The 2019 Automobile All-Stars winners will be revealed on Saturday, March 9 at 11:00 am Eastern, but first we’re introducing—in no particular order—a few of the contenders each day this week. Head here for an All-Stars preview, and be sure to check back all week to see the contenders as they’re announced!
It’s a true do-it-all—the car geek’s Swiss army knife, if you will. The list of available tools in the Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon’s arsenal is vast, but the key implement for many is its 603-hp V-8. Not surprising given the fabled Affalterbach hand-built pedigree. “So much power, with a roar like Ares charging into battle,” senior online editor Erik Johnson noted. Another of our senior editors, Aaron Gold, concurred: “It makes great God of Thunder noises.”
But unlike AMG-fettled E-class models of the past, this all-wheel-drive wagon doesn’t disappoint in the corners. “One of the biggest surprises on the track,” contributor Basem Wasef wrote. “It does not perform like it looks but rather serves as a dynamic dance partner.” Where the Lamborghini Urus performed impressively around Streets of Willow for an SUV, the E63 wagon performed impressively, period. And at half the price of the Lambo. There simply isn’t an SUV on the market that engages the driver like the E63 wagon. A more direct competitor in attendance—the BMW M5—may edge the Benz dynamically, but sadly, there’s no M5 wagon, and the BMW lacks the E63’s raw, hooligan character.
Speaking of sedans, the wagon is the pick of the litter over its conventional four-door sibling. It rides a touch better than the E63 sedan—though it’s by no means supple at low speeds—and offers loads more cargo room. In exchange, the MSRP bumps a mere $2,550, and the weight penalty is only 154 pounds. And the wagon is visually cooler, far scarcer, and may be the ultimate sleeper. “I got out of this car laughing every time,” editor-at-large Art St. Antoine said. “It’s just stupid fun—and the best wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing act going.” His enthusiasm continued: “On the road loop, I clung to the Ferrari 812’s tail with ease. In a wagon. Saturday run to Costco? Check. Sunday blast through Malibu’s canyons? Check. Never getting tired of the stealth act? Check. Skip the optional hard seats, though. Ouch.”
High-performance SUVs have become the go-to option for buyers looking for a powerful but practical daily driver, but this niche, 180-mph wagon is Automobile’s preferred multitool and should be for any true car enthusiast. Sadly, its extraordinary breadth of capability wasn’t quite enough this round. If this year’s field wasn’t jam-packed with so many impressive contenders, there’s little doubt the Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon would have earned a coveted All-Star award.
2019 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon Specifications
|PRICE||$109,845/$138,750 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||4.0L twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8; 603 hp @ 5,750–6,500 rpm, 627 lb-ft @ 2,500–4,500 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||9-speed multi-clutch automatic|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD wagon|
|EPA MILEAGE||16/22 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||197.1 x 75.1 x 58.0 in|
|0–60 MPH||3.4 sec|
|TOP SPEED||180 mph|