DRIVEN: MERCEDES-AMG GT53 4-DOOR

Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-Door

The Mercedes-AMG GT 4 Door is Stuttgart’s answer to the Porsche Panamera and the Audi A7 Sportback and BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe in general. While we had the opportunity of sampling the V8 variant in the form of the GT 63 S late last year, we recently got behind the wheel of the less powerful inline six-cylinder GT 53 iteration to see if it is, in fact, R1m less of a car than its flagship V8 sibling.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This remains one of the most cliched adages that has been used liberally for ages, yet it continues to apply, particularly in the automotive realm. Mercedes-AMG’s portfolio has grown staggeringly in recent months and while the 63 V8 models continue to headline the range, there’s also a subcategory where the 53 inline-six models now reside. These, of course, are exclusive to the CLS 53, E 53, GLE 53 and the subject of this article, the great-looking GT 53 4 Door.

DESIGN

Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-Door

Taking design cues from the two-door AMG GT, particularly the front-end, the model is, for the most part, an E-Class below the skin, but the designers have done a great deal to give it a design flair that thoroughly masks its humble sedan roots. It is quite the stunner and resoundingly the best-looking model in its segment, thanks to that Panamericana grille flanked by slim, LED-equipped front headlights. Then there is the AMG-specific lower front valance with pseudo side intakes – these are functional in the GT 63 – and those blistered wheel arches that are home to 19” alloy wheels that truly accentuate the vehicle’s hunkered-down stance. At the rear, LED taillights, a retractable spoiler, and quad exhaust tailpipes round off a rather sporty look.

CABIN APPOINTMENTS

Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-Door

Right off the bat, it must be mentioned that Mercedes-AMG currently has one of the best cabins in the business and the GT 53 is no exception, boasting that intergalactic infotainment screen that spans almost half of the dashboard and looks even more spectacular at night.

The AMG steering wheel now also houses drive mode settings, while the centre tunnel is still a sanctuary for an array of buttons, but easily legible, thanks to the illuminated graphic illustration. Those form-hugging AMG bucket seats look more at home in a sportscar and not only offer exemplary form-hugging ability but do much in elevating the cabin ambience.

MOTIVATION AND THE DRIVE

Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-Door

Powering the GT 53 is a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder with 320 kW and 520 Nm and augmented by a starter generator with 16 kW and 250 Nm, which comes in handy although briefly when getting off the line as it dispenses with any would-be turbo lag. All this is allied to a 9-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system that offers excellent grip and handling.

However, credit truly needs to go to the engine, which has oodles of shove and sounds the part, particularly with the sports exhaust fitted to our test car. It is a flexible engine that feels and sounds docile under urban traffic conditions but offers up good torque characteristics.

Turn things up to Sport+ or even Race mode and the suspension tenses up, the throttle response becomes even more incisive and the exhaust note becomes even more liberated to belch out a symphonic six-cylinder chime. Frankly, this variant might be down on the GT 63 S power outputs of 470 kW and 900 Nm, but the GT 53 doesn’t feel considerably slower nor less characterful. In fact, to the contrary, I found the GT 53 to be the more enjoyable of the two. It felt fleeter footed and not once did I feel that it could do with more power.

LAST WORD

The Mercedes-AMG GT 4 Door is a superb offering in this segment and ticks just about every box that makes this genre compelling. At the price, I reckon the GT 53 offers up better value for money than the GT 63 and, to be frank, the former doesn’t feel that much disadvantaged performance-wise making it the one to go for should you be shopping in this neck of the woods.

Report by LERATO MATEBESE | Images © MERCEDES-AMG