• The 2019 Mercedes AMG CLS53 Coup is a fastback four-door with a 429-horsepower engine that gets some boost from a small hybrid-electric system.
  • The AMG CLS53 deftly combines power and style.
  • The sticker price is steep, but for this much luxury and performance to come in a single package, it's ultimately a bargain.
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Mercedes-Benz has really been doing it for me lately. I've driven a bunch of MB vehicles, and every single one has seriously impressed me. At every level, from fit-and-finish to technology to style and performance.

I've honestly never been all that hot on Benz. But the car maker is one of those things: it's always simply there, at the top of the mountain, telling all comers to bring it on. You might not appreciate the brand's commitment to ostentatious luxury, but over time you can't deny that Mercedes does it right.

So I've spent years assuming Mercedes' excellence without really coveting it, as I've dallied with BMWs, Porsches, Audis, Lexuses, and so on. That's all changed in a hurry as I've sort of decided to approach Mercedes as a blank slate. With that in mind, it hasn't taken long for the brand to etch a deep impression in my consciousness.

Case in point: the 2019 AMG CLS53 Coup, which I recently sampled.

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