2009 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG

Earlier this year I spent some time behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, and I walked away a bit underwhelmed. But I had the same car again for a weekend and loved every minute of it.

AMG's normally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 is as delightful as ever, and there is a very pleasant, refined exhaust tone when you boot it. Since the S63 was still wearing summer rubber and temperatures hovered around freezing with a decent amount of rain and snow in the mix, I didn't get much spirited driving time, and that's a shame. This car moves pretty well given its curb weight and the 6.2-liter's preference for lots of revs. If you're going to spring for a car like this (and you live in a northern state), be sure to buy winter rubber.

I was a bit disappointed this S-class didn't come with a rearview camera. Backing such a long car into a parking garage space is a bit difficult with only the small side mirrors. I'd gladly trade the night view system for a regular rearview camera to make sure I don't scratch my bumper or overhang a parking spot and get clipped by another driver.

Distronic cruise control continues to amuse me and amaze my passengers. It isn't cheap, but when your car starts at $132k, less than $3k for intelligent cruise control sounds justifiable.

Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor

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