Mercedes E63 AMG saloon (2010-2016)
"The Mercedes E63 AMG is one of the most powerful saloon cars you can buy, with 549bhp."
- High-quality and comfortable interior
- Incredible performance
- Understated looks
- Dark inside
- Light steering
- High price and running costs
The Mercedes E63 AMG is a four-door executive saloon powered by a twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 engine that produces 549bhp in standard form or 577bhp in the even higher-performance S model. The E63 sits at the very top of the Mercedes E-Class range, and competition comes from the BMW M5 and Jaguar XFR.
The AMG saloon makes an incredible noise when you accelerate and even though it weighs nearly two tonnes, performance is stunning. Featuring a seven-speed automatic gearbox with four driving modes (Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual), the E63 is remarkably versatile and very easy to drive on an everyday basis.
This all comes at a price, however – at over £70,000, the E63 is very expensive. Inside, the interior features swathes of leather and most of the optional kit found in the rest of the Mercedes E-Class range.
MPG, running costs & CO2
An average fuel economy figure of 28.2mpg for the current E63 is a massive improvement over what the previous 6.2-litre version could manage. However, owners can expect that figure to drop dramatically if they regularly use all the engine power on offer – or go for the even more powerful S model. When we tested the E63, we only managed a paltry 16.5mpg, despite running the car in the ECO mode when on a motorway cruise.
Huge fuel and road tax bills are just the start, though: depreciation is also a major issue with top-end Mercedes saloons.
Engines, drive & performance
Driving the E63 AMG is a fantastic experience. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, while the 0-62mph sprint is completed in just 4.2 seconds, thanks to the saloon's massive power output of around 550bhp. Smooth executive saloon one minute, angry muscle car the next – Mercedes' top-of-the-range E-Class is a car with two characters.
Fitted with a brilliant seven-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, it also has four driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual. In both Sport Plus and Manual modes, the E63 changes gear with savage precision, but Comfort makes the car an ideal long-distance cruiser. Despite overly light steering, the big Mercedes also handles better than any other E-Class.
Interior & comfort
Rear-seat passengers will be very comfortable and thanks to the fantastic AMG leather sports seats, the front is even better. The adjustable suspension offers three different settings, allowing you to soften or stiffen the ride depending on the type of journey or road surface. Passengers are very well insulated from road noise, too.
Practicality & boot space
There are loads of practical features inside the E63: the steering wheel is electronically adjustable for reach and rake and the on-board computer's control dial is very easy to use. The rear seats provide passengers with a very comfortable ride, too, offering limousine-like head and legroom. The boot is massive as well, holding 540 litres of luggage.
Reliability & safety
Bullet-proof reliability has been a Mercedes trait for many years and the range-topping E63 AMG model is no exception, with no widely known problems. It also exudes quality. When crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2010, the E-Class scored the full five stars.
Mercedes' accident-sensing Collision Prevention Assist is included as standard, as is adaptive cruise control, which can steer the car as well as keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Seven airbags are fitted as standard, as are side-impact protection bars and Attention Assist – a system that monitors steering behaviour to detect if you're getting drowsy at the wheel.
Price, value for money & options
At over £70,000, the E63 AMG is very expensive, but it's fitted with one of the most impressive engines currently on sale, so you do get a lot of very fast car for your money. It can also carry up to five people in superb comfort. It's very well kitted-out as standard, but buyers can also add optional equipment such as a panoramic sunroof, carbon-fibre trim and a reversing camera.