2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

Matt Tierney

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.

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

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