The E63’s cabin is more cocktail bar than the standard E-Class’ country club but it’s still not quite as user friendly as the M5’s more intuitive interior
The Mercedes AMG E63’s interior is as pretty as the standard saloon’s but features lots of extra tech. Everything feels well made (from its minimalist centre console to the four slick chromed air vents on the dashboard) and its broad, sweeping design looks more elegant than a BMW M5’s rather conventional layout.
It gets the same Artico man-made leather-trimmed dashboard, polished metal trims and glossy (if easy to scratch) black centre console as the standard car and shares the sporty AMG Line model’s flat-bottomed steering wheel. Thankfully, the less powerful E43 version’s rather garish red seatbelts aren’t offered on this range-topping E63 model.
You get customisable ambient lighting as standard, however, so you can bathe your E63’s cabin in every shade from public-restroom blue to alien-spaceship green – alongside more supportive sports seats with AMG badging and loads of electrical adjustment. Unlike most models in the E-Class range, the E63 comes with real leather seats (rather than Artico man-made upholstery) as standard.
All E63 models come with Mercedes’ upgraded Comand Online infotainment system and a second 12.3-inch digital driver’s display – just like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit feature. Together, these screens turn your car’s dashboard into a huge glassy display that looks blooming lovely but isn’t quite as easy to use as BMW’s more intuitive iDrive system.
The E63 comes with an even more luxurious cabin than the standard E-Class, yet still has enough sporty touches to remind you about the car’s immense performance
All E63 models ditch the standard E-Class’ rather disappointing 8.4-inch central display in favour of a larger, brighter and more responsive 12.3-inch screen. It takes pride of place on the dashboard and you control it using a scroll wheel and touchpad on the centre console.
The standard satellite navigation system receives a much-needed upgrade in E63 models too, with higher-resolution graphics and more detailed maps. Entering a destination by writing the postcode on the touchpad with your index finger feels pretty intuitive – especially if you’re left handed – but takes longer than using the conventional on-screen keyboard.
You get a few shortcut buttons to help you quickly skip between key features but they’re located high up on the dashboard rather than on the centre console where your hand naturally rests. Combine this with a range of menus that are neither as easy to read nor as clearly laid out as in a BMW M5 and the E63 loses a few points in the usability stakes.
Thankfully, the E63 comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard so you can use your phone’s satellite navigation and music streaming apps through the car’s built-in displays if you prefer.
In a car as high tech as the E63 it’d be a shame not to pay £750 for the excellent Burmester stereo. Not only are its 13 upgraded speakers loud enough to rattle unsuspecting pedestrians’ eyeballs but it comes with some gorgeous laser-etched metal speaker grilles dotted throughout the cabin.