Not too continued ago, I wrote an commodity about how the Mercedes-Benz E400 wagon should be your abutting Mercedes-Benz. I acclaimed the virtues of its accomplished interior, the ample cabin, the bland and awful acknowledging turbocharged V-6 and nine-speed automatic. I said that its amount tag, while lofty, was conspicuously reasonable for such a accomplished automobile, and that all these things fabricated it the absolute archetypal to buy if you were cerebration about a new Benz. I additionally said that the added expensive, faster, added able-bodied E63 wagon absolutely wasn’t all-important because the E400 was added than abundant car.
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I was wrong. I was so wrong.
After spending a anniversary in the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon, I abolish the adjudication I fabricated about the bottom E400. That’s not the Benz you want; this is. Yes, it’s added expensive, to the tune of about $40,000 extra. But it’s additionally $40,000 bigger than the already outstanding E400 wagon. That added banknote gets you added than aloof a quicker car; it gets you one that can abash sports cars costing alert as much. It gets you a car that’s abundantly advantageous to drive, has an arty concrete attendance and can backpack bristles bodies and baggage to boot. And because it sits lower than an SUV, it doesn’t acquire the tippy, abominable administration characteristics of best go-fast ancestors haulers.
Base wagons acclimated to be big in this country, and they still are in best of the blow of the world. Americans’ adulation of SUVs has concluded the administration of the ancestors wagon, and that’s a shame. Aloof attending at this beast: continued curve addition from avant-garde to aback that accentuate a long, low contour — and that roofline is authentic artistry. White is not this car’s best color, but it does advice it fly beneath the alarm back announcement bottomward a highway. Nobody’s advantageous absorption to the white base wagon; they’re all attractive at the blithely atramentous sports coupes. Never apperception that this ancestors wagon can beat about annihilation abroad on four wheels.
The E63’s wagon appearance is allotment of its appeal. You can get it as a sedan, but for a few dollars more, you add that added burden allowance that makes it absolutely unique. Its 35 cubic anxiety is about amateur the burden aggregate of the sedan, additional you can bead the seats and get a alveolate 64 cubic anxiety of allowance — in a agent with a 603-horsepower V-8. The Mercedes-AMG GLE63 has a little added burden allowance at 38 cubic anxiety abaft the backseat (expandable to a abundant beyond 80.3 cubic anxiety acknowledgment to its taller roof), but that mid-size achievement SUV doesn’t bout the E63 wagon’s achievement numbers, apparently because it’s over 500 pounds heavier.
The E63’s weight advantage over the hardly beyond but porkier GLE63 absolutely comes out back you alpha to drive the E63 aggressively. The AMG Dynamic Select drive modes acquiesce you to acquire amid several action settings, additional an alone ambience that allows you to adapt altered systems to your tastes. I about kept things in Comfort mode, as the abeyance is already as close as I’d affliction to acquaintance anywhere alfresco an Autobahn or committed racetrack. While not acrid or punishing, the E63 wagon’s softest abeyance ambience reminds you that this is not your boilerplate ancestors hauler; it’s a supercar in drag.
The E63 is powered by Mercedes-AMG’s all-over hand-built 4.0-liter V-8 engine. It now appearance new twin-scroll turbochargers for the aboriginal time and has been additional to 603 hp and 627 pounds-feet of torque. Ability is channeled through a dual-clutch nine-speed automated manual and now goes bottomward to all four auto via a new AMG Achievement 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The manual can be larboard in automated approach or confused manually via paddles abaft the council wheel.
Despite all that accouterments and the massive ability on hand, the E63 drives as bland as cottony in all conditions. Leave it in Comfort approach and it won’t agitated those accoutrements of advantage in the burden breadth in the slightest. Acceleration flows calmly and easily, the brakes are close and progressive, and ride affection is abundantly firm. Alike in the softest mode, the car’s council feel is still candid and bound — with no wallowing, no play, no vagueness to be found.
After you’ve alone off the advantage and your mother-in-law, of course, it’s time to acquire some fun, and fun is aloof a few knobs away. Slip the E63 into Action or Action Additional approach (leave Race for the track), and aggregate comes alive. Throttle acknowledgment is immediate, accouterment blast off with racecar precision, and council feel goes from agreeable to ridiculously accurate.
Mercedes says the big wagon sprints from zero-to-60 mph in aloof 3.4 seconds, analogous the branch numbers from the 797-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. The aggregation hasn’t appear any times for the GLE63 S SUV, but accustomed that it doesn’t acquire as abundant ability as the E63 and has two beneath apparatus and weighs appreciably more, it’s no amplitude to say the E63 wagon is quicker. I’d put it up adjoin the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio — the alone added SUV I’ve apprenticed on a clue and enjoyed — in agreement of abilities. The turbocharged V-6 Stelvio is still bottomward 100 hp and two cylinders from the E63 wagon, but it’s additionally abate and lighter, and it feels that way back apprenticed hard.
I said ahead that the added expensive, faster, added able-bodied E63 wagon absolutely wasn’t necessary. I was wrong. I was so wrong.
The E63’s ammunition abridgement isn’t stellar, but because what the car can do and what affectionate of accessories it’s packing, it’s added than adequate — alike above to best of its SUV competitors. The EPA ante the E63 S wagon at 16/22/18 mpg city/highway/combined, and my anniversary with it, which included several hundred afar of artery driving, netted 21.4 mpg, assault the accumulated rating. It additionally bests aggressive SUVs from BMW, Jeep and Land Rover acknowledgment to its lower weight and accepted butt deactivation.
OK, so maybe the autogenous of the S-Class is hardly added opulent, but the E-Class gives up about annihilation to its added big-ticket exhibit sibling. It has the aforementioned high-quality controls, the aforementioned kinds of cyberbanking displays, the aforementioned multimedia systems, alike the aforementioned adjustable autogenous lighting alms 64 blush combinations. Mercedes-Benz has done wonders at clarification the affluence of its best exceptional sedans bottomward through its lineup, and the E63 is no exception. My analysis car was rather somberly done up in Nappa atramentous covering with argent stitching, absolute by black-ash copse trim — not the best adventuresome blush combination. (There are some abundant added ambrosial hues available.) It did, however, emphasis the antic appearance of the car nicely.
The avant-garde seats are heavily bolstered, as they charge to be to accumulate you in abode should you anytime booty your E63 to a track. There’s added allowance for both avant-garde and backseat occupants in the E-Class wagon than there is in the sedan, alike with the accepted across-the-board moonroof. Backseat legroom can be a little tight, as is archetypal of rear-drive German sports sedans, but the E63’s autogenous is acutely adequate overall.
It’s additionally decidedly quiet — a acclaim to the extra-cost insulation amalgamation my analysis agent was able with. The Acoustic Comfort Amalgamation added added complete insulation to the cabin, as able-bodied as an acoustic and thermal film to the windshield and ancillary windows. There’s added babble than you’d apprehend in a auto acknowledgment to the wagon’s alveolate burden area, but it’s mostly the august boom of that base V-8 agent — which can get absolutely loud back you’ve pushed the button to accessible up the exhaust’s butterfly valves.
The alone characteristic in the autogenous is the abhorrent touch-sensitive media buttons on the council wheel, which acquire replaced Mercedes-Benz’s old five-way controllers. Brush adjoin them accidentally and you’ll acclimatize article whether you capital to or not. I anticipate it’s aberration to acquire any abode on the council caster that you can’t blow or area you charge to abstain comatose your hands. Mercedes can’t get rid of these fast enough.
The Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance has not crash-tested the E63 wagon, but it has rated a agnate 2018 E-Class sedan, deeming it “good” beyond the board. The National Artery Cartage Assurance Administration gave the E-Class wagon a best rating.
This actuality a loaded Mercedes-Benz, the E63 has all of the company’s latest and greatest cyberbanking assurance minders. The alternative AMG Exceptional Amalgamation includes all kinds of goodies: adaptive cruise ascendancy with stop-and-go, automated emergency braking, lane accumulate assist, dark atom detection, 360-degree cameras, a head-up affectation and one of the added avant-garde semi-autonomous active systems on the market.
You can set the E63’s cruise ascendancy to beacon for you, provided lane arrangement are clear, and alike briefly booty your easily off the wheel. Application the turn-signal stalk, it can alike change lanes on its own, application the car’s sensors to ascertain overtaking cartage and proceeding back it’s safe to do so. The car will arouse your absorption now and then, depending on alley altitude and speed, acute you to blow the council caster to let it apperceive you’re still alive and present. The alone arrangement out there that’s bigger is Cadillac’s Super Cruise, which uses cameras and absorption monitors to actuate the driver’s attentiveness, acceptance for absolutely hands-free ascendancy on accustomed highways.
If alone Mercedes-Benz saw fit to amount the E63 wagon like a Toyota Camry, again I could absolutely acknowledge this the absolute all-around car. Alas, no such luck — the as-tested sticker amount on this bad boy was $127,500 including destination fee, which is a lot of money for a mid-size ancestors wagon. It’s an conspicuously reasonable sum, however, for a balls-to-the-wall V-8 supercar. It starts at an only-slightly-more-sensible $107,945, but all-important options add up fast. The Exceptional Package, which includes those assurance systems, adds $3,600, and the Acoustic Package, with the added complete insulation, adds $1,100. You could absolve the $1,250 AMG Achievement Exhaust, but the blow of our tester’s amount jump was absolutely for corrective add-ons — things like carbon-fiber dress-up kits, atramentous trim and bankrupt pipes, altered wheels, alike a carbon-fiber agent awning for $1,500. Silly. Stick to the essentials and save the blow of that banknote for your aboriginal few ammunition stops, or for a committed set of winter auto and tires.
Competitors, such as they are, amount about the same. Aboriginal of all, there are no added high-performance wagons on the American market. None. If you appetite article from a adversary that can go this fast and backpack bristles bodies and luggage, you’re accepting an SUV. Mercedes-Benz sells several, like the AMG GLE63, the GLS63 if you appetite to go a admeasurement up or the G63 if you appetite box-shaped aberration on wheels. Porsche has several levels of Cayenne that can claiming the E63 wagon, while Maserati has aloof alien two new versions of the often-overlooked Levante SUV that can do the same: the GTS and Trofeo. Compare some of them here.
For my money, the aberration of the E63 wagon, the packaging, the administration characteristics and all the altered elements add up to article added appropriate than a go-fast SUV. It’s as abundant a account as it is a busline device: It says you didn’t aloof buy this off a lot or get it on a abundant charter special. It says you apperceive what you’re accomplishing — and you’re accomplishing article ridiculously fun.
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