Competes with: Audi S6, BMW M550i
Looks like: The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, just a bit meaner
Powertrain: Mild-hybrid turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine making 429 horsepower and 384 pounds-feet of torque (EQ Boost can briefly add an extra 21 hp and 184 pounds-feet); nine-speed automatic transmission; standard all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Late 2020
Mercedes didn’t just update the vanilla E-Class for 2021, it also teamed with its AMG performance division to give the mid-tier E53 performance sedan similar updates. The E53 wears new styling front and rear, and it has an updated interior with AMG-specific technology and the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system.
The E53 will look meaner even than the E450 sedan, with dual power domes on its hood along with an AMG-specific grille and “A-wing” front bumper with five central vertical struts. The LED headlights and taillights are also a new design, as are the standard 19-inch and optional 20-inch wheels. Additionally, the rear bumper and rear diffuser have been revised for 2021. The optional AMG Night Package blacks out much of the exterior trim to create an even more aggressive look.
Performance is the name of the game inside the cabin, with a new AMG performance steering wheel as standard equipment and standard sport seats wrapped in a combination of black MB-Tex faux leather and black Dinamica microfiber with red contrast stitching. Red seat belts are available.
MBUX, Mercedes’ infotainment system, takes center stage in the 12.3-inch multimedia screen and can include the optional AMG Track Pace system to record lap and section times while monitoring vehicle data such as speed and acceleration. Track Pace can even use augmented reality to display the ideal racing line of certain stored racetracks in the head-up display.
Engine and Transmission
E53 buyers get only one choice of drivetrain: a mild-hybrid turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels via AMG’s Performance 4Matic Plus all-wheel-drive system. The engine produces 429 horsepower and 384 pounds-feet of torque, and it can use an EQ Boost feature to increase those figures by 21 hp and 184 pounds-feet, respectively; Mercedes estimates the E53 can go from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The adjustable air suspension has three settings — Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus — that provide varying levels of stiffness as desired.
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Advanced safety features — things like a surround-view camera, blind spot collision avoidance and semi-autonomous driving features — are once again expected to be available through Mercedes’ Parking Assistance and Driver Assistance packages.
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