When the Mercedes-AMG GT was introduced, it replaced the SLS and was the flagship of the brand. Now that car is no longer in production, leaving behind only the 4-door version of it. But this AMG GT doesn’t share a whole lot of components with the flagship car. It actually shares the same platform as the Mercedes E-class and the CLS-class. So should you pay the extra money for the slightly different styling or is there more to this car?
Engine – In the past, the AMG GT 4-door was available with the monstrous twin-turbocharged V8 that is in a lot of AMG 63 models. For 2022, that engine is gone. At least for the time being. It may return once Mercedes gets their microchip supply chain in order. Here in Canada, the GT 4-door is only available in 53 guise which means that it has a 3.0L turbocharged inline-6 with a mild-hybrid system. In the United States, there’s also a GT43 trim with the same engine but detuned. The total output of this GT53 AMG version is 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque (320 kW & 520 Nm). This 4-door Coupe tips the scales at 2,060 kg (4,541 lbs), however, despite the large weight, the 0-100 km/h sprint gets done in just 4.5 seconds according to Mercedes-Benz.
What makes this a clever engine is the EQ Boost mild-hybrid system. This is not a hybrid system that allows the car to drive on electricity alone like the Corolla Hybrid, but instead it provides the engine with an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft (16 kW & 249 Nm) of torque for brief moments. It uses an electric motor that is integrated between the engine and transmission as well as an electric supercharger. The electric supercharger can provide nearly instant boost to the turbocharger, virtually eliminating turbo lag and reducing the boost threshold. But at the other end of the spectrum, the EQ Boost system also aids in saving you fuel.
Fuel Economy – This big “Coupe” is rated for 12.3 L/100km (19.1 MPG) in a city and 9.4 L/100km (25 MPG) on a highway. If you’re gentle with the throttle, you can get slightly better highway fuel economy numbers than the official rating. I managed to average a very respectable 11.7 L/100 km (20.1 MPG). This AMG GT53 does not have an Eco mode, which it will shut off the engine while coasting like other 450 trim models of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. But the engine will get turned off before arriving at a complete stop to save a little bit of fuel.
Transmission – Paired with the engine is a 9-speed automatic transmission. In Comfort mode, the shifts feel seamless, both when going up and when going down through the gears. The swaps between gears is much more evident in Sport+ and Race modes but I think that was done intentionally by the engineers to provide a sense of connection with the car.
Braking – This particular demo vehicle came equipped with upgraded brakes as part of the MANUFAKTUR package. This included larger 390 mm (15.4″) front discs with yellow 6-piston calipers and 360 mm (14.2″) rear discs with a single floating rear caliper. These brakes fill the wheels nicely but also provide a ferocious amount of braking force. It doesn’t take much effort from your foot to stop the almost 2.1 tonne car. However, in everyday traffic, the brakes don’t feel grabby and are smooth to operate.
Handling – For a big brute like this, the Mercedes-AMG GT53 is surprisingly easy to drive quickly. It doesn’t feel as intimidating as AMG 63 models such as the E63 Wagon. The steering feels a bit artificial, as in, it gets heavier as you move through the different drive modes but it just feels like it’s done through electric motors rather than feeling the resistance of the tires against the pavement. On the plus side, it is responsive and direct. The optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires give this big sedan a lot of grip. As part of the MANUFAKTUR package, the upgraded tires measure 275 mm in width on the front and 315 mm in width on the back. All four corners receive gorgeous 21-inch wheels.
However, if you want those rear tires to lose grip, the 2022 AMG GT53 has a “secret” drift mode. Because the car is equipped with the standard 4MATIC+ 4WD system, it allows the car to become a RWD sedan. To get it into this Drift mode, first put the GT53 in Race mode. Then turn off the stability & traction control systems by holding onto the button for a few seconds. Then put the transmission into manual mode and pull on both steering wheel mounted paddles. Once a message pops up on the driver display to confirm Drift mode, pull on the upshift paddle to confirm. Now the GT53 becomes a big, sideways driving sedan. It unfortunately does not have the brilliant traction control system of the BMW M4 so you have to use all of your skills to keep the car from just spinning out.
Ride Comfort – Unlike the Mercedes CLS, the AMG GT53 does not have standard adaptive air suspension. But as part of the MANUFAKTUR package, this demo vehicle did have it equipped. This air ride suspension is a wonderful bit of technology as it provides an excellent ride through some of the worst potholed city streets. But it also provides great body control at the touch of a button.
The seats further aid in providing occupant comfort with plenty of adjustments for the front passenger and driver. There is a “body motion” feature built into the seats that gently moves the lumbar or bolsters slightly so that your muscles don’t become fatigued over longer journeys but a full-on massaging feature can be optioned.
Interior Space – The Mercedes-AMG GT53 is a spacious luxury sedan/coupe. Front occupants are treated with a lot of legroom and just enough headroom. Though some might find the headroom a little tight if they raise the seat. Rear occupants have a generous amount of legroom, even myself behind my 6’4” driving position, but headroom is nearly non-existent because of that sloping roof. This particular demo vehicle came equipped with a 3 passenger rear seat configuration.
Trunk space is good with 535 L (18.9 cu-ft) of space. The AMG GT53 has a hatchback design so the opening is fairly large. The rear seats can fold 40/20/40 for more space.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – In Comfort mode, the 2022 AMG GT53 4-door is a very quiet sedan. There’s minimal road noise from tires, minimal wind noise, and very minimal engine noise. That engine is also very smooth. The auto start/stop system is fast and extremely smooth thanks to the starter/generator. In the more sporty drive modes, the engine is louder and you can hear pops with each upshift & burbles on the overrun but the cabin insulation is very good. It’s hard to hear this engine from the inside with the windows rolled up.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT53 4MATIC+ 4-door Coupe is not cheap. It has a price tag that is as long as its name. The GT53 starts at $123,900 CAD ($102,600 USD) with this demo vehicle being equipped to $158,700 CAD ($127,500 USD). It should be noted that the US market does not have this MANUFAKTUR package which costs $25,000 CAD. In the United States, there is also a GT43 version of this car with a starting price of $92,500 USD.
Gadgets – For the 6-figure price tag, the GT53 has enough gadgets to make it seem like it’s well equipped but when you really get down to it, this car needs the Premium package at the very least. In Canada this package includes ventilated front seats, rear window sunshade, heated steering wheel, surround view cameras, Burmester sound system, rapid heating function for the front seats, heated front armrests and upper door panels, Nappa leather upholstery, and AMG light carpet. This package costs $7,100 CAD.
The AMG GT53 can also be equipped with a Premium rear seat package which makes the car feel like a luxury limo. It adds a center console with a touchscreen display, wireless phone charging, heated & chilled cup holders, heated rear seats, and a separate climate zone.
As mentioned in the Pricing section, the Canadian version of the GT53 can be equipped with the MANUFAKTUR package which includes a blend of performance features and styling/luxury features. The performance features are the air suspension, 21-inch forged wheels, larger brakes, and AMG electronic limited slip rear differential. The styling and luxury features include V8 exterior styling, the Rubellite Red metallic paint, exterior chrome pieces, open pore ash trim, two-tone Nappa leather upholstery, head-up display, red door sills, and 3-passenger rear seating.
Interior Design – Everything in the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT53 looks the same as all other current generation Mercedes vehicles apart from the center console. It was designed to mimic the center console of the AMG GT sports car. It looks great and the buttons to control various features of the car are well positioned. But it’s not perfect. The gear selector, for example, doubles as a rest for your hand when using the touchpad which is fine. But its position as a gear selector is too far back. Instinctively I would always reach forward of it where the touchpad is or on the right side of the steering column like in other Mercedes vehicles. Also, the cup holder opening is too small for some cup sizes. Medium sized drinks hit the top and if you have two cups, one has to be lifted before the other one can be taken out.
The rest of the interior is, as mentioned earlier, the same as in other Mercedes vehicles. The dual screen layout utilizes the “older” generation infotainment system. Because it is not the newer one that is used in the S-class, the GT53 still has physical climate controls. Which is a good thing! The Nappa leather and two-tone design looks and feels wonderful. The dual-spoke steering wheel looks great but using the touch sensitive controls is a nightmare. I much prefer the Blueberry style touchpads of the older steering wheels. The ambient lighting system is one of the most dazzling in the auto industry right now. All in all, a great looking Mercedes-Benz interior but small improvements can be made.
Exterior Design – Though the AMG GT 4-door looks similar to the CLS 53 AMG, it has a bit more of a presence on the roads. I’ve noticed more people gawking at this car than the E53 AMG Coupe that I test drove earlier in the year. Maybe it’s the large 21-inch wheels with yellow brake calipers or the large Panamericana grille or the flared wheel arches that catches everyone’s attention. Whatever it is, this car is not subtle by any definition of the word.
Safety – Like most other Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the GT53 4-door is equipped with standard automatic emergency braking, blind spot sensors, rear cross traffic alert, auto high beam, LED headlights, parking sensors with a parking assist feature, 7 airbags, and Car-to-X communication which can alert other Mercedes vehicles of a dangerous road situation.
Adding the Intelligent Drive package adds more advanced versions of the blind spot sensors and automatic emergency braking along with lane keep assist, evasive steering, and adaptive cruise control with stop/go function. A built-in dash cam can also be optioned.
The IIHS, NHTSA, or Euro NCAP have not tested this model but they have tested the E-class of which this is based on. The IIHS gave the E-class a Top Safety Pick+ with Good scores throughout each test.
Warranty – Just like every other Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-door comes with a 4 year / 80,000 km new vehicle warranty. It also comes with 4 years / unlimited km roadside assistance, 4 year / 80,000 km surface corrosion, and 8 year / 130,000 km warranty for certain emission parts. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For U.S.A. warranty information, click here.
Conclusion – So in the end, this car has me scratching my head a little bit. It is a great car that drives really well, it is comfortable, and has every feature that a modern Mercedes-Benz owner would want. But at the same time, the CLS 53 AMG provides the exact same features and performance but for around $20,000 CAD less. Starting price that is, it’s an even bigger difference when the cars are similarly optioned. So logic dictates that you get the CLS 53 AMG. The Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-door is a very niche car. It feels like it was made for those with money to burn and want to stand out in the crowd, which is fine. But for me, if I had a 6-figure budget, I’d be perfectly happy thinking about my CLS 53 while sipping down a mojito on a tropical beach with the money that I saved.
Thank you to Mercedes-Benz Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Mercedes-Benz.ca