REVIEWS: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

December 25, 2010
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Yes, the E63 is expensive, and it barely reaches the 20 mpg mark on the highway. But with enough horsepower (518 hp) and torque (465 lb-ft) to provide a huge adrenaline rush and a luxurious interior to cosset you when you come down from that rush, the E63 is has just about everything you can ask from a luxo-sport sedan. Everything you see and touch on the E63 is well executed, from the understated Mercedes badge on the hood to the carbon fiber interior accents to the perfectly symmetrical layout of the five round gauges on the instrument panel. This is a car I could happily drive every day.
- Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
2011 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG Front Static
AMG is known the world over for dropping massively powerful engines into luxury cars. If you've got the means, I highly recommend any of the AMG sedans as a daily driver. The E63 AMG is particularly enticing because it's the perfect size for transporting four adults in comfort, and the 6.2-liter V-8 offers a much more usable power band for daily driving than a BMW M5's high-revving V-10.
Even with the slightly sinister AMG touches, the E63 still looks upscale and wouldn't be out of place at a formal event. Leave the transmission in comfort mode and the shifts are as smooth as you'd expect in a traditional Benz. Twisting the transmission dial to S+ provides much more aggressive programming that begs for more spirited driving. I didn't have a chance to do much spirited driving during my time with the E63, but I was impressed by how well the car handled more menial tasks like transporting four people to dinner.
This might be the last brutish AMG product I drive. The next "63" cars are going to downsize and add turbochargers and direct injection, in order to meet upcoming emissions regulations. I've no doubt the future AMG powerplants will do the division justice, but they won't quite be the same as this 6.2-liter normally aspirated V-8. Technology tends to tame high-performance engines by reducing NVH and smoothing out the power delivery. Those are admirable qualities, but there's still something special about the sound of a hot cam in a big V-8 at idle, that direct injection can't match.
- Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor
As Phil notes, the E63 AMG slams a monster engine under the hood without compromising the signature Mercedes-Benz luxury and comfort and that's what makes this product so different than the competition. The E63's unparalleled refinement and rowdy engine make it the perfect car for a cross-continent blitz on Europe's unrestricted highways. Unfortunately, we don't have those here and I'm left wondering what's the point of a high-performance engine without and agile chassis to back it up. Both the Cadillac CTS-V and the departed BMW M5 offer sharper, sportier dynamics to back the big engines and they're much more my taste.
2011 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG Rear Three Quarters Static
The column-mounted shifter belongs in a truck or a minivan and the driving experience is dampened by the cruise control stalk that's often in the way or confused with the turn signal stalk and. Mercedes' Comand infotainment system also lags behind those offered by BMW and Audi in terms of user friendliness. Still, I have no trouble understanding the appeal of a well-equipped E-class, with it's sumptuous interior and those heated, massaging seats that will never grow old.
- Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor
A couple weeks ago, I argued that the best thing about the E-class is its available turbo-diesel engine. I should have preceded that statement with a qualifier like "for reasonable consumers," because the E63 AMG is pretty badass. Its high-revving, normally aspirated powerplant goes a long way toward improving my opinion of the E-class in general. A base E350 Bluetec costs half as much as this AMG test car, though, so the customer base is obviously quite disparate. The diesel customer gets excellent fuel economy and plush luxury; the AMG buyer gets a luxurious drift machine with oodles of passing power and great steering feel.
Random comment: is it just me, or is this steering wheel offset to the right of the center of the driver's seat? This results in a slightly twisted driving position, like in an old Jeep Cherokee or a Lamborghini Gallardo. Fortunately, I forgot about this idiosyncrasy as soon as I revved the engine.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
2011 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG Front Three Quarters Static
Base price (with destination and guzzler tax): $90,175
Price as tested: $100,045
Standard Equipment:
6.2-liter V-8 engine
7-speed automatic transmission
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
AMG sport exhaust system
Comand system with 14-speaker Harman/kardon Logic7 surround sound
Dolby digital 5.1
AM/FM/WB radio
In-dash 6-disc DVD/CD changer
Sirius satellite radio
Auxiliary audio input
Bluetooth connectivity
7-inch display
Power tilt/sliding sunroof
AMG leather interior with Alcantara headliner
AMG performance steering wheel
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Electronic cruise control
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
AMG 3-stage electronic stability program
Tire-pressure monitoring system
Options on this vehicle:
Premium package -- $5000
Comand system with 40GB hard drive
GPS navigation
Voice control 6GB music register
Heated and ventilated front seats
Multi-contour front seats with massage
Rear view camera
Bi-Xenon headlamps with active curve illumination
Adaptive highbeam assist
Keyless Go
Electronic trunk closer
Carbon fiber trim -- $2580
19-inch AMG twin 5-spoke forged light-alloy wheels -- $2290

Key options not on vehicle:
Driver assistance package -- $2900
Rear seat entertainment system -- $1910
Night view assist -- $1780
Panorama sunroof -- $1090
Fuel economy: 13/20/15 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Engine:
Size: 6.2L V-8
Horsepower: 518 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
Drive: Rear-wheel
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Curb weight: 4084 lb
Wheels/tires: 19-inch forged-alloy wheels; 255/35ZR19 front, 285/30ZR19 rear Continental ContiSportContact performance tires
Competitors: Jaguar XFR, Cadillac CTS-V, Audi S6

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2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

E350 RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
starting at (MSRP)
$48,850
Engine
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Fuel Economy
17 City 26 Hwy
2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class