The Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC+ Coupe, just refreshed two years ago, is arguably the brand’s sleekest four-door offering — and the shark-like sedan returns donning a sharpened front end, plusher interior and some fresh tech.
A revised AMG bumper leads the charge on the update, with a much larger central air intake segmented by a wider A-wing element. Above, the grille features the modern signature vertical bars, finished in either polished aluminum or matte black depending on grade, surrounding an oversized three-point emblem. On special Edition 429 models, there’s extra dark accenting on on the side mirrors and 20-inch five-twin-spoke polished lip wheels, contrasting nicely against the bright High Tech Silver paint.
Similarly, inside, the optional carbon fibre trim (+ $2,500) covering the centre console, length of the dashboard and door panels, really popped next to the buttery-soft Bengal Red seats. Drivers will notice a new Nappa leather multi-function steering wheel and genuine chrome paddle shifters, the latter a nice premium touch many times lacking in other competitors using plastic units.
A MANUFAKTUR (Mercedes’ in-house customizer) black Dinamica recycled polyester microfibre headliner adds to the sporty-meets-luxury feel of the cabin. The seats are supportive and comfortable, however for a vehicle measuring a rather long 5,012 millimetres in length only 889 millimetres of rear legroom exists. Strapped into a child seat, my toddler’s feet were a little closer to the passenger-side seatback than I would have expected.
Two 10.25-inch screens side-by-side provide a digital gauge readout and infotainment controls. The latest Mercedes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) software includes integrated artificial intelligence meaning it can predict user behaviour. For example, if when driving home at a certain time of a specific radio station is selected, MBUX may automatically suggest a shortcut right on the display. And as always, the available Burmester surround sound stereo, part of the $4,800 Premium Package, sounds crystal clear.
Powering the car is the now-familiar 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six mild hybrid engine, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. A combination starter, alternator and electric motor allows for virtually imperceptible engine start-stop functionality increasing efficiency, as well as boosts acceleration performance. In addition, the Coupe can coast without using gasoline at low speeds.
Producing 429 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque performance in a straight line is more than adequate, and sounds great too during throttle application when the $1,900 Driver’s Package is equipped bundling the dynamic AMG Performance Exhaust System. Standard AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension and 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive keeps the sedan planted on the road in all conditions. Even during snowy weather, I never lost traction while testing though this is also largely because of the grippy Pirelli Sottozero 3 winter tires fitted to the alloys.
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC+ Coupe is a limited-edition vehicle and is built at the Sindelfingen plant in south Germany. Prices start at $99,900.
Highlights (as tested)
Motor: 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six + electric motor
Horsepower: 429 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 384 @ 1,800 rpm
Gearbox: nine-speed automatic transmission
Layout: front engine, all-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 12.3 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)