You earned it. Now enjoy it!
We love to dream about the perfect car. One that will make you feel right at home in the Saks Fifth Avenue valet. One that will be a delight when stuck traffic and even more so when soaring down the PCH on your way to a luxe spa weekend. Of course, your LV luggage will look perfect nestled in the hatch, and there’ll be room for your gift shop haul (because you can’t come home empty handed).
And you won’t even mind letting your kids and dog ride along. Sometimes.
It’s all these things that we dream of. But what about the details inside? What makes that dream truly fulfilled? I spent a week in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 53, which has a starting price of about $99,000; the model we test drove carries a price tag of about $131,250. This is what I found that makes a trophy car truly a reward.
1. A drive experience that knocks your socks off
The AMG GT 53’s 429 horsepower/384 torque will do that, especially in sport mode. Learn to use the paddle shifters, learn to enjoy the rumble and thrill of a powerful gas engine because these are fleeting; they will become rare beasts in many places in the not-to-distant future.
2. An exterior design that makes you fall in love
Every time you look at it. I was immediately smitten by the elegant sweep of the roof line of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 53. I love it with the spoiler extended and also, with it retracted. I loved that I could have it both ways. I also loved the color of the test model: White with black accents. So chic.
3. A suede steering wheel
This will change your life. Seriously. It’s like holding your favorite boots in your hands and then guiding a rocket ship with them. Suede is a powerful material. It gives you unyielding grip and control and yet feels so soothingly luxe. You’re reminded every time you grab the wheel that this is car is the best of the best.
4. Panoramic sun roof
Because, sunlight makes everything better.
5. Head up display and built-in navigation
Until HUD systems are built to connect with the maps on your phone (it’s coming but not here yet on most vehicles) you’ll need the car’s own navigation system in order to have turn by turn directions displayed on the HUD. It’s worth it. This combination is priceless.
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6. Heated everything
Seats, steering wheel and anything else you can get — arm rests, cup holders, rear seats, you name it. If it can be heated, it should be. Not only does this keep you toasty on cold days, but it keeps the cabin from becoming stuffy from hot, dry air.
7. Massaging seat
Combined with heated seats this might be the most fun way to sit in traffic. Or on a long drive. Or escape to your driveway to get away from the TikTok videos your kids are making nonstop in the kitchen.
8. Fragrance diffuser
This is the best $550 you’ll ever spend. It tucks into the glove box and the diffuser jar can be filled with your own fragrance or one of Mercedes-Benz’s custom scents. The fragrance is released through the ventilation system, providing a gentle waft of fragrance throughout the cabin. Turn your car into a haven of jasmine and bamboo or a Parisian garden. And, paired with heated massaging seats you may never want to get out of the car.
9. Ambient lighting
This one may sound frivolous but it’s exactly the opposite. In Mercedes-Benz models you can change the colors of the ambient lighting systems to suit your own preferences (or, set it to purple and pink to so your significant other decides he never wants to drive it!). In low light, the ambient light system illuminates the controls, cup holders, footwells, door panels and more, making everything easy to see in the dark. It’s simply great.
10. A smart key
Yes, a lot of cars feature this now, but it’s still something that a lot of drivers overlook. Lock, unlock and start the car with your key in your handbag or pocket. It really simplifies life.
11. A great infotainment screen
Touch screen and/or touch pad controller (ideally, both) so you can use it however you are most comfortable. And once you learn to use the touchpad you’ll never touch the screen again. It’s worth getting used to.
12. A surround view camera
Keep your baby safe from curbs, road clutter and other threats that may scrape your wheels or scar your fenders.
13. A voice assistant
While the model we test drove wasn’t yet updated with the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant, it’s available in most models and no doubt will be added to the GT soon. You’ll find yourself saying “Hey Mercedes, turn on the massaging seats” at the dining table and wishing you’d decided to get takeout and eat in the car instead.
14. Rear sear comforts
Like heated seats, wireless charging, heated and cooled cupholders and a household plug. You can finally put those teen drivers to work behind the wheel while you enjoy rear seat amenities. And, in the AMG 53, the touchscreen controls media and climate and also lets you monitor the engine’s performance so you can keep tabs on how your teen is treating your baby.
15. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
I know, almost every car has this now. But are you using it? Are you asking to see it and how it it works? It should have an interface that allows it to load instantly without too much button-pushing or touch screen tapping.
16. A premium sound system
Because full, rich well-crafted sound completes the dream car experience. Whether you go for the standard premium or the upgraded one — the AMG GT 53 we test drove has a standard Burmester premium sound system — make sure you get a sound system worth of the car.
17. Every delightful little thing the car’s designers can think of
The AMG GT 53 was full of them: a split screen covering the panoramic sun roof, buttons to control the spoiler and increase the exhaust sound, multiple drive modes, customizable driver information screens, embossed AMG badges throughout the car, thumbnail touchpads on the steering wheel that allow you to change settings, radio stations and more wit the sweep of a finger. And that’s just the start. You could spend years finding all the delightful little things that the designers of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 53 put into this car.
And that is the ultimate delight of a luxury dream car: one that will surprise and delight you for many years, making you fall in love again every time you see it.
Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz provided this AMG GT 53 for our test drive. Opinions are our own.