And it will burn supercars at a set of lights.
As part of the 2021 model year E-Class facelift in the US market, Mercedes killed off the conventional wagon model in favor of the lifted All-Terrain model. The only way to get an E-Class Wagon without a raised ride height is to step up to the AMG variant. But trust us... this is no hardship.
The E63 Wagon is a niche model for Mercedes. No one needs a station wagon that can keep up with supercars, but the idea is hilarious. The average E63 Wagon customer is high-income and highly brand loyal to Mercedes. There is only one comparable alternative on the market in the Audi RS6 Avant. After driving the updated E63 for a week, we think the AMG is the cooler option for enthusiasts. Here's why.
Station wagons are simply not popular in the US. In fact, most drivers actively hate them. This means the E63 Wagon can completely blend into traffic without drawing attention to itself, assuming you stay away from car shows. Bring this car to a local Cars and Coffee event, and it magically transforms from an "ugly wagon" to the hottest item for car lovers to drool over. In fact, we did just that with our E63 tester and received more stares from attendees than any of the supercars parked at the event. This car is so rare and beloved by enthusiasts; it becomes an instant showstopper.
Helping draw attention to the E63 Wagon was the eye-catching shade of Brilliant Blue Magno. Most onlookers confused it for a wrap when it's actually a $3,950 matte paint job. When this incredible blue shade exists, why opt for black, white, or silver? We didn't think the E63 needed much improvement, so the new fascia with the Panamericana grille for the 2021 model year feels like a lateral move.
The E63 is only available in S guise for the US market, meaning it gets a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, hand-built by one man at Mercedes-AMG. This particular version throws out 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, going to 4Matic all-wheel-drive through a nine-speed automatic. Not only does this engine produce one of the angriest exhaust notes available today, but helps make the E63 the world's ultimate wagon.
Mercedes says the car takes 3.4 seconds to hit 60 mph, but we clocked it a bit quicker at 3.8 seconds. The Audi RS6 Avant needs another tenth of a second to hit 60 mph, and the E63 will complete the quarter-mile in 11.1 seconds compared to 11.5 seconds in the Audi. The E63 is faster on the high end as well, with a 180 mph top speed (174 mph in the RS6).
The E63 Wagon offers stupendous performance, but it doesn't sacrifice luxury. This cabin is exquisitely appointed, with oodles of metal, wood, suede, leather, and carbon fiber. Mercedes has some of the best technology on the market with its MBUX infotainment system, combined with 13 Burmester speakers, 64-color configurable ambient lighting, and a hilarious "Hey Mercedes" voice command system that can tell you the meaning of life and throw shade at BMW.
This car is reasonably comfortable, though the Audi RS6 is the better daily driver. We preferred the RS6's softer suspension for long journeys, but the E63 is more fun to blast down a winding back road. The E63 Wagon was just about comfortable enough for our taste, though some buyers will find it too stiff and hardcore.
The E63 Wagon offers incredible speed and performance, but it has a silly side not found in the Audi RS6 Avant. Through a complicated combination of mode changes, button presses, and paddle shifter confirmations, the E63 can activate a rear-wheel-drive-only drift mode. This function completely disables traction control and stability control while locking the car into manual shifting on the paddles. In other words, you'd better be alert. With the front wheels switched off, the E63 can light up its rear tires like a German Hellcat.
Adding some theater to the drive modes, are cool LCDs called the AMG Drive Unit, positioned on the steering wheel. The right unit switches between the various modes (Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, and Race), while the left one lets drivers customize their own mode by configuring the transmission, exhaust, suspension, and more. We preferred the E63 in its softest suspension setting with every other option set to Race or Sport Plus.
We love fast wagons because they offer similar (or better) practicality than an SUV with performance that doesn't feel compromised. The E63 Wagon's only weak point is the rear seat, which is less spacious than the Audi RS6 Avant. Whereas the Audi offers 78.7 inches of combined legroom (37.4 inches in the rear), the Mercedes only provides 77.1 combined inches (35.8 inches in the rear). Those rear seats don't recline far back enough for our liking, and the seatbacks are a bit stiff.
As for the trunk, the E63 excels. It offers 35 cubic feet behind the rear seats, dwarfing the RS6's 20 cubes. With the seats folded, the E63 Wagon delivers SUV-level practicality with a massive 64 cubic feet of cargo space (compared to 59.3 cubic feet in the RS6). We've driven nearly every Mercedes-AMG SUV in the lineup, and we'd pick the E63 Wagon over any of them.