A family wagon with supercar performance - and it does both jobs brilliantly

Our Verdict

Mercedes-AMG E 63
The old 6.2-litre V8 has been dropped in favour of a twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8

With a class-topping 577bhp and a soundtrack straight from the NASCAR circuit, there's plenty to love about the Mercedes E 63 AMG

  • First Drive

    Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate

    A family wagon with supercar performance - and it does both jobs brilliantly
  • First Drive

    Mercedes-AMG E 55

    A mighty all-rounder with the pace to humble a Ferrari 360 and the space to swallow a family.

What is it?

Both a family wagon and a supercar. The Mercedes E 63 AMG estate is powered by the same 518bhp 6.3-litre naturally-aspirated V8 with 456lb ft of torque as the saloon, but comes with the potential of 1950 litres of luggage space.

Headline figures include a 0-62mph sprint time of 4.6sec (0.1sec slower than the saloon) and a limited top speed of 155mph, just as with the saloon.

If you’re going to spend £74,400 on a car you’ve probably got a few quid to spare, but it’s worth knowing your purchase will make the tax man and insurance salesman very happy. Officially it averages 22.1mpg (we managed 15.4mpg on our 80-mile, mostly motorway test), emits 299g/km of CO2 and sits in insurance bracket 46E.

What’s it like?

To call it anonymous would be unfair, but there’s no denying this car is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Merc’s AMG styling department has erred on the side of subtlety, with the skirts, flared arches and sports seats sharpening its look rather than screaming ‘Look at me!’

Fire up the engine and you get the first clue as to what lies beneath the bonnet. The V8’s bass rumble is brash but brilliant – and then only when you push it hard. Although there’s always a faint burble, at low revs the engine noise is as civilized as you could wish for.

In fact, just how civilised the E 63 AMG estate can be is perhaps as startling as just how fast it can be. Put the gearbox and suspension in the comfort settings and cruise along and the car rides over imperfections well in all conditions – more so than the saloon, and more so even than standard E-class models in Sport trim. The cabin is also reasonably isolated (there’s a little road noise via the larger tyres) at all times.

All the time, though, you are only a push of the right foot away from unleashing huge performance. The maximum 456lb ft of torque is available from 3500-5200rpm. Pushing on with the car in the comfort settings is unsatisfactory – the gearchange from the seven-speed MCT transmission verges on being lazy – but select the Sport or Sport Plus modes and you’ll have no complaints about gearchange speeds. Likewise, the manual shift is super-fast and as crisp as you could wish for.

The ride can also be firmed up by two notches, with the middle setting best suited to fast road driving, and Sport Plus best left to smooth surfaces as you inevitably sacrifice body control as you stiffen the suspension up.

Merc makes a great play of its newly-developed sports suspension, which features air suspension at the rear and steel springs at the, saying it loads the steering with more feel than the standard car. There’s no question they’re right, although the steering still feels a touch light to be totally precise when you are pushing on.

Should I buy one?

All this performance doesn’t come cheap, but there’s no question that the E 63 AMG estate’s mix of outright performance and huge practicality make it a seriously tempting proposition for people who like to cover ground quickly with the family in tow or just like to spring the occasional surprise.

 

Join the debate

Comments
7

25 May 2010

*sigh* I think I want one... Not normally a fan of AMG, cars that do 15mpg and the centre console does look like it's lifted from the current (over-complicated) Accord, but I just can't imagine owning something as brilliant (£75k on a car is about £60k beyond my means). It looks right, which is something that can't really be said for Merc Saloons and the stupid foot operated parking brake doesn't matter because it's an auto (my father owned a 1997 E300D manual and the "on or off" nature of that brake made hill starts interesting, especially when the gearbox broke and would only give gears 3 and up).

25 May 2010

Don't worry - you will be able to afford one in 3 or 4 years! Then you will just have to sell a kidney when you need a major service!

We had the previous shape sedan and we used to get just over 30mpg at a steady 70 or so. Of course that's probably not the main reason you would buy a beast like this!

25 May 2010

I don't have much faith in the word 'cool', however I'll take the plunge nevertheless and declare the personal view that this is 'The Coolest Car on sale right now'. So there.

(Goes without saying that it needs to be debadged, in a subtle hue and with an interior covered in dog hairs and other flotsam)

25 May 2010

I own a C230K Sport

I love my Silver Arrow and would buy a new Merc in a heartbeat if I had huge funds.

The E63 Saloon is the one I would choose in Matte White with Darth Vader Black interior

I am looking forward to the SLS Spyder with great anticipation

The only thing Merc can do wrong is put side mirrors on the doors AKA Ferrari 458

Please dont do that to the new SLK (if its not too late)

26 May 2010

Can we have a side-by-side video with the Audi RS6? PLEEEESE!

27 May 2010

Will AMG do a 4 point harness for my Labrador? I can just see his face sqashed into the tailgate window!

27 May 2010

[quote MattDB]Will AMG do a 4 point harness for my Labrador? I can just see his face sqashed into the tailgate window![/quote]

i'm sure it will still be the happiest dog around for miles though! drools

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