a C-Class Coupe - or indeed a Lexus LC. As for the boot, well that's 425-litres in size. Should you want to carry longer items, the split-folding rear seat has two larger outer sections and a narrower middle portion that's ideal for pushing through skis or golf clubs.
What You Pay
Prices for the E 53 in C238-era Coupe form start at around £39,100 (around £43,750 retail), which gets you an '18-plate 'Premium'-trimmed model. If you'd prefer to stretch to the facelifted version, a '20-plate 'Premium'-trim E53 Coupe values from around £45,700 (around £52,250 retail), with a late '22-plate model valuing at around £55,100 (around £62,500 retail). Allow around £1,700 more for plusher 'Night Edition' trim. All quoted values are sourced through industry experts cap hpi. Click here for a free valuation.
What to Look For
Check those huge, expensive-to-fix 19 or 20-inch AMG alloy wheels for scratches and nicks. We've also heard that the relay for the E 53's AIRMATIC air suspension system is prone to failure - that relay can get stuck in the off position, meaning that the compressor won't engage and the suspension won't drop the car towards the ground. And of course insist on a fully stamped-up service history. Otherwise, it's just the usual comments that apply to this C238-era E-Class design. Most owners in our survey were satisfied, whatever kind of version of the C238-era design they'd chosen, but inevitably, there were some who'd experienced problems. We came across a few owners who'd experienced failed NOx sensors - there are two that are a part of the selective catalytic reduction system. The cause is usually extreme exhaust heat and replacing the sensors isn't cheap. We also come across issues with brake judder and screeching, so look out for that on your test drive. And we've heard it reported that the body paint is rather thin and sensitive, so scratches and spots are common. Check the paintwork thoroughly. Some owners have reported failing LED light bulbs that illuminate the floor under the side door mirrors. Otherwise, it's the usual things here; interior trim and electrical issues were the most commonly afflicted things that came up. Check for uneven panel gaps and paint flaws. Inspect the electrics and the air conditioning functionality - it should blow our really chilled air.
(approx based on a 2020 E53 4MATIC+ Coupe - Ex Vat) An air filter is around £26. An oil filter is around £13. A fuel filter is around £36. Front brake pads sit in the £86-£136 bracket for a set. Front brake discs for an E-Class cost in the £112-£127 bracket, but for proper Brembo discs appropriate to an E 53, you'll need a lot more; a set of rear Brembo discs for an E 53, for instance, will cost around £324. A set of wiper blades is around £42. An air filter is in the £39-£55. A pollen filter is in the £11-£54 bracket. A rear LED lamp is in the £238-£281 bracket.
On the Road
Previously, there was quite a gulf between the two engines that the Mercedes-AMG sub-brand used towards the end of this century's second decade for larger cars made by the Three-Pointed Star. These being the V6 '43' unit and the 'blood and thunder' 4.0-litre V8 of the ballistic '63'-series cars. Back in 2018, you still couldn't have an E-class Coupe (or for that matter, an E-Class cabriolet) with the V8 engine, but this E 53 model's in-line six cylinder 435hp unit delivered a lot of the performance that unit might have provided for this body style. Together with a vastly more acceptable set of running costs thanks to the integrated mild hybrid tech. But you don't want to know about all that - not in this section anyway. You want to know how fast this E 53 Coupe goes and whether it's just a bit of a boat that goes very fast in a straight line but can't do a lot else. As has been the case with AMG-engined E-Class Coupes of the past. Well it isn't that. Come to this car and expect it to have the scalpel-sharp handling responses of a similarly priced but slightly smaller C 63 Coupe and you'll be disappointed. But it's more everyday-usable than one of those thanks to an AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes system and the addition of AMG RIDE CONTROL version of the Mercedes AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension system. Plus there's 4MATIC+ AWD, a 9-speed AMG Speedshift TCT paddleshift auto gearbox and an AMG Performance exhaust for an authentic sportscar soundtrack. It all makes this car certainly quite dynamic enough to take on a direct class rival like a BMW M850i Coupe. Rest to 62mph takes just 4.4s and the top speed has to be artificially restricted at 155mph. It's also a more rewarding thing than the other car in this category that used hybrid technology (albeit in full-hybrid rather than, as in this case, mild hybrid form), the Lexus LC 500h.
Do you really need a faster, more luxurious performance coupe than this? Probably not. That didn't prevent this E 53 Coupe from being a super-rare sight on our roads though. But if you're fortunate enough to be considering one, that'll be all part of the appeal. It's practical and reasonably spacious in the way a C 63 Coupe isn't. It's sharper to drive and much more affordable than a Lexus LC or a BMW 8 Series Coupe. And, thanks to 4MATIC AWD, AMG Ride Control and the AMG Speedshift gearbox, it feels more dynamic than any AMG-fettled E-Class Coupe before it. There's even a Cabriolet version if you want a more exclusive feel. You could spend twice as much as Mercedes is asking here and not really better what this car can offer in terms of performance, dynamic ability, luxury and even exclusivity. If you don't feel the need to and find yourself in the market for a very quick, very plush four-seat luxury coupe, then this one might be hard to ignore.
Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.
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Based on 48 month contract and 5,000 miles per year. Initial rental of £9,856.25 followed by 47 monthly rentals of £1,095.14. Processing fee £298.80 Inc VAT. All prices Inc VAT . Excess mileage charges may apply if contract mileage is exceeded. Fair wear and tear charges may apply at end of contract.
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