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Performance, Comfort, or Sophistication. Why Choose Just One?

Giancarlo Perlas January 8, 2021

While it may still be a relatively new subsidiary of its parent company, the performance division of Mercedes-Benz has certainly made a name for itself in the USA. Now, vehicles bearing the Mercedes-AMG badge, be they striking coupes and convertibles or more practical crossovers and large sedan cruisers, are highly sought after. And there are certainly compelling reasons to buy one of these more powerful variants of the standard Tri-Star line-up.

Beauty and the beast

Merc vehicles are classically handsome with just the right amount of modern design cues to ensure that they appeal to older shoppers as well those hoping for a really special sweet sixteen birthday present. And, while even the non-AMG configurations are never lacking in the engine department, these high-performance models have more than enough brawn to back up their good looks. From turbocharged four-pots to twin-charged V8s, there isn’t a single disappointing powertrain in the entire range. Naturally, horsepower and torque abound, but these machines are not the brutes they may sound like when you press the pedal to the floor and hear them roar.

The engineers at the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz ensure that every car has perfectly tuned driving dynamics to match the power on tap. It may be true that some rival European brands like Audi or BMW deliver an even more engaging driving experience with their high-performance models, but AMG cars are just as nimble while never sacrificing what makes the Mercedes-Benz brand so popular.

Luxury, thy name is Mercedes-AMG

The interior of every Mercedes is always stunning to behold. Whether dressed in supple leatherette or plush genuine leather, the cabins guarantee comfort. This is backed up by expertly crafted suspensions that still allow you the freedom to be playful on the road. Naturally, the larger flagship nameplates like the S63 and S65 offer the most lavish interiors and the longest list of standard features, but even their smaller siblings like the CLA 35 or C63 are remarkably comfortable while still being devilishly fun to drive.

But comfort is about more than just premium upholstery or velvety suspensions. Amenities like automatic climate control, power-adjustable seats, and high-tech infotainment suites are just as important. Luckily, you won’t find these lacking in even the base model AMG vehicles. Obviously, just how lavish the list of features is will depend largely on how much you are willing to spend, but even the so-called ‘cheap’ models come outfitted with an impressive array of features.

The MBUX infotainment suite generally comprises a touchscreen interface of at least ten inches in size, paired with a premium sound system of up to 24 speakers on the top-tier trims. Smartphone integration is a given, and you can generally expect HD Radio and SiriusXM to come part and parcel. Advanced driver aids are seldom lacking, either. Most Mercs come equipped with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, active parking assist, and adaptive cruise control. This helps to ensure peace of mind, considering these pricey luxury machines are never subjected to official crash testing.

A hot date, or a fun family outing

Regardless of whether you are still working on sealing the deal with your prospective partner, or if you’ve already moved on to the next step of starting a family together, there is an AMG for everyone. There are few people that wouldn’t be impressed to see you pull up in a two-door AMG GT, or one of its even pricier variants, assuming you can afford the six-figure price tag. But even the more sensible coupe or sedan models like the C43 are bound to turn a few heads. Once you’ve got little ones to consider, the SUV options such as the GLA or GLB start to look more appealing with their larger back seats and commodious cargo bays. But Mercedes-Benz doesn’t stop there; for larger families, still, there is the E63 Wagon. It’s hard to make a station wagon look sexy, but the Germans have succeeded, and the 603-horsepower engine means you can have a bit of fun after you drop the kids off at school, or even let them get a taste on family road trips.

With so many different styles on offer, it can be daunting to find the right Merc for you. Here are some of the top contenders in each category.

  • Sedans – The C43 is an entry-level AMG, while the C63 is a little more spacious. The flagship executive sedan series takes the form of the S63 and S65.
  • Coupes – Most sedans have a coupe counterpart, meaning you’ll see the C43 and C63 here, too. All that really sets them apart is slightly sleeker styling
  • Convertibles – Only the most popular models get the drop-top treatment, with nameplates like the C63 and S63 leading the charge. Of course, the GT Roadster makes an appearance here, too.
  • Crossovers – Mercedes really seems to believe that the SUVs should be able to deliver on the promise of sport, so most of its models can be had in AMG configuration. The GLA and GLB are smaller options, while even the enormous G65 and GLE series offer super-powered variants.
  • Wagons – Stateside, only the E63 Wagon makes an appearance, but it definitely leaves a lasting impression. Superb styling and seemingly limitless power make it well worth consideration.

Prestige doesn’t come cheap

Quite often, we find ourselves paying more for a famous name when something cheaper would do just as well. And, while this might be true in terms of clothing, makeup, cologne, or even ketchup, automobiles are an exception. You will have to put aside quite a lot of money to get your hands on one of these premium vehicles, but they are worlds above their cheaper counterparts. The cheapest AMG on the American market is the GLA 35 crossover, at around $45k MSRP. The CLA coupe is in the same ballpark, along with the GLB 35, while the SLC 43 coupe and C63 range step things up a bit, maxing out in the mid $85k price range. These cheaper options also manage to keep prices down by delivering reasonable mileage figures.

However, once you start looking at the more luxurious models, like the S63 range, or truly high-performance sports cars, like the GT and GT Roadsters, you can expect to pay around $100k – $150k, while mpg takes a hit, too. The S65, G63 SUV, and GT Black Series are for the true Mercedes loyalists, with the latter asking for close to $400k. But, when you’re paying that much just to get one of these beauties into your garage, you probably won’t care how many miles it gets to the gallon.

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