by Jared Rosenholtz
Wagon sales are nearly non-existent in the United States, as American buyers greatly prefer crossovers and SUVs to their lower, long-roof counterparts. But a few automakers still cater to this niche segment and few do it as well as Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes still offers the regular E-Class Wagon, albeit as a lifted All-Terrain model now, while the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon was just given a facelift along with its sedan counterpart.
The E63 Wagon benefits from many of the same upgrades found across the E-Class lineup for the 2021 model year including an exterior update and new technology in the cabin. Mercedes knows this will still be a very niche vehicle in the US but these improvements should make the few E63 Wagon customers very happy.
Being a facelift and not an all-new model, much the E63 Wagon's bodywork remains the same. Some notable differences include reshaped headlights and taillights, new 20-inch wheels, and the usage of the signature Panamericana grille, which now graces the front of all AMG models. We would describe the facelifted styling as a bit softer than before, which seems to fit the theme of this 2021 model year facelift. The E63, especially in wagon form, has always been about blending in without alerting passing motorists of the astounding performance that lies beneath.
The 2020 E63 had a small Achilles heel in the form of its outdated COMAND infotainment system. For 2021, the E63 now gets the latest MBUX system with dual 12.3-inch screens. The screen on the left shows the gauges and other relevant information while the screen on the right handles infotainment duties. You can control the infotainment screen using your voice, the touchscreen, or the touchpad on the console. The gauge cluster screen can be customized using the touch-sensitive controls on the new AMG steering wheel.
This interior still feels premium, with Nappa leather seats and surfaces covering most of the dashboard. Opting for the E63 Wagon instead of the sedan yields some major benefits in practicality. The cargo area houses 35 cubic feet of space, dwarfing the sedan's 13.1 cubic feet. With the seats folded, it opens up to 64 cubic feet.
This 2021 facelift doesn't offer any major changes under the hood but it didn't really need them. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 produces a whopping 603 horsepower 627 lb-ft of torque going out to 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive through a nine-speed automatic. With launch control, the E63 Wagon takes just 3.4 seconds to hit 60 mph on its way to a 180 mph top speed.
As before, the all-wheel-drive system can be completely deactivated with the car in race mode with ESP off and the transmission in manual mode, making the E63 a purely rear-wheel-drive vehicle. Making the E63 more comfortable was a focus of the 2021 facelift. The air suspension and adaptive dampers have been re-tuned, so it should be a more compliant daily driver than before.
There is only one rival to the E63 Wagon in the US: the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant. The RS6 is the new hotness, arriving in the US market for the first time ever after years of only being offered in Europe. By comparison, the E63 has been around in the US for several years now but it should not be ignored just because the RS6 is the latest shiny toy. Both cars are powered by 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8s but the E63's engine is more powerful (603 hp vs. 591 hp) and offers more torque (627 lb-ft vs. 590 lb-ft).
Audi has announced that the 2021 RS6 Avant will start at exactly $108,000. Mercedes has not confirmed pricing for the 2021 E63 but it should remain close to last year's model, which was priced at $111,750.