£61,900 - £71,245 Price range
If you’re looking for an exceedingly quick estate based on a small executive saloon then you have two options, the Audi RS4 Avant or this – the Mercedes-AMG C63 estate.
Fans of the AMG C63 saloon will already know what to expect from the estate. The business end of any full-blown AMG is the engine and the C63 estate gets the saloon’s thundering 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 – good for 469hp and lightening performance that humbles a multitude of sports cars never mind other executive estates.
Corners are to be relished, too. Mercedes has given the C63 numerous settings which can turn it from a comfortable cruiser to a focussed performance car simply by twiddling a few switches. Sideways cornering antics are there for the taking or you can keep the stability control on and make safe, storming progress – or about as safely as you could hope from a mega estate with the C63’s power.
The beauty of a car like the super Merc is it combines its thumping V8 bassline with all the good things attributed to the standard car. One feature is a superbly built interior that remains the best in class. It oozes quality from any surface you care to poke and has space for five people should they wish to share the experience.
The most obvious difference between the estate and the saloon is (you guessed it) its boot, which is not only bigger, but also better shaped for carrying bulky items. Perfect for those winter ski trips that well-healed execs like to escape to.
And an exec (or someone well paid) you’ll need to be if you want a C63 estate nestled away in your garage. Its price tag means it costs a few thousand pounds more than the Audi RS4 to buy, and its not cheap to run by any stretch of the imagination.
Keep reading to find out what the UK’s leading car magazines think about the Mercedes C63 AMG estate.
Mercedes went in all guns blazing with the new C-Class’ interior and that really shows when you slip into the body-hugging driver’s seat. Just like the standard model it has five sporty circular air vents finished in chrome, but adds even more expensive looking trim than the bog standard cars.
Lending an air of the ‘high-tech’ is a large infotainment screen sprouting from the centre of the dashboard and another digital display nestled in the instrument binnacle behind the steering wheel.
C63 owners can choose from five different ambient lighting settings and also get AMG-specific instrument clusters, a nappa leather interior (not the artificial stuff in cheaper versions) and a chunky three-spoke sports steering wheel.
Mercedes C63 AMG passenger space
It’s much bigger than the old C-Class, which means the C63 can offer superior interior space. As with the old car, there’s plenty of room for adults in the front, but also extra legroom in the back. Its estate bodystyle (with a flatter roofline) means there’s also more rear headroom than you get in the saloon.
Mercedes C63 AMG estate boot space
A 490-litre boot is also pretty generous, even if it’s five litres short of what you get in the BMW 3 Series touring (there is currently no M3 estate) and the Audi RS4 Avant. Drop the Merc’s back seats down and a load capacity of 1,510 litres is revealed – more than the maximum offered by either of its rivals.
There’s no need to worry about the AMG C63 estate not being able to hold it together on our poorly surfaced roads – in fact one tester commented “the ride quality, indeed the entire chassis, steering and suspension system, also works beautifully back here in the UK as well”.
Mercedes lets you tailor the setup of the C63 allowing you to adjust car’s throttle, steering, gear change and stability control individually, something you can’t do in the standard C-Class that has blanket presets for all. Whichever way you choose to setup the C63, it has more grip than the car it replaces, giving you the confidence to push on without fearing an unplanned visit to the surrounding countryside.
The suspension (or the harshness of it) is always a concern when it comes to introducing a stiffly sprung performance car to the UK’s shambolic roads surfaces, but testers say there’s no need to worry. The Merc comes with adaptive dampers that are reportedly “brilliant” at making the estate feel well contained but never too harsh. The trade off is superb body control and little, if any, roll.
Some might be sad to hear there’s only a seven-speed automatic gearbox option (purest often prefer the control of the manual), but it offers creamy smooth upshifts and downshifts exactly when you want them. Sport and Sport+ modes offer up a more aggressive delivery if you fancy back-thumping gear changes as the Mercedes fires you towards the horizon.
Yank the bonnet release, gaze into the C63’s engine bay and you’ll be treated to a masterpiece of a modern engine. The 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged unit produces 469bhp and 479Ib ft of torque to deliver storming performance of 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, 0-100mph in less than 10 seconds and a top speed that would tickle 200mph were the Mercedes not artificially held back by a 155mph speed limiter.
If those figures aren’t enough (and we can’t think why they wouldn’t be) then you might succumb to the allure of the AMG C63 S, which gets 503hp and hits 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds.
Even better news is, whether you go for the S or the basic car, turbo lag is nearly non-existent and engine noise (something that’s often restricted by the inclusion of turbos) is as glorious as ever.
There’s a reason those turbos exist, too – lower running costs. They make the C63 more efficient allowing it to return fuel economy of 35mpg and CO2 emissions of 196g/km (for road tax of £265 a year). That’s not bad for a missile masquerading as an estate car – especially one that weighs 70kg more than the saloon it’s based upon.
No one buys a car like the C63 because it offers real value money – it’s a performance car first and foremost. That said, AMG models tend to hold their value better than the rest of the range and, as this is the fast German estate of the moment, you can expect the same to be true of this car.
Relatively speaking, it’s even cheap to run at least compared to the old model, which would struggle to get 25mpg.
Testers seem to think that the S model isn’t worth the extra money. Its extra power is barely noticeable on the road, while its more powerful brakes and clever electronic differential – which allows more grip and adjustability in corners – are largely redundant unless you plan to attend regular trackdays. One tester also found its heavily bolstered seats to be uncomfortable on a long drive. Steering clear of the S model brings a saving of close to £8,000 – sizeable no matter the size of your wallet.
The basic car (if it should ever be called that) comes with plenty of equipment, but Mercedes’ Distronic Plus active cruise control is a worthwhile option, even if those pesky marketing types in Germany will charge you £1,495 for the privilege.
While BMW and Audi seem to have lost their way with performance versions of the 3 Series and A4, respectively, Mercedes has well and truly nailed the AMG C63. It has everything the old car had – power, pace and an awesome noise – but adds to that impressive repertoire with a class-leading interior, more space and improved fuel economy. Right now, it’s the performance estate others need to beat.
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