2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53: Happy Medium

Strong points
  • Competent AWD system
  • Adjustable driving dynamics
  • High degree of technical sophistication
Weak points
  • No coasting function
  • Haptic controls are not very driver-friendly
  • Expensive options
Full report

As the third model to be exclusively developed by AMG, the GT 4-Door Coupe is currently available in several variants powered by six- and eight-cylinder engines.

The latest one, called GT 63 S E Performance, is a plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 821 horsepower and a whopping 1,084 pound-feet of torque. It’s the pinnacle of performance with a price to match (over $200,000).

While nowhere near as explosive, the Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4Matic we recently put to the test is still plenty of fun and feels like a bargain at $119,800. For 2022, it received a boost to 429 horsepower, while max torque is rated at 384 pound-feet.

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

Mild Hybrid Delivers Spicy Performance

The advanced powertrain in the GT 53 is built around a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine. There’s an electric supercharger and a starter-alternator, too. When accelerating from a standstill, these two get to work before the engine revs high enough and the turbocharger kicks in. As a result, the car surges forward in smooth, linear fashion, with 0-100 km/h sprints achieved in 4.5 seconds.

Merging onto highways or passing slower vehicles on smaller roads is not a problem whatsoever. The GT 53 proves responsive and spirited at any speed. The 63 models obviously raise the bar, here, but we think the GT 53 is powerful enough to please without overwhelming drivers.

Unlike other mild hybrid cars from Mercedes-Benz, however, this particular one lacks a coasting function that disengages the combustion engine when you take your foot off the gas pedal in order to save fuel. Speaking of which, the Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4Matic boasts ratings of 12.9 L/100 km in the city and 9.7 L/100 km on the highway.  

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

Adaptive Air Suspension for a Smooth Ride

The AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension incorporates a completely new, electronically controlled adjustable damping system. For the first time, two pressure-limiting valves are used, allowing the damping force to be adjusted more precisely to different road and driving conditions. This technology delivers an even smoother ride on the one hand (in Comfort mode) and makes driving dynamics even sportier on the other hand (Sport+ mode). 

The 4Matic all-wheel drive system is rear-biased and the nine-speed transmission is a wonderful partner in sporty driving. Alternating between the various drive modes is easy through the rotary selector on the steering wheel. Just turn it to Sport or Sport Plus ahead of a succession of corners and back to Comfort when the road straightens up.

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

Steering is always precise and firms up nicely as you switch to the sportier modes. By the way, Mercedes has made it possible to activate the sport exhaust system even in Comfort mode so drivers have a more pleasant soundtrack to listen to while relaxing behind the wheel.

Our tester was a Manufaktur Edition ($25,000 extra) loaded with options and painted in a striking Rubelite Red Metallic. It also sported 21-inch forged alloy wheels.

We liked the dual displays for the instruments and infotainment system, as well as the four-spoke steering wheel featuring a bunch of controls with haptic feedback. However, there’s a serious learning curve involved and we found these controls to be somewhat distracting while driving due to a lack of precision.

In the end, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4Matic may not have the panache of a GT 63 or 63 S E Performance, but it’s the happy medium most people want in a luxury grand tourer.

Watch: 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC Review

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