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Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

£34,815£83,795
9/10
Overall verdict

For: 

Masses of space, masses of performance. Estate version

Against: 

Running it will ruin you. We don't get the four-wheel drive one in the UK
RS6 notwithstanding, Merc’s uberlord large saloon might be the ultimate Q-car. Pity we don't get the four-wheel drive one in the UK.

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Our choice

Mercedes-Benz

E63 5dr Auto Bi-Turbo

£75,865
N/A
28mpg
4.40s
525bhp
234g/km

What we say: 

Street-race Q-car that can crush continents? Erm, yes please.

What is it?

Four-wheel-drive E63 rewrites the performance saloon car landscape. Which makes it even more disappointing that we don’t get it.

Driving

We don’t get the 4WD version, which is a shame. You can tell within 30 yards which car you’re driving. When you accelerate in a straight line, it grips. When you turn into a corner, it grips. When you boot it in the middle of the corner, it grips. It’s the best of both worlds - still fun, and also faster. Compare it to the RWD version, which is basically in a constant battle between torque and tarmac. The 2WD E is still quick, but it’s more of a struggle.

Firm but fair. The E63 is less precise than something like an M5, but has better bum-soft cruising ability. There’s plenty of space and the seats feel like armchairs. Even rolling burnouts deliver very little vibration into the cabin (we’ve, er, heard from a source) and there’s precisely no wind noise.

If you deploy all the 577bhp in one go, you’ll get 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds and a headbang on the limiter at 155mph, which is quite lovely.

On the inside

Loads of room (it’s an E-class after all) for all involved and a 540-litre boot mean that if you want big, practical speed this is the one for you. Don’t forget that that if you really want to inventively murder your dogs then there’s an E63 Estate.

Feels like the AMG people get very serious with their micrometers. The E63 feels handbuilt (in a good way), and there’s a solidity in everything that means that you’d be quite happy buying a third-hand E63.

Owning

It’ll do a claimed 27.6mpg and servicing can only be paid for with raw bullion. Tax will be quite sharp too.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
E63 S 4dr Auto
4.1s 229g/km 28.8 585 £83,795
The cheapest
E220 BlueTEC SE 4dr 7G-Tronic
8.2s 114g/km 64.2 177 £34,815
The greenest
E300 BlueTEC Hybrid SE 4dr 7G-Tronic
7.1s 107g/km 68.9 204 £40,425

Wildcard

How about something completely different?

Wildcard

9/10

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

£61,545£93,995
A supercharged Range Rover Sport may 'only' have 500bhp, but it's no slouch. And it's good off-road, too...