Review: 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe

2022 Mercedes-AMG GT53

Words: Calvin Chan

Photography: Calvin Chan

Published: August 16, 2022

 



In the market for a sports sedan? Mercedes has three that might pique your fancy, the Mercedes-AMG E 53 ($89,000), CLS 53 ($99,900), and GT 53 ($123,900). Uncoincidentally, they all sit on the same platform, utilize the same engines, and to the untrained eye, look like they’re cut from the same cloth, the latter two especially with identical vertical-slat front grills and fastback silhouette. That’s a bit of an issue. Porsche can pull off their plethora of model trims but in the end, it’s still called the same thing, the Panamera. Here, we have an alphabet soup of letters and numbers, confusing potential silver star customers. Not to mention, that despite using the same mild-hybrid powertrain, each of these -53 sport sedans clock in at different price points. So why is the GT 53 the most expensive by such a wide margin?

 

 

It’s certainly not the looks. The GT 53 appears softer, more bulbous, and carries broader shoulders. It uses a hatchback liftgate instead of the CLS’ traditional trunk, and the GT adopts more of a soap bar shape similar to the EQS electric vehicle. The GT offers more paint colours including this Rubellite Red you see on our test vehicle as part of the $25,000 Manufaktur package. It can also be equipped with 21-inch wheels whereas the CLS maxes out at 20s. There’s also a raisable rear spoiler that pops out like in the Panamera, but we never found much use for it nor did we find it visually pleasing, somewhat ruining the GT’s clean aesthetic. Hardly looks $24,000 more expensive when all is said and done either.

 

 

The interior then? Quite similar to the CLS as well. There’s more liberal use of leather as well as softer quilted seats, a thick two-tone steering wheel, and a center console layout that mimics the GT sports car. The GT offers a wider spread of leather options and themes, and an optional Premium Rear Seating Package ($3,700) with a fixed center console and touchscreen, as well as adjustable rear headrests and climate-controlled cupholders.

 

 

Up front, there’s a proper gear shifter and we prefer this over the plastic column-mounted stalk in the E and CLS. But many of the same traits and compromises remain, like the dinky sunroof that only covers the front cabin, though a panoramic one is optional. The rear seats are equally as cramped in both the GT and CLS, unworthy of even calling them rear accommodations when we have to hunch our six-foot frame under the headliner. The E 53 clearly wins in this area. The interior also seems to focus more on the IQ than the EQ, with a fussy touchscreen menu paired with a responsive trackpad but an interface that doesn’t seem well suited for it. The touch-sensitive row of menu buttons is also disastrously positioned right below the cupholders, so every time you reach for your items stowed there, your wrist will always trigger the panel, prompting the screen to confirm your new button press. Frustrating is an understatement.

 

 

Performance-wise, both achieve the same goal, at least in their -53 specs. However, there are some mild differences underneath the epidermis. They lie on the same platform but the GT 53 is equipped with an electronic limited-slip rear differential, an adaptive air suspension, and stronger brakes. That should translate to a better ride but we discovered that the GT 53 feels firmer. It hugs and grips the road better but also crashes harder with less overall compliance. There’s a GT in the name but we don’t think it’s the most comfortable grand tourer around - we would take a BMW M5 for a road trip instead.

 

 

The GT 53 is considered to be a full AMG product but the one-man-one-engine philosophy doesn’t apply here. It uses the same 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six paired with a mild hybrid system as the CLS 53, delivering an identical 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, and hitting the same 0-100 km/h time of 4.5 seconds. The GT 53 does get a key fob embossed with the AMG logos front and back, though, if that’s any consolation.

 

 

As predicted, the GT 53 accelerates with the same kind of thrust and kickback as the CLS 53, though the GT definitely feels more eager to turn and corner. It manages its weight better, and its lower center of gravity seems to render it more playful and agile when the road begins to snake, enjoying the hustle more than the CLS.

 

 

The 9-speed gearbox is more polished in the GT 53. It doesn't lug around at low speeds or harshly vibrate between transitions in the clutch. This was one of our largest criticisms of the CLS. It’s a more cohesive experience as a result, demonstrated by its smoother behaviour at all speeds, and not just when driven hard. And even without the switchable active exhaust of the CLS, the GT 53 actually sounds the same, revving with a soft, high-pitched wail that begs you to downshift just to emit more sonically pleasing notes.

 


When it comes down to brass tacks, the GT 53 and CLS 53 are essentially the same car that achieves the same goal. There are a few advantages to the GT, namely its more agile behaviour around corners, and its willingness to change direction, but we don’t find it worth the $24,000 premium, even with its snazzier interior layout and trick rear spoiler.

 


Photo Gallery:

 

2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe Manufaktur Rubelite Red Metallic canada 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe Manufaktur Rubelite Red Metallic front view

 

2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe Manufaktur Rubelite Red Metallic rear 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe Manufaktur Rubelite Red Metallic side

 

 

 

2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe Manufaktur Rubelite Red Metallic wheels 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe Manufaktur Rubelite Red Metallic spoiler

 

2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe Manufaktur Rubelite Red Metallic raised spoiler

 

gt53 amg coupe neva grey interior gt53 amg coupe neva grey interior dashboard

 

gt53 amg coupe neva grey interior two-tone steering wheel

 

gt53 amg coupe neva grey interior manufaktur special edition

 

gt53 amg coupe neva grey interior two-tone seats 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe Manufaktur Rubelite Red Metallic gt53 amg coupe neva grey interior trunk space liftgate

 



Specifications:

Model: 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4MATIC+ Coupe

Paint Type: MANUFAKTUR Rubelite Red Metallic
Base Price: $119,800

Price as Tested: $154,600
Wheelbase(mm): 2,951
Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,054 / 1,953 / 1,455

Curb weight (kg): 2,060
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six + electric compressor + battery
Horsepower: 429 hp @ 6,100 rpm (EQ Boost +21 hp)
Torque: 384 lb-ft @ 1,800 - 5,800 rpm (EQ Boost +184 lb-ft)
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD

Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway ) L/100km: 12.3 / 9.4
Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 12.1

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

 



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