Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet — Adding fun to the driving experience

Photos by Paul Borden

By Paul Borden

(June 20, 2023) The E-Class has long been a staple in the Mercedes-Benz lineup though the midsize luxury car didn’t actually gain that “E” designation until the mid-1990s when the German automaker simplified its model nomenclature to the familiar alpha-numeric format we know today.

Though popularly recognized as a luxury sedans, the E-Class also has included coupe, wagon, and convertible models in the portfolio. More recently, an all-electric four-door E-Class has been added to the sedan (EQE) and SUV (EQE SUV) form.

Any configuration of the E-Class is a solid choice if you are shopping in the  luxury segment, but if you want to add a little fun to your driving experience I recommend a look at the droptop version. The 2023 Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet, the subject car for this review, has a bit of sports car in its DNA, as you might suspect from the AMG designation.

Its powerful inline 6-cylinder engine pumps out 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque to all four-wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission, giving it a zero-to-60 mph clocking of 4.4 seconds.
 That’s a boost of 67 horsepower and 15 pound-feet and a 1.0-second quicker zero-to-60 mph time over the E450 Cabriolet. Electric hybrid assist also can add  up to 21 hp to the AMG E53 Cabriolet’s numbers.

Fuel mileage mileage numbers are fairly decent as well with the government tagging them at 20 miles-per-gallon city, 27 highway, and 23 combined. That’s using premium-grade fuel, of course.

Mercedes refreshed the E-Class for 2021 and made no significant changes for 2023 after dropping the optional twin-turbo 607-horsepower V8 (E 63) from the 2022 lineup.

Premium Nappa leather is now offered as standard, and new colors include the emerald green metallic exterior on my test vehicle that seemed to alternate between a rich, dark green and black depending on how the light hit it. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Burmeister Premium audio are among standard comfort and convenience features as well as dual-zone climate control and lumbar support for the front seats.

Safety features included in the starting $92,500 MSRP include blind-spot warning, Active Brake Assist, a surround-view camera system, active park assist, and roll bars. (I don’t want to even think about needing the latter.) LED daytime running lights, headlights, and taillights also are standard.

Options on my test 2023 AMG E53 included a $1,700 Driver Assistant Package that included lane-keeping assist, lane-change assist, rear-end collision protection, and active steering assist. Other options included a massage function for the front seats, an AMG Performance Exhaust system, 20-inch 5-spoke wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, and a Warmth and Comfort Package that added rapid-heating to the front seats.

All that and the $1,150 destination and delivery charge ran the final total to and even $99,000. You’ll be happy to know I’m sure that the Nappa leather-wrapped AMG steering wheel, summer tires, and black soft top all were included in the base MSRP.

What I liked about the 2023 Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet: Performance, as is the case with AMG models, is especially satisfying and fuel mileage is pretty good as well. The interior oozes class. Raising and lowering the top is a simple, quick operation and can be accomplished while moving at low speed. The ride is well-insulated and quiet with the top up. Front seats automatically slide up (and then back) to provide access to the two rear seats. Infotainment features function via the touchscreen or by using a dial on the center console to save getting finger prints all over the 12.3-inch touchscreen display.

What I didn’t like about the 2023 Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet:. Cargo space is tight and further compromised with the top lowered. The ride is on the stiff side but not overly uncomfortable. Rear vision is somewhat restricted when the top is in place. Steering wheel buttons for menu controls seem to be designed for a child they are so tiny.

Would I buy the 2023 Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet? Frankly, I would buy just about any convertible but the E5 does stand out from the crowd. Its combination of luxury and performance is tough to beat.