Friday, May 24, 2024

JeffCars.com’s Review: 2019 Mercedes-Benz E53 AMG Cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz E53 AMG Cabriolet (Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)

Highlight: The high-performance cabriolet is available with a route-based speed adaption system. This highly evolved system adjusts the vehicle speed to the posted highway sign, roundabouts, toll booths and toll exits, when using the radar-activated cruise control system.

E53 AMG Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $101,453 (Base Model: $81,345)

Seating Capacity: Mercedes-Benz says 4, but really 2

Safety Features: ABS; air bags; a rear view camera; a blind spot assist system; automatic dimming side and rear view mirror; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Features: 19-inch wheels; a 9-speed automatic transmission; an all-wheel drive  system; a one touch power operated controlled soft top; a 12-inch widescreen cockpit; a wireless in-vehicle charging system; parking assist system; a fuel saving start-stop feature; a navigation system; an AMG performance steering wheel; an AMG performance exhaust system; a power heated front seats with driver’s control memory setting; a keyless entry system; power folding side mirrors; split folding rear seats; LED headlamps and tail lamps; an electronic trunk partition; 64-color ambient lighting (includes air vents); a variety of driving modes; a lowered suspension with a selective damping system; an AMG automatic speed shifter; power sliding front seats to enter the rear seating area; and leather seats

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: special exterior paint application; black and white Nappa leather; AMG carbon fiber trim; AMG carbon fiber mirrors; AMG carbon fiber trunk lid sponsor; 20-inch AMG 5-spoke wheels; high performance summer tires; AMG performance exhaust system; AMG track pace application; exterior lighting package; active front seats with a massage feature; heated and ventilated front seats; a heated steering wheel; rapid heated front seats and armrest; a head up display system; an in-vehicle purification system; a center console with an AMG carbon fiber trim; a black soft top; active park system with a surround view system; an active lane alert change assist system; a pre-collision braking system; a cross traffic system; a speed limit assist system; an active emergency stop system; an active blind spot assist system; and an an active lane keep assist system

Other Trims: E450 Cabriolet AWD

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an AM/FM/HD/CD with satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Smartphone/Android- AppleCar Play Compatibility: Yes

Bumper to Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder turbocharged /429-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 20-city/26-hwy

What’s New: The AMG E53 Cabriolet is an all-new model for 2019, replacing the outgoing E43 model. The most significant change is the more powerful turbocharged engine.

Mercedes-Benz E53 AMG Cabriolet (Photo Credit: JeffCars.com)

Why: This is one of Mercedes-Benz’s most advanced, high-performance drop top to-date. With a price point that hoovered in the $100,000 range, this breath-taking Cabriolet packs class, style and performance.

Just like many of the models which wear the AMG’s badge, the Cabriolet takes on the same racing-inspired driving dynamics. However, unlike the AMG E53 competitors, Mercedes-Benz’s performance package provides the optimum balanced and harmonious driving experience, without the suspension being jarring or unforgiving.

Underneath the hood, the all-new E53 model packs a 429-horsepower, 6-cylinder engine. Twenty-one additional horses can be pushed out, with the brand’s EQ Boost, which is a hybrid-like integrated starter-alternator system. Also, for those seeking to push the E53 to the max, in terms of speed, the engineering team has increased the cap of the top speed to 130 mph. Those seeking to push the vehicle to its limits will welcome this. These speed demons will also be grateful for the larger, vented 14-inch disc brakes, which will help to stop the vehicle on a dime.

In addition to the effortless power graced by this year’s model, the E53 is now available with the world’s first fully integral system, which allows the performance-oriented cabriolet to evaluate the vehicle’s driving conditions. A built-in technological enhancement provides a mean for the driver to see around corners and through obstacles. This is surely a sign that we’re getting closer to these vehicles being self-driven.

And, while we did not have a chance to experience our cabriolet in a natural, open air, warm weather environment, we were unable to go topless. Yet, the well-insulated power operated soft top only allowed the heat to escape the vehicle when we were exiting and entering the vehicle.

Also inside the cabin of the AMG Cabriolet one will immediately notice how Mercedes-Benz’s interior design team blended the optional two-tone seats, with the lightly trimmed red stitching with the overall layout of the coupe. Ironically, at dusk, the two-tone seat pattern and the interior lighting package easily placed us in the frame of mind of being inside of an art gallery.

And, while seated behind the wheel, we immediately noticed how the interior design team strategically placed most of the operations related to controlling the infotainment system on and/or around the steering wheel.

Conversely, as an alternative to relying strictly on the steering wheel, the brand’s signature high-tech touchpad, with the controller and voice control, served as another means to adjust the air conditioning, the temperature of the front seats, as well as the interior lights. Yes, Mercedes-Benz is literally pushing this vehicle to the next level in terms of convenience, with this array of duplicated systems.

But: We did find a few quirks with our cabriolet. For one, our pricey E53 lacked a standard heated steering wheel. At this price point, this feature should be standard.

Also, as someone who changes cars weekly, when seated behind the wheel of today’s Mercedes-Benzs, it always takes a moment for us to become re-familiarize with the operation of this high-tech German vehicle. We always confused the gear selector on the steering stalk with the turn signal.

In fact, we wish Mercedes-Benz would consider changing the placement of the gear shifter stalk. It’s a little confusing being that is located where many of us expect the turn signal indicators to be placed.

Lastly, the rear seats aren’t designed to accommodate adults. While the rear seating area is great for kids with short legs, its not conducive for large kids or adults.

Verdict: Despite all of the interior heating capabilities wooing us to drop the top in the dead of winter, cabriolets are the most thrilling, when one can fully take advantage of the open air during the spring, summer and fall seasons. And with convertibles becoming a rarity, as a result of consumers shift toward SUVs, crossovers and trucks, its refreshing to know that the German automaker is still in the business of building a performance-oriented, luxury cabriolet.

Buyers, who prefer a sunroof and are seeking the same thrill we found in our AMG Cabriolet, can also opt for the brand’s coupe and/or sedan.

Competition: 2019 BMW 650 xDrive Convertible

More Info About JeffCars.com: For a new-car pricing configurator, used car-buying tips, recall updates, a car-pricing calculator and air times to tune in to SiriusXM Channel 141 Auto Trends with JeffCars.com. It’s a weekly multicultural automotive show, cruise over to JeffCars.com.

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