2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53

July 28, 2019
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The first AMG hybrid is big news for people who like power and efficiency.

We recently got behind the wheel of the new 2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 to test the German brand’s mild-hybrid performance car and we loved what we saw.

The 2019 CLS53 has been honed by the brand’s AMG subdivision for higher levels of performance in a four-door coupe that borrows a chassis and interior trimmings from the E-class. It features a turbocharged and electrically supercharged 3.0-liter inline-six with a 48-volt hybrid-assist system called EQ Boost, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. It’s profile is sleek and sexy, and features a shark-like nose that’s as prominent as Adrian Brody’s.

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Step inside and what you get is the quietest cabin we’ve ever sat in. Even when we set the active exhaust system to the louder Powerful setting (Balanced is the quieter, default setting), the sound of the tailpipes’ growl on overrun and more pronounced rumble at lower revs barely makes its way into the passenger compartment. In the backseat, the kids slept as comfy as in their own beds.

We felt like a million bucks as we slid our backsides into a comfortable seat, expertly crafted and covered in high-quality hides. One standout feature during a road trip to Vancouver Island was the massaging front seats, which come in handy for drives long and short. We also loved the infotainment system boasting standard Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto). One thing we hated, however, was that the imbedded charging station set off our iPhone’s ApplePay whenever the phone was anywhere near it. Aghhh.

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The dashboard is a thing to marvel at, with its large digital displays and customizable ambient lighting. We absolutely dig Mercedes’ new, dual 12.3-inch-wide displays, the sharp, high-contrast graphics, deep menus, and customizable configuration. A word of warning: there’s so many menu options you’ll need an hour (or eight), to figure it all out.

The advanced technology extends to a lengthy list of available driver-assistance features, such as automated emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. The technology we loved the most is probably the way the front seats hug you as you make tight turns.

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The list of standard equipment is long and impressive. Keyless entry and start-up? Check. Heated front seats and dual-zone climate control? Check. An awesome Burmester audio system? Check. Attention assist, blind-spot monitoring, a rear-view camera, and LED headlights and taillights? You betcha.