Mercedes-Benz’s lineup is sort of a Tokyo subway, crammed to its absolute restrict, encompassing nearly each inch of conceivable white area. But, in some way, the automaker is all the time capable of make room for one thing else. Living proof, the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door.
You may surprise how the GT Four-Door can dwell alongside the CLS-Class with out the 2 stepping on each other’s metaphorical toes, however Mercedes makes it work. The CLS-Class now stops with the Mercedes-AMG CLS53, which has additionally was the place to begin for the GT Four-Door. And whereas it would appear like a base mannequin on paper, it is something however, taking every little thing good concerning the two-door GT and stretching the canvas.
Magnificence is within the eye of the beholder
I nonetheless have not been capable of affirm whether or not or not I even like the way in which the GT53 appears on the surface. The truth that it stays true to itself and appears like an extended AMG GT is an efficient factor. I am additionally having fun with the precise hatchback that confers extra cargo area than the CLS-Class, even when it is going to nonetheless smush taller perennials on a visit again from the backyard middle. It additionally occurs to look higher from behind than the CLS.
But, on the similar time, it is not likely doing it for me. My GT53 tester’s entrance finish does not have the sharp, aggressive appears of its two-door sibling, regardless of being billed as such, and stretching the GT’s silhouette leaves it trying just a little blobfish-y. From some angles, it appears the enterprise. From others, it is awkward and type of dumpy. An unscientific ballot of mates and colleagues reveals the identical kind of cut up.
The GT53 in my command does redeem itself some, thanks partly to its non-obligatory 21-inch AMG wheels that fill the wells properly, though they seem to be a dear proposition at $Three,450. After which there’s the $Three,950 Designo Sensible Blue Magno matte paint job. It is such an arresting look that, for the primary time, my mail service stopped to take an image of the automobile in my driveway. Nevertheless, it comes with caveats, like the way it cannot be taken via an automated automobile wash, or how scratches change into a lot trickier to cowl up. Even upkeep could be a burden, requiring mote-free microfiber cloths and no semblance of wax or fast detailer in anyway, lest it change into shiny once more. It is glorious for peacocking about, however I like to recommend skipping the choice if the automobile will function a every day driver.
There is not any center floor with the GT Four-Door’s form. It is a love-or-hate type of design.
The GT53’s inside makes for a better conclusion: It is not excellent, but it surely’s fairly good. Once more, borrowing from its two-door relative, the sedan’s seating place is low and the beltline is excessive, positively surrounding me with automobile. Regardless of this, ahead and facet visibility are nonetheless good, though rearward visibility via the hatch is just a little low. The steering wheel’s decrease half accommodates mode-swapping buttons which might be really tiny little screens which, as a $400 possibility, appears price it for wow issue alone.
The GT53’s rising middle console is adorned with comparable buttons, which appears pointless, however pointless is the mantra of Mercedes-AMG. Whereas this a part of the automobile positively appears cool, it is barely annoying, because the cupholders are buried deep and are not the best to make use of. The wi-fi system charger is behind these cupholders, so you probably have each a telephone and a drink, be ready to solely have entry to the latter. The gear lever comes from the AMG GT, and like its utility in that automobile, I discover it awkward to make use of, as my arms contort into bizarre T-Rex shapes simply to shift into drive.
Regardless of some missteps, the inside remains to be laid out effectively and appears price each penny of the automobile’s worth. Not like the CLS-Class, there’s solely seating for 4 within the GT53, however every particular person has oodles of legroom — and headroom, regardless of the plunging roofline. Even higher, every seat has entry to a USB Kind-A port.
Handles just like the coupe, solely larger
Its powertrain is correctly potent: Like all 53-badged AMG fashions, my tester wields a Three.Zero-liter, turbocharged inline-6 good for 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes hooks this as much as a 48-volt gentle hybrid system that provides one other 21 hp and 184 lb-ft as obligatory. The electrical motor does an important job filling in torque gaps within the rev band, pushing me alongside in a manner that seems like I am tapping right into a seemingly limitless effectively of miles per hour. However it might additionally act in a superbly sedate method, buzzing alongside quietly sufficient between dwelling and the workplace.
The GT53 can ramp up or tamp down its aggression because the state of affairs calls for, because of car modes that actually do change the character of the automobile. The $1,850 efficiency exhaust system is at its greatest with the engine set to Dynamic, its sportiest setting, the place it pops and crackles and barks throughout upshifts, downshifts and every time the throttle is lifted. My solely qualm is that the outcome sounds extra like a V8 than an I6. There’s room for extra of the standard straight-six rasp, the engine does not must fake it is one thing it is not.
Fortunately, that setting does not power the automobile’s nine-speed automated transmission to shift at loopy excessive revs, making it greater than road obligation appropriate for noise junkies like me. Regardless of if it is in handbook or automated mode, and it doesn’t matter what mode the engine is in, the transmission shifts with objective, however not uncomfortably so, by no means jarring the occupants regardless that gear swaps take barely any time in any respect.
The whole lot above the middle console is the same old Mercedes-Benz stuff, however the console itself modifications the inside’s environment.
Whereas I admire the GT53’s engine cranked as much as its highest setting, I feel the adaptive dampers are greatest left in Consolation, the place they will take in the errant pothole or street undulation, which the suspension does with aplomb, even on my tester’s bigger wheels. Sadly, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer time tires (275/35ZR21 entrance, 315/30ZR21 rear) carry a rattling orchestra of street noise into the cabin, forcing the stereo and dialog quantity ever larger because the speedometer heads north.
The entire equipment and caboodle combines with a number of the greatest electromechanical steering I’ve ever skilled. It is properly weighted in all modes, and its responsiveness borders on telepathy or Extremely Intuition. Similar to its two-door sibling, you possibly can chuck the GT53 into corners all day and the automobile won’t ever really feel out of its ingredient. It could not have the backroad-ballistics nature of the GT63, however by no means as soon as did I really feel like several a part of the GT53 was missing. It is each bit the sports activities automobile that the extra comfort-oriented CLS is not.
Along with being cheaper and nonetheless being a riot on the street, the GT53 has one other profit over the larger, extra brutish GT63: gasoline financial system. The EPA charges the GT53 at 19 miles per gallon metropolis and 24 mpg freeway, stable numbers for a four-door supercar and Four mpg higher than the GT63 in each classes. These numbers will not be laborious to realize with a lightweight foot, but it surely’s laborious to cease having enjoyable in favor of thrift.
The whole lot concerning the GT53 may really feel shiny and new, however the tech does not. That is to not say it is dangerous, although: The outdated 12.Three-inch COMAND infotainment system nonetheless presents loads of responsiveness and functionality in its most up-to-date iteration, and it features a bunch of normal stuff like Apple CarPlay, embedded navigation and a voice-recognition system that truly works effectively.
However the grievances of yore are nonetheless round. The menus and their submenus will be difficult to navigate the primary few instances. The touchpad’s numerous gestures aren’t precisely apparent and will be triggered by accident. There is not any contact functionality. I perceive how improvement cycles work, however I hoped that Mercedes might’ve sandwiched its newer and extra spectacular MBUX system in right here earlier than the automobile went on sale. Guess that is what the midcycle refresh is for.
Alongside the 12.Three-inch infotainment display screen is a 12.Three-inch gauge cluster display screen that additionally makes appearances in quite a lot of Mercedes merchandise each newer and older. It is manipulated via the left touchpad on the steering wheel, and it offers me essentially the most pertinent telematics info proper in entrance of my face. I can conjure up a navigation map, or I will pay strict consideration to numerous fluid temperatures via AMG-specific submenus. It additionally has three totally different designs to cycle via, every prioritizing totally different bits of information in several methods. Whether or not it is car modes or shows, there isn’t any lack of configurability within the GT53.
On the security entrance, the usual stuff is proscribed to automated braking, blind-spot monitoring and lively parking help. Most every little thing else is tucked away within the $2,250 Driver Help Bundle, which provides full-speed adaptive cruise management, lively lane-change help, route-based velocity adaptation and extra. It is a stable hands-on system, holding the lane with little wavering, however in a automobile that is constructed for outright enjoyable just like the GT53, I can not think about utilizing that tech too usually. Even every day driving will be an journey on this factor.
How I might spec it
My tester rings in at $127,300 together with vacation spot, a far cry from its $99,000 predestination base worth. But when there’s one factor Mercedes-Benz loves, it is choices, so let’s undergo which of them I might decide if I received that MBA my mother needed me to.
I will begin with the identical $99,000 GT53 mannequin as my tester, as a result of I’ve actually warmed to it. I prefer it in its free shade of Jupiter Pink, however I will drop $750 on 20-inch alloy wheels as a result of the usual 19s are manner too small for this automobile. I despise chrome, so I will spend $750 on the Night time Bundle that replaces it with gloss-black exterior trim items.
Inside, I will drop $2,990 for Nappa leather-based on the seats, changing the usual MB-Tex vinyl. I will additionally spend $250 for a heated steering wheel. My tester’s $2,500 AMG Efficiency seats are well worth the scratch, in order that they’re coming alongside, too. I will additionally spend the $450 to ventilate them, as a result of that inside will get scorching in the summertime. I will persist with the free matte-finish wooden trim, as a result of my tester’s $2,850 carbon fiber inside trim does nothing however solid the solar’s reflection immediately into my eyes always.
Lastly, I will spend $500 on a surround-view digicam and $1,850 for the lively exhaust. For some cause, I can not get the $400 steering wheel mode switches with a heated steering wheel, however consolation comes first, so I will select to skip these. That leaves me with a post-destination worth of $110,535.
All the way down to brass tacks
For the reason that GT53 begins the place the CLS leaves off, it is not technically a competitor. Nevertheless it does have equally priced, equally sporty choices poised for battle. The last-generation Audi RS7 can be a competitor, however the new-generation RS7 has but to be introduced, and it is more likely to ring in even larger than the outgoing automobile’s $114,000-ish beginning worth. The Porsche Panamera 4S is its closest true competitor, with its 440-horsepower V6 and close-enough beginning worth of $104,000. At this juncture, the Panamera 4S is basically the one competitors for the GT53, since it is a fairly area of interest section to start with.
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT53 does precisely what it units out to do. It takes every little thing I like concerning the AMG GT coupe and slaps it right into a physique that provides much more versatility with few tradeoffs. Although it packs the “lesser” mild-hybrid powertrain, it fits the automobile’s character simply high quality.
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