Mercedes-AMG E53 Cabriolet: Emotion Over Horsepower?

  • Apr 14, 2023
  • Views : 820
  • 6 min read

Will taking the top off an AMG add or dilute the emotive experience?

The 53 range of AMGs is a thinking man's performance car. It gives you a good blend of performance, usability and drama. Especially the E-Class, where the sedan is known to be a brilliant package for a family, and now feels exciting for the driver too. The 53 AMG adds a much-needed shot of life. Add a convertible soft top to that equation and the senses come alive. But, does that dilute the AMG badge? 

One glance is not enough

  • This debate has no end. Either you like the flat shoulder line of a drop-top or you don’t. I personally think they look beautiful. And this shape really complements the E-Cass. The simple yet elegant body lines and the overall curvy shape of the E helps the convertible look natural. Especially with the top down, it looks beautiful.  

  • This thing is an attention magnet. Even with the top up, it looks very different from the regular crop of luxury cars and hence people look. But fold the top and people stare, look back and even click a picture. And if you want to put on a show, just drop the top while driving or at a traffic signal and you feel like a celebrity. This takes about 20 seconds and can be operated while driving till 50kmph.

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  • But, this is an AMG and that DNA is not lost. It gets the aggressive AMG grille, 20-inch black wheels and quad exhaust tips, though they are for show. Combine that with the two-door body and it looks sleek.

  • Overall, E 53 Cabriolet blends in the convertible with the AMG aggression very well and is one of the most head-turning luxury cars you can drive. 

Familiar, but special

  • Inside, the E remains familiar. The dual-screen setup is crisp and colourful, and the quality all around the cabin leaves little to be desired. The highlights are the red accents and the AMG-spec steering wheel with an added round display mode selector. The party trick though are the seat belt hooks which come close to you when you get in and shut the door, and retract once you stop the car and take off the seatbelt. 

  • The buttons to control the roof and the windscreen spoiler are placed on the centre console, which are the only two additions here compared to the regular E. The soft top is a three-layer fabric which helps keep the cabin well insulated and even heat insulation was better than expected. 

  • The rear seats are surprisingly usable too. Adults with average height will have good enough knee and leg room. And while headroom is limited, there is a very easy solution for that. The backrest though is quite upright which means long road trips here could get uncomfortable. However, you do get aircon controls, cupholders and window switches for the back seat as well. 

  • The rear headrests pack hidden roll bars which can deploy if the car senses an imminent rollover to protect the occupants’ heads. 

  • It's loaded with amenities like a Mercedes should. You get climate control, ventilated and heated seats, a heads-up display, powered seats with memory, a 590W Burmester sound system, connected car tech and ambient lights. Plus, you can remotely open or fold the top with the key without switching the car on. 

Boot Space

  • The top folds into a compartment that used to be boot space. Hence, packing in luggage is tight. Also, there is a spare wheel kept there as well which further eats into the space. 

  • If you are packing smaller bags, you will still be able to get a weekend’s worth in there but large suitcases won’t fit. 

  • On paper, the space is 371L but it's the shape of the boot and the spare placement which is the limitation. 

Wind in the hair

  • The AMG part of the cabriolet lies in its heart. It's a 3-litre, in-line 6-cylinder engine which is assisted by a mild-hybrid system. The engine makes 435PS and the motor provides another 22PS when required. And with 520Nm of torque, the AMG E 53 Cabriolet is quick. Nought to 100kmph in 4.5s quick. 

  • It even sounds good. With the top down, you hear the engine and the exhaust more clearly which is definitely an enjoyable experience. And yes, here too, there is a fake engine growl coming from the speakers which, though sounds good, feels unnecessary. However, the exhaust has pops and bangs to overcome the speakers. 

  • The power buildup is instant and the cabriolet accelerates with joy and purpose. Overtakes happen without effort and it feels effortless to drive both in the city and on the highway. 

  • However, it still feels a bit tame. When you want to have some fun on twisty roads, you’d wish for a sharper throttle response and some more poke. Paddle shifters are quick to change gears but the acceleration out of corners is not manic enough for a 53 AMG. The complementing exhaust note though is. 

  • One thing that you will notice at lower speeds is some creeks from the body. At city speeds when you go over speed breakers or bad roads, there are creaky sounds coming from the car which is the chassis flex. A good soundtrack from the system though can easily tune it out. 

  • However, the feeling of driving fast with the top down is an amazing one. You feel closer to the elements, the exhaust note is much crisper and the wind grazing the body just makes it better. Be it in the city or out on some twisty bits, the top-down drive is such a sensory overload experience that you won’t care about how fast you are going, because you will be feeling every kmph and enjoying it. 

  • Keeping the aircon on even on hotter days will keep you cool and the ventilated seats are a blessing as well. However, if the Sun is out, keep the top up or be ready to tan. 

Drives like an AMG?

  • The AMG E 53 Cabriolet is not your typical AMG. With the roof eliminated, naturally, there is more flex in the body which makes handling a second priority. While this means it is not as sharp and pointy as its full-body siblings, it is still an AMG. 

  • Put it in Sport and the air suspension stiffens up making it feel sporty. The turn-in becomes sharper and you can have some fun. However you can still feel the weight transfer in corners and combined with the slightly laid-back throttle response, it leaves a bit to be desired. 

  • The AMG E 53 Cabriolet is a fantastic grand-tourer. The suspension is well-tuned to handle bad roads and the ground clearance is ample for even Indian roads. This makes it a brilliant car to take out for dinner or evening drives with the family. Be it driving in the city or the highway, the cabriolet feels at ease and effortless with thrills to entertain. 


The AMG E 53 Cabriolet tries to blend the AMG and cabriolet worlds together. But in doing so, it’s clearly the cabriolet which is winning. While it is quick and fast, what makes it exciting is not the speed, but the sense of speed you get from the surroundings. It is an attention magnet, comfortable for the city and a brilliant touring machine.

Add the plethora of features and the quality of the cabin to this formula, and you have a car which can make you feel good day in, day out. So if you are looking for an all-rounder and enjoy attention, the cabriolet is a spot on formula to spend your hard earned Rs 1.3 crore on.

Mercedes-Benz AMG E 53 Cabriolet
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