DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: I'm frequently asked “what's your favorite car?” It's an impossible question without at least specifying a price bracket or body style - I have favorite entry-level cars, favorite sports sedans, favorite SUVs… even favorite crossovers (horror!). But ask me, if I were independently wealthy, what would I have as a daily driver, and this E63 AMG wagon would probably be my choice.
Consider that any automobile is a compromise; the goal when car shopping is to minimize the number of compromises you have to make within your budget. We all do it - some choose function over form, picking a dull econobox that has space and reliability. Others justify a sports car despite the fact they have kids to shoehorn in the rear seats.
The E63 really eliminates the problem of compromise, assuming you have the $114, 000 price of admission. As Wes mentions, that's a ton of money, but it's not at all outrageous for a car of this caliber. I've driven far more expensive cars that didn't offer the E63 AMG wagon's level of visceral engagement. For those who have the need to “be seen, ” the E63 may not attract Bentley levels of interest from the club crowd, but real car people who spot it do a triple take and offer an enthusiastic thumbs-up.
After all, what could be cooler than a big 577-hp station wagon? I'll tell you what: Nothing. And the fact you can enjoy your 590 lb-ft of torque while you're enjoying a gentle massage in the leather-and Alcantara-covered heated seats, gripping a properly fat AMG steering wheel? That the kids can fit comfortably in boosters in the back without being smashed by Daddy's seat and you can throw the dog and some suitcases in back if you need to? That a dual panoramic moonroof brightens up the Germanic interior, COMAND dials up satellite radio and navigation and AWD keeps things pointed in the right direction no matter the weather?
Unfortunately my time with the car didn't include access to any racetracks, but I have zero doubt the E63 AMG wagon would take to Michigan International Speedway or GingerMan Raceway as well as it did to Woodward Avenue. Find an open spot, press the AMG button and mat the throttle from a standing start and the effect is addictive, the V8 soundtrack screaming despite being fed through a pair of turbochargers while you're thrust back in those leather thrones. Time to rein in the fun? Stomp on the brakes and the car stops now, straight, no questions asked. The steering and handling - suspension settings are adjustable via a console-mounted button - match the car's character ideally.
Really, it's perfect. I defy you to find fault with this car, considering that the MSRP isn't really a defect, per se, and the fuel mileage is actually pretty impressive for the power output and AWD.
The E63 AMG wagon is an exclusive, attractive, high-performance family machine that looks insanely badass and delivers on every front.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Wagon is equipped with a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8.
SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: Ibid to all the above. One annoying “defect” I did find is a whacky engine stop/start ECO feature that seemed to have zero-point-zero logic to it. I drove the car for 30 minutes with this engaged, and it would shut down the engine at stoplights every time, then restart as intended when you were ready to go. The next time I fired her up, it wouldn't shut off the engine even though the feature remained switched on. Then randomly, after numerous red lights where the system should have come into play, it began working again suddenly at the next red light. If I owned a car with this feature, I'd likely leave it turned off at all times, but regardless it should work as designed. I tried several different things here - manually turning the function off, then back on; stopping randomly, smoothly and abruptly; restarting the car - and nothing seemed to do the trick. The function apparently decides when and where it will engage.
Other than that, the E63 AMG wagon remains one of the nastiest sleepers on the block, and that goes for almost any block this side of the Sultan of Brunei's custom-ordered lineup of God knows what. Excellent utility, power, performance - though like any 2-ton-and-change AMG beast, it's no sports car. But as I said in my entry regarding the CLS63 AMG S-Model, in most real-road situations and encounters, it will deliver big-time other than a finicky gearbox, semi-numb steering on corner entry and, of course, all that weight. But its torque, power, traction and utility make the E63 one of the baddest creations available to well-heeled enthusiasts. Its existence alone makes me wish I fit that description.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Wagon pushes out an impressive 577 hp with 590 lb-ft of torque.
SENIOR ROAD TEST EDITOR NATALIE NEFF: I never need to drive another car, ever. I found The One.
Seriously, despite the 1, 000 words already penned by Messrs. Raynal, Stoy and Morrison, enough cannot be said about this car. The power (hang on!), the ride and handling (sublime in comfort mode, seriously hardcore in sport-plus, especially given its 4, 675-pound heft), the accouterments, the luxe interior, the utility; this car wants for nothing. For all you get with this package, I'd say it's more than fairly priced.