An ode to the Exotic Sedan!

Ever since Mercedes acquired AMG, in 1999, the Three Pointed Star has been hot on BMW’s heels making increasingly good (and good to drive) super sedans. Now, it looks like we have reached a point where the current Mercedes-AMG E63 is as good as BMW’s M5, if not better in several areas.

This is unprecedented because previous hot E-Class models were fun to slide around while producing plumes of tire smoke and also launch off the line (an experience also often accompanied by a bit too much tire smoke). Now, the current E63 S has all-wheel drive to reign its massive power and torque figures in, it has excellent body control, sharp and direct steering, and it’s now a car that definitely appeals to exactly the same people who would consider buying the current BMW M5.

There is no question about it: the latest E63S AMG 4Matic+ is a precision machine with considerably more finesse to its handling compared to previous models. According to some, it’s currently the most accomplished, rewarding and best-to-drive vehicle in its class and, after spending some time with it, we agree. It’s bonkers fast but not really usable on the road, unless you fancy a run-in with the law (or running into the guard rails), so if you really want to explore its breadth of abilities, you take it to a track.

  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 S - Driven
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    603 @ 6500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    627 @ 4500
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.3 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

2019 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Video Review

Chris Harris is one of the most reputable automotive journos in the world who really drives cars to their very limit and he really loves the latest AMG E63 S. He says it’s the first ever AMG E-Class to drive as well as or even better than the BMW M5. In fact, he comes right out and says that he prefers the way the E63S drives and the entire package over the M5. He also compares the way the Mercedes’ 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system puts the power down, in a manner that makes it different to the aforementioned BMW. He compares it to the smart power-shuffling Nissan GT-R, a car renowned for its immense levels of trip, especially coming out of a corner.

Harris also enjoyed the proper drift mode that the E63S has - it mechanically decouples the front axle and all power is thus funneled to the rear wheels which obviously loose grip in an instant under all that oomph. This is especially true because the so-called “drift mode” can only be activated when all the car’s electronic traction and stability nannies are turned off. But what a mad sideways machine you are left with after that, one that, at the flick of a button, is back in grippy, reassuring all-wheel drive mode. His only criticism towards the car has to do with its ride which he calls “busy,” commenting that an Audi RS6 will ride better than this. This, therefore, is not your typical comfy Mercedes, but one that is as good (and as stiff) as the segment leaders.

Is the Mercedes-AMG E63 a Good Car?

The Mercedes-AMG E63S is undeniably a good, desirable car that any car enthusiast with a penchant for sedans will really fancy. It should also appeal to those who in the past would not have considered an AMG model because previous ones were wayward sideways machines that some people found a handful to control. But not this latest E63S, with its clever power-shuffling all-wheel drive, pin-sharp steering and the mad drift mode that nobody will probably really use, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

It is a bit pointless, though, given that you cannot use its performance on the road and even some tracks are too small and curvy to really allow it to let its hair down. It’s also not as comfortable as a regular E-Class, it drinks fuel if you drive it in a spritely fashion and, once you start adding some options, the price will go north very quickly; and the E63S starts at $106,350, so its price tag is already quite northernly.

How Fast is the Mercedes-AMG E63?

Thanks to its all-wheel drive system, the E63S can sprint to sixty in 3.3 seconds and on to an electronically limited 155 mph (250 km/h). If, however, you remove its factory speed governor, then it will actually keep accelerating to 190 mph (307 km/h). Now, these figures would have placed it among supercars a decade ago, but today it’s just one of the faster super sedans out there. Its performance is really good, but not really any faster than its main rival from BMW.

Should I Buy the Mercedes-AMG E63 S?

You definitely should have the Mercedes-AMG E63S 4Matic+ at the top of your super sedan shopping list. It drives better than the rival Audi RS6 and as good if not better than the BMW M5. It looks very good from the outside and has a great modern Mercedes interior that offers all the amenities you get in a regular E-Class. It’s not as comfortable as a regular E-Class or the aforementioned Audi RS6, but the tradeoff is unrivaled cornering capability in the segment - it’s now a real alternative to the BMW M5 for those who like to corner carve in their super sedan.

Should I Buy a New or Used Mercedes-AMG E63 S?

Whenever you buy a used performance car, you should know that whoever owned it previously probably drove it quite quickly. The likelihood of buying a crashed and repaired performance car is higher than for the equivalent regular car, so factoring this you should pay close attention if you want to pick an E63S second hand. The model has been around since 2017, so used examples are out there with prices from around $80,000, so you can expect to find them around 30-percent cheaper than a new one. If you find a good one that’s been looked after and not crashed and badly repaired, then yes, going for one second-hand model is certainly feasible.

How Much Does the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Cost?

With a starting price of $106,350, the Mercedes AMG E63S is an expensive car and one with options is probably closer to $130,000. That means it’s about the same price as rivals and, in that context, it couldn’t be called bad value - it is a worthy model in the segment and the price is meant to reflect this. For reference, its BMW M5 arch-rival costs $103,695 before options.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Versus The Competition

The Mercedes AMG E63S 4Matic+ has two main rivals: the Audi RS6 and BMW M5. However, there are also other models out there that could sway you their way: the Cadillac CTS-V, which is cheaper, very good to look at and sit in, and it also matches the German cars for power, performance, and handling. The Cadillac is also more powerful than all of them, although it’s neither the quickest nor the fastest in a straight line.

Which is Better: Mercedes-AMG E63 S or BMW M5?

According to those who have driven the E63S back to back against the BMW M5, the Mercedes is as good in the bends, if not better than the BMW. It also arguably looks better than the BMW, both inside and out, although, believe it or not, the M5 actually has a nicer feeling cabin with better materials and slightly more contemporary design. The Mercedes’ swooping, curvaceous interior style is only a few years old, but it looks a bit dated compared to the fresh, cutting edge BMW interior. However, if you spec your Mercedes well, it will still feel like the more special and luxurious place to sit.

Which is Better: Mercedes-AMG E63 or Audi RS6?

The Audi RS6 feels like a rocket ship in a straight line and off the line. It has traction to spare and it’s definitely more comfortable to ride in than both the M5 and E63S. However, being a nose-heavy Audi it is nowhere near as poised as those two through the corners and even if much of the engine’s power is sent to the rear wheels in the RS6, you can’t actually make it slide its tail out. And even if you do, it’s nowhere near as graceful and dignified looking when sideways. You can only really drift the RS6 around corners on roads with loose surfaces. Its interior is probably even better than the BMW’s (which in my book is a tad better and more modern feeling than the Mercedes’) and has the best digital gauge cluster in the business, haptic feedback for the touch controls on the center console, and it feels one cut above its rivals in terms of sophistication. However, if you’re a keen driver that likes to canyon carve, then don’t buy the Audi; go for one of its two German rivals, or the Cadillac CTS-V instead.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Interior

Mercedes-AMG E63 S and Car Seats

The standard seats of the Mercedes-AMG E63S strike a great balance between lateral support and comfort and they will feel sufficiently sporty for most drivers. They really aren’t bad, and if you compare them to the seats of a less powerful E-Class, you will notice they are different. And, for what they are, they are still very comfortable and good for long journeys. If, however, you want more extreme seats, Mercedes will sell you optional sports seats for $2,500. They have a one-piece backrest and certainly add to the sporty ambiance inside the E63, plus they also hold the driver even better under hard cornering, but they are not as comfortable as the standard seats, no matter what other opinions you may hear about them.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Interior Quality

Assembly quality inside the E63S is impeccable. Everything is screwed together tightly and precisely, and this adds to the feeling of solidity you get while aboard. Most materials are pleasant and/or soft-touch, although the plastics in the lower part of the cabin are not as good as what you get in some rivals (both the BMW and Audi surpass it for hard plastic quality and they also use less of it). Plus, the plastic material of the center armrest, which extends back to house the rear climate vents and climate controls is made out of a plastic that has no place being in a Mercedes-Benz - it’s like something you would see in the cheapest Renault. It doesn’t look especially bad, but touch it and you will be disappointed.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Being inside the Mercedes E63 is not as intuitive an experience as being inside its M5 rival. The BMW does infotainment, navigation, and connectivity better than the Mercedes, but with that being said, BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment is the best in the business. But, Mercedes’ infotainment found in the E-Class (which is not the manufacturer’s latest MBUX system) feels dated and using it just highlights how quickly things change in the industry and how quickly these infotainment systems have improved in the space of a few years.

It does come with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though, as well Bluetooth connectivity (complete with audio streaming capability) and a unique (and genuinely good) way to control the infotainment through clickable touch panels on the steering wheel. It also features three USB ports, a built-in SD card reader, and available wireless phone charging capability too.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Performance

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Engine

The E63S has 603 horsepower between 5,750 and 6,500 rpm and 627 pound-feet (850 Nm) of torque between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm. These figures come courtesy of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 whose turbochargers are actually mounted inside the V in order to minimize lag and spool-up time - this is called a “hot V” setup, and it bestows the E63S with unmatched throttle response, even compared to its very talented rivals.

It doesn’t sound as pleasant as older Mercedes AMG V-8 engines, which used to sound more like muscle car engines than the power plants of refined Euro super saloons. Now, the E63’s engine sounds pretty much exactly how you would expect a twin-turbo German V-8 to sound. But this is only a minor niggle, as the performance it provides and the characterful exhaust will soon make you forget about all that.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Gas Mileage: Average Ratings

Mercedes claims the AMG E63S achieves 23 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in the city - that rounds out to an average 19 mpg combined, equivalent to 12.4 l/100km. However, you are never going to match these figures - not necessarily because the car isn’t capable of it - the claimed figures are achieved in laboratory conditions by the car, so it is practically possible. But the person who buys this car won’t drive it sedately, in the quest for ultimate miles per gallon, so you’ll probably double that claimed average if you drive it in a sporty fashion.

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 S drivetrain specifications
Engine Type 4.0L V8 biturbo
Engine Material Aluminum-Alloy
Valvetrain  / Arrangement DOHC, 4-valves per cylinder
Displacement (cc) 3,982
Bore (in / mm) 3.27 / 83.0
Stroke (in / mm) 3.62 / 92.0
Compression Ratio 8.6 : 1
Horsepower @ rpm 603 @ 5,750 – 6,500
Torque @ rpm 627 @ 2,500 – 4,500
Redline (rpm) 7,000
0-60 mph (sec) 3.3
Top Speed (mph) 186 (electronically limited)
City / Highway / Combined (mpg) 15 / 22 / 18

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Ride and Handling

Don’t buy an E63S expecting it to ride as smoothly over rough roads as a standard E-Class on soft suspension. It won’t. In fact, reputed motoring journalists like Chris Harris say it actually doesn’t ride that well, and that it is beaten in this respect by the Audi RS6. But even so, we really didn’t find it uncomfortable at all, although bumps and potholes do make their presence felt inside cabin much more so than in a normal E-Class sedan.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Reliability

Is the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Reliable?

There are no major faults to report with the E63S, but expect all services to be considerably more pricy than for a regular E-Class. The same goes for replacement parts, most of which are AMG-specific and therefore pack a price premium. Mercedes has a good overall reliability record, and its E-Class is one of the most reliable cars it sells - the same should still be true for the top AMG model, the flagship of the E-Class range.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Warranty

Mercedes offers a 4 year / 50,000-mile warranty on all models it sells, and this can be extended at extra cost if you desire to do so.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Safety

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Crash Test Results

The current E-Class is a ‘Top Safety Pick+’, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the IIHS). That’s the institute’s highest safety distinction and the E-Class scored the highest marks in absolutely all categories tested, including the dreaded side impact and small overlap frontal crash test. It was also rated “Superior” for its suite of active and passive electronic safety aids.

Euro NCAP also awarded the E-Class its highest safety distinction, giving it a full five-star rating for crash protection and safety systems. It gave the E-Class a 95 percent adult occupant protection rating, 90 percent for child occupants, and a very good pedestrian protection score of 77 percent.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Safety Features

Mercedes has some of the most advanced safety and autonomous driving features in the industry at its disposal, and the E-Class gets pretty much everything. Aside from the usual suite of airbags, traction and stability control systems, it has adaptive cruise control that works very well and smoothly and it even allows the driver to change lanes on the highway simply by using the indicator - few cars have this last feature, but it’s only the icing on what is already a very good (safety) cake.

Which Mercedes E-Class Model is Right for Me?

Mercedes-Benz E300

If you opt for the base E300 (which starts at $53,500) you get the same body shell and the same interior minus the sporty trinkets, but it comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. With 241 horsepower on tap, it’s still good for a naught to sixty sprint time of 6.2 seconds and returns a claimed 30 mpg on the highway. This variant is clearly addressed at those who do not need blistering straight-line pace and, to be fair, its turbo four-pot is easily fast enough for most buyers. Besides, you can get all the toys you can spec on more expensive versions on this base engine too, so there is definitely a case for it if you just want luxury and comfort.

Mercedes-Benz E450

If you’re allergic to four-cylinder engines, even though they have become really good in recent years, and simply must have at least a six-cylinder, then you can move up to the E450. Powering it is a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, V-6 with 362 horsepower and a benchmark sprint time of 5 seconds flat. The highway fuel efficiency penalty is minimal compared to the E300 - it drops to 28 mpg, still a reasonable number especially given the extra performance. This model is probably the pick of the range because it’s not excessively thirsty, yet very quick with the force-fed V-6. This version will out-accelerate some sports cars, so if you’re into doing that in your luxury sedan, then get the E450, not the E300.

Mercedes-AMG E53

If you want your E-Class to look like an AMG model, but don’t want to have to put up with the V8’s fuel bills, then Mercedes now offers an entry-level AMG model - the E53 AMG that runs a six-cylinder engine. However, it’s not the same (older) V-6 found under the hood of the E450, but Mercedes’ new inline-six 3.0-liter that is not only turbocharged but features a performance- and efficiency enhancing mild hybrid system that Mercedes calls EQ Boost. It is quite a bit quicker than the E450, slashing its sprint time by over half a second, yet it returns the exact same efficiency numbers. Unlike the E450, though, the E53 has unique AMG bumpers, wheels, and other details to mark it out as a more special model. It doesn’t look like the full AMG, but it’s certainly sportier looking and more aggressive than lesser non-AMG models.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S

If you want the very pinnacle of Mercedes performance sedans, then the E63S is your only choice. It has the most powerful engine you can specify on the E-Class, a clever all-wheel-drive system that you can decouple to send all power to the rear and turn the car into a mad sideways tire torturer, and styling that will get you noticed thanks to bulging wheel arches, big wheels complete with huge brake rotors, and calipers, as well as an interior that has been spiffed up with sporty bits. It is much faster than any other version, even the AMG E53, and not only that, but it also handles best too. It is, however, double the price of the base E300, so you really have to want one in order to justify paying double before you even look at an options list.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of E-Class variants to choose from, all with their specific set of plus points. However, people who will buy the AMG E63S 4Matic+ aren’t the kind of people who first went through the lesser models before deciding they wanted the flagship V8 version. It’s a car that will be cross-shopped against the very best performance sedans in the world, and all things factored in, it is probably close to the top of that list, so if you are in the market for a mad performance sedan with more than 600 horsepower, then the E63S should definitely make your shortlist, even if you are a longtime BMW, Audi, Cadillac or Lexus fan.

2019 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Photo Gallery

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