Mercedes AMG E63 S Saloon Review
The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate combines a huge boot with huge performance and a lavish cabin. You’ll pay handsomely for the small amount of extra performance over an AMG E53, though.
What's not so good
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The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate is one of the best all-round performance cars you can buy. There are few rivals, let alone ones that can match the E63’s practicality, and the performance from the car’s 612hp V8 is nothing short of incredible. Only an Audi RS6 Avant is on a par, while BMW’s M5 comes in saloon form only.
All these cars are the peak of their ranges, but the E63 is the king of the pride when it comes to noise – its V8 roars through its exhausts the loudest by some margin.
The E63 was recently updated along with the rest of the E-Class range, and while the changes weren’t extensive, it’s a slightly better car than before. On the outside there were a few tweaks to the way it looks, but the main differences were on the inside.
All E-Class models come with two 12.3-inch screens, and the E63 Estate is no exception – one is for the infotainment system and the other sits behind the steering wheel, displaying the dials and critical driving info. The AMG version even gets special settings on the upgraded infotainment system including a lap timer.
The new set-up is called ‘MBUX’ and while it ditches the old rotary dial controller for a fiddly touchpad that’s not as easy to use as it should be, it’s better than before overall. The screen is sharp, the menus are clear and it comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, too.
The build quality is excellent inside, and while there are a few materials that look a bit tacky, it’s mostly fitting of the car’s high price. The sweeping dash design looks very upmarket, there’s all the kit you need including electric heated seats, climate control and even ambient lighting.
There’s plenty of headroom and legroom in the front and back seats, and adults will be able to get comfortable in the back easily. The roofline is slightly higher than the saloon version so there’s a little bit more headroom, but the real story with the Estate is how big the boot is.
It has the same 640-litre boot as a normal E-Class Estate, so there’s more than enough room for four sets of golf clubs or large suitcases. It even expands to a class-leading 1,820 litres once the rear seats are folded. It’s a huge boot and one of the best things about the E-Class Estate – it’s great for cyclists, golfers or even surfers.
The E63 S Estate is a real do-it-all car. It'll take you to work in comfort, shift stuff to the tip and embarrass super cars on the way home. Superb.
You can get all that in a normal E-Class, though. What you’re here for is the performance, isn’t it? That’s delivered by a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine. The E63 S is the only version available now, so it’s the 612hp model only, and four-wheel drive is standard along with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
All of these elements work together in harmony from a standing start, and 0-62mph takes just 3.5 seconds. That’s beyond even supercar pace and feels mind-blowing from behind the wheel. The E63 S is so fast, in fact, that it’s impossible to use full throttle on a public road for more than a few seconds without breaking the law. And a sweat.
That’s part of why the E63 S Estate isn’t quite as fun as it could be. It’s actually a little too fast for its own good, as you rarely get to enjoy the exhaust note for long. The four-wheel-drive system also means it feels very planted and composed at normal speeds. On a track, you can set it into Drift mode to send all the power to the rear wheels and indulge in some smokey skids, but there are few places to do this in the UK. And, truth be told, we think a BMW M5 is the slightly quicker track car, if lap times matter most.
But the E63 is the more comfy option. In its Comfort mode, which sets the suspension to a softer setting. This means it’s decent on rough roads, though not perfect as it’s still fairly stiff. It’s better as you go faster, settling nicely on a motorway trip. You can switch to Sport mode once you find a great road, which tightens body control, weights up the steering and makes gear changes more aggressive.
Large wheels and tyres mean road noise is a bit of an issue, but they’re necessary to keep that 612hp engine from spinning the wheels all the time. Most owners won’t mind, as they’ll be too busy enjoying the burbling V8 under the bonnet and the E63 Estate’s versatile and practical interior.
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