If you were to have asked me a few weeks ago what I thought the best do everything car was then I would have likely put the E63S AMG right near the top of the list and it has long been a favourite car of mine. Could it be the dream daily? Well the guys at Mercedes Benz of Liverpool gave me the chance to find out allowing me to live with this beast over 4 days and around 700 miles.
If you’ve got this far you probably already know that the E63S is a £90k saloon or estate car with 612hp and enormous reserves of torque produced from its 4.0 litre twin turbo AMG built engine. Whilst it’s based on the normal Mercedes E Class, AMG have fettled it enough that it drives very differently to the none AMG cars I drove last year. Whilst you retain all of the practicality this is a markedly more focused car to drive as you would expect from a car bearing the AMG badge.
The day a collected the car it was lovely and dry for at least 20 minutes then I was faced with torrents of rain, hail and snow on and off most of the day. In slightly older AMG models this would be a terrifying prospect but the E63 comes equipped with the 4matic plus four wheel drive system which gives this super saloon massive traction. I was astonished by the levels of grip available in appalling conditions not just off the line but in the bends as well. Having driven more old school AMG cars they were outright frightening in the wet but this inspired confidence from the outset which is a remarkable feat considering the performance on offer. Despite the fact this is an all wheel drive monster you can tell it is a rear biased system and occasionally you feel the rear start to slip before the front steps in to keep you on the straight and narrow and it therefore feels as agile as you would hope an AMG would be. There’s even a two wheel drive drift mode if you are sufficiently talented and have the testicles of a rhinoceros.
The car I collected was near enough brand new so over my time with the car I was careful to respect the running in process but even so the way this car makes progress on any road is crazy. 0-60 is in the mid 3 seconds timescale and with the four wheel drive traction it would be easy to get close to this time whatever the weather. I spent a little time in the Welsh hills on my way home, sitting on the M6 would have been a scandal frankly, and whilst this is a very big car it did not feel it even on the tight and twisty roads roads near Snowdonia. It never became intimidating and always felt like it was looking out for your making sure you were having great fun and the most rewarding drive.
How have I got this far without mentioning the noise this car makes? I, like many other people, have always loved AMG cars for the noise they make, particularly so the V8 models and anyone that was concerned that turbocharging would ruin this aspect of the latest generation cars should not fear. There may be a fraction less volume from the exhaust pipes but it still makes a dirty V8 grumble that just builds and builds as the revs increase. My recommendation would be the crack a window or the sunroof to get the best of that sound because being an E Class, sound insulation is considerable and initially the sound can seem very muted indeed on the inside whilst you are unintentionally deafening bystanders. What I have always loved about AMG’s and V8 cars in general is that low down rumble you get when just pottering around. This has that in abundance!
The suspension system is adaptive but it is pretty hard even in its softest setting which can be a little wearing when you have been driving it for some time. However, this does mean it manages its bulk very well in the corners with only a little bit of body roll which can pretty much be eradicated selecting one of the sportier set ups on the drive select. I found myself using the individual option more often than not which allows you to alter the parameters of engine, gearbox, suspension and sound etc individually which on bumpy UK roads is a necessary addition to the usual comfort, sport, sport plus and race settings. It would still be nice to be able to soften up the suspension further in comfort mode though with this being a car you can use all the time and with the family in tow.
There is no loss of practicality for all of the performance additions to the car and I tested this out with my family spending the day in the Peak District. Interior space is vast and seats are comfortable and supportive and had absolutely no issue housing a toddler’s car seat. The boot is huge even in saloon form but I’d recommend the cavernous estate for ultimate practicality. It has all of the technology you would ever need in a car, at least on the options list, but it does come well equipped as standard. Of particular note is the Bang and Olufsen sound system which is standard fit and absolutely fantastic. The twin screen display and instrument binnacle is also worth noting but is just a small part of a beautiful interior which only gets better once it gets dark and its extensive ambient lighting reveals itself.
So, is the E63S still on my list of do everything daily drivers? Absolutely. It’s spacious, practical, has all weather ability, a quality comfortable cabin, supercar performance and a sound that you’ll never tire of. Whilst nobody buys a car like this for economy it is worth noting it is as thirty as you would expect a two tonne 600 plus horsepower car to be and that suspension may be a little too hard for some but as an overall package this might just be the perfect one car garage. It is undoubtedly on my shortlist should my circumstances allow a car such as this.
Huge thanks to Mercedes Benz of Liverpool for arranging for me to have the car. Be sure to give them a call for all your Mercedes needs. I received the friendliest welcome and they were nothing but helpful and accommodating. Links to their social media points are below.