From £79,1309
Revisions to looks, aero and suspension keep E63 competitive against Audi’s similarly endearing hot estate
Matt Prior
25 September 2020

What is it?

Small changes have come to the Mercedes-AMG E63, tested here in estate form, although a saloon is available too. But if you’re going to go big German powerhouse, you might as well go full wagon, I always think.

The facelift comprises a mild exterior makeover, including a new grille that reduces drag and therefore wind noise at the front, while there are flatter tail-lights and a reshaped rear bumper and diffuser. New alloy wheel designs complete the outside alterations.

Inside comes Mercedes' latest infotainment system, losing the old rotary dial and gaining a touchpad on the centre console, plus a new steering wheel with double-stacked horizontal spokes featuring many haptic controls (meaning that, given the central screen is touch-sensitive, there can be up to three ways to adjust one thing). 

The engine line-up remains unchanged, comprising a 4.0-litre petrol V8 that we don’t get in the UK and an S version that we do, making 603bhp and 627lb ft. The nine-speed automatic gearbox now has a wet start-off clutch instead of a torque converter and is said to be lighter and more responsive. 

The suspension has been refined with the aim of adding comfort; there are no hard material changes, but bushes are altered, dynamic engine bearings tuned and damper hydraulics uprated.

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What's it like?

I haven’t driven old and new E63s back to back, which would be the optimum way to really discern how great the improvements are on roads you don’t know. But our earlier drives in an E63 found that this car wasn’t as absorbent as it could and should have been, on poorer surfaces in particular, and that’s absolutely not a thought that occurred to me this time around. 

The ride is well rounded and relatively engaging for a two-tonne car, which feels predominantly rea- drive but has 4WD traction on tap when you need it – which can be often, because its performance is effortlessly responsive. The V8 sounds good, pulls early and keeps going strongly. 

Derestricted autobahns surely show this car at its best. One moment you can be waiting for traffic to clear at 80mph, the next, after some easy bellowing from the quick-to-respond V8, you can be exceeding the supposed 180mph (290kph) limiter. I saw 186mph (300kph) on the speedo and it was still pulling.

You can mess with damper modes, but my suspicion is that you’ll find one you like (probably Comfort) and stick with it. Likewise, there are myriad other options for engine, gearbox responses, exhaust loudness and so on. There are even programmable quick buttons on the steering wheel to switch through these, while the rest of the wheel spokes are cool once you get used to them, although the haptic volume control is, irritatingly, less responsive than a physical dial.

Should I buy one?

In addition to all the performance stuff, the E63 Estate is a big family car. Fit and finish are good and there’s loads of room in the back seats and boot. It just so happens that it has a 603bhp V8 in the front of it. Do go to Germany to make sure all of the horsepower is there from time to time.

You suspect that AMG has spent quite a lot of time around the latest Audi RS6 Avant, a compelling car that's the sort of ‘dream daily’ in a lot of people’s fantasy lottery garage. The E63 is back to better vie for that spot.

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jer 27 September 2020

I expect the ride is truly shocking on UK roads

Not that I have driven it....  but I have driven a softer new E53 and on poor surfaces that car buzzed and made loads of road noise it was terrible on one dual carridgeway making a ringing noise from the vibration (probably a fault), comfort mode is just less bad than the other settings. Whilst on the negatives Mercedes E interiors are genius they look stupendous but the central cubby is crap moves about and shows that the textured wood is the nastiest plastic known to man. On the plus side I have no reason to doubt the motor will be amazing...

Irentara 27 September 2020

Another piece of overpriced

Another piece of overpriced German engineering.  If you spend your own money instead of company money it won't be on your shortlist.  Depreciation of more than 20K as you drive it out of the showroom.  Vanity, pure vanity in 70 mile per hour Britain.

NoPasaran 26 September 2020

Landgoing yacht

looking at all the monitors

but somehow very appealing to me

I would have hard time deciding between E63AMG and RS6

In the end, I would get neither, 2 tons, 600hp, but too low for practicality, then rather get GLE AMG or X5M.

scrap 27 September 2020

NoPasaran wrote:

NoPasaran wrote:

looking at all the monitors

but somehow very appealing to me

I would have hard time deciding between E63AMG and RS6

In the end, I would get neither, 2 tons, 600hp, but too low for practicality, then rather get GLE AMG or X5M.

 

Youve been brainwashed. SUVs aren't 'more practical' - not the ones you mention at any rate. They are worse in every respect.

NoPasaran 27 September 2020

scrap wrote:

scrap wrote:

NoPasaran wrote:

looking at all the monitors

but somehow very appealing to me

I would have hard time deciding between E63AMG and RS6

In the end, I would get neither, 2 tons, 600hp, but too low for practicality, then rather get GLE AMG or X5M.

 

Youve been brainwashed. SUVs aren't 'more practical' - not the ones you mention at any rate. They are worse in every respect.

Unlike you I have experience from both type of cars and can decide for myself. 

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