Some observers may regard this new six-cylinder AMG as an irrelevance; an effort to justify the existence of Mercedes-AMG’s new £135,000 GT63 S 4-Door.

There might be a grain of truth in that, but the assessment would be otherwise unfair, because the CLS 53 has proved itself to be impressive and capable in its own right.

Mould-setting AMG hybrid is well worth its place in the model range

The manner with which it combines its rich and complex powertrain with an opulent interior, smooth ride and sharp handling lends the CLS a distinct and appealing identity.

It’s a different take on what an AMG performance model can be: quick and engaging when you want it to be, comfortable and refined when you don’t. And it’s more enticing than AMG’s last attempt at a feeder line: the turbo V6 43.

Were it not for the existence of the Porsche Panamera S – which pulls off the same trick only with a shade more success – the CLS 53 would have likely claimed a more prominent position in our top ten.

So while it isn’t quite the match of its Swabian rival on outright driver appeal, the CLS is a car you could easily make a case for.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace

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