Mercedes E63 AMG vs BMW M5

The M5 versus E63 was a brainlessly obvious thing for us to do.

They are both turbo-charged V8s, both make around 550bhp and both exist only to make life difficult for each other. And they both have complicated launch control systems that work only if the stars, planets and engine oil temperature align. This is my first time with the Merc. And it makes a very good first impression. It looks better, sounds better, and the interior is better than the M5’s. The Merc feels compact and lean compared to the bulbous and oversized BMW. And the AMG bits on the Merc – the exhaust pipes, the front air dams – look better than the M bits on the BM.

The E63 has a better interior too. The steering is not an exact circle. It’s compact, good to hold, very quick and light, and offers fabulous feedback. And it feels way better than the M5’s computerised, constantly intrusive steering. The E63’s steering is proof that a steering need not feel heavy for feedback. And one setting works for all needs. The M5’s steering is super heavy in Sport Plus mode and super light in Comfort mode. Which reminds me – the AMG has simpler drive settings. You only alter gearshift speed and suspension settings. Then you have an AMG button that remembers the setting that you want and activates it every time you hit it.