Here Comes the Sun: The 2023 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet
As you probably know, we here in California are coming out of a long rainy spell---the better part of three weeks. It's been so rainy that these pictures of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG E53 were taken during the one break in the clouds and rain that came in the week I had it---a three-hour window on New Year's Day.
Downside: I didn't get to enjoy open-air driving---which is one of my favorite things.
Upside: The E 53 looks good with its top up, and it's so well-constructed and insulated (by a triple-layer acoustic soft top) that driving it in a downpour is almost like driving a fixed-roof coupe.
Under the hood, it's a 3-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with hybrid assist. Total system horsepower 429, mated to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT 9-speed automatic transmission. The car also has an AMG Performance version of Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and an AMG sport suspension based on Mercedes' Air Body Control.
Sixty miles an hour happens from a standing start in 4.4 seconds and the EPA says the E53 cabriolet is good for a combined city/highway average fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon.
The base price of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet is $91,500. There's a lot of standard equipment at that price---dual-zone automatic climate control, multicolor ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, Keyless Go and Keyless Start, two 12.3-inch screens, one for instrumentation and one for infotainment, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a great Burmester Surround Sound audio system, power heated front seats with lumbar support and memory, a heated steering wheel, Mercedes' AIRSCARF system that keeps passengers from being buffeted by wind with the top down, rain-sensing wipers and more.
Our tester, as usual with high-end European cars, had a significant amount of extra-cost options---$15,000 worth, in fact. The MANUFAKTUR Starling Blue Magno paint alone is $3,250, the AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather and microfiber is $500, the cabin air fragrancing and ionization (called AIR BALANCE) is $350. 20-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels added $1,350, augmented video for navigation was an extra $350, the AMG Performance exhaust system is $1,250, multi contour front seats with massage feature added another $950.
Then there's $450 for heated and ventilated front seats, $1,100 for a head-up display, $450 for a dark-tinted grille. The Driver Assistance Package (adaptive cruise control, active steering assist, active emergency stop assist, active speed limit assist, active brake assist with cross-traffic function, evasive steering assist, active lane-keeping assist, active blind spot assist, rear end collision protection and route-based speed adaptation) is $1,700 and Mercedes really should make the adaptive cruise control , emergency stop assist and blind-spot assist standard. If they want to bundle the rest as an extra-cost option, that's fine, but there are cars selling for under $30,000 that have those three as standard equipment. Finally, there's $800 for the Warmth and Comfort Package (heated front armrests and rapid-heating functionality for the front seats), $750 for the AMG Night Package (high-gloss black exterior trim), and $1,750 for the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber Package. The window sticker that came with the car has "0.00" under destination and delivery, which can't be right. Usually, Mercedes charges $1,050, so factor that in and the as-tested price of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet is $107,550.
The 2023 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet is a superbly-built performance machine. Spring, summer and sun are all coming. This would be a great way to make the most of them.