The Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 isn’t as practical as the cheaper E53 Sedan, but it partially makes up for this by being one of the most stylish four-door sedans on the market. It’s clever, too, mixing a smooth 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with an electric auxiliary compressor to produce 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. The quick-shifting nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system enable a swift 0-60 mph run of only 4.3 seconds.
With its low and wide stance, the CLS 53 is embellished with AMG body styling and features like 19-inch alloy wheels, all-LED lighting, a power sunroof, and quad-exit tailpipes. The cabin mixes plenty of tech with unparalleled luxury. MB-Tex and Dinamica upholstery is complemented by dual 12.3-inch color screens, a 13-speaker Burmester surround sound system, power-adjustable front seats, and safety gear like blind-spot assist and attention assist.
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 carries a starting MSRP in the USA of $81,550. That price excludes taxes, licensing, registration, and a destination charge of $1,050. At almost $10,000 more than the E53 Sedan with the same powertrain, it's not cheap. Then again, the Audi S7 begins at an even pricier $84,400 in its cheapest trim. The price of the Mercedes-Benz CLS 53 AMG will climb to over $114,000 when equipped with all the tempting options.
Other than tossing thousands of dollars into the ocean, another way to quickly empty your bank account is to approach the CLS 53's options list without caution. Outside, you can spend $1,750 on the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber Package, which adds genuine carbon fiber to the mirror housings and a carbon fiber rear spoiler. For chilly mornings, the Warmth & Comfort Package equips rapid front-seat heating, heated front armrests, and a heated steering wheel for $1,050. Who has the time to wait for regular seat heaters to do their job, anyway?
The $1,950 Driver Assistance Package appears to be pretty good value as it adds no less than 14 driver-assistance technologies like adaptive cruise control, active lane-change assist, and evasive steering assist.
The standalone options that are worth looking at include an AMG head-up display ($1,100), three-zone climate control ($760), MBUX augmented video for navigation ($350), and heated rear seats ($580). The full Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound system is a further $4,550.
As there is only one trim on offer, the CLS 53 you drive off in can only be configured as far as the options list allows. Thankfully, there is plenty of room for customization. We'd equip ours with the sinister Selenite Grey Magno matte paint, the 20-inch AMG wheels with black accents, Nappa leather in Macchiato Beige/Grey Magma, the AMG head-up display, and the Driver Assistance Package. With those boxes ticked, the price for our Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 came to $92,290 excluding destination.