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2019 E63 S Wagon

With a complete compliment of coddling luxury accouterments and a capacious cargo area, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon is the antithesis of the typical one-dimensional, performance-centric supercar. But don't be fooled by the family-friendly bodystyle - a supercar it most definitely is, one that serves up breathtaking acceleration that only a handful of other machines can match.

The E63 S is also available in a conventional sedan bodystyle.

Recent Changes

For the latest model year, the E63 gets Surround View as a standard feature.

Overview

The E63 S wagon's biggest asset is its expansive interior space, which makes the vehicle perfect for carrying passengers in comfort or hauling sizable amounts of cargo. Its five-seat configuration can easily expand to seven seats by unfolding a standard third-row rear-facing seat from the luggage compartment floor, while a 60-40 fold-down second-row seat allows for a cavernous and flexible 57.4 cubic-foot cargo area. Mercedes states that the wagon can carry a grandfather clock and still accommodate three occupants, or it can manage a load of lumber along with four people aboard.

As with most sporting machines, the heart of the E63 is its engine. Built entirely by hand in Germany, the 4.0-liter V8 makes 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft. of torque thanks to two beefy turbochargers and a direct fuel-injection system.

The sedan can reach 60 mph from a stop in just 3.3 seconds and go on to an electronically-limited top speed of 186 mph. The E63 S utilizes the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz's nine-speed MCT automatic transmission that ditches a conventional torque converter for a wet clutch pack in order to make shifts quick and smooth, even at low speeds (something that cannot be said of competitors' dual clutch automatics). It features rev-matched downshifts and an eco mode that engages the stop/start system, which switches off the engine at idle to save fuel.

The gearbox sends power to all four wheels via a performance-tuned version of Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. The benefits of 4MATIC compared to the old rear-drive setup are numerous - it puts the sedan's massive power to the pavement more effectively, is four-season-friendly and, with a fully dynamic front/rear output, maintains enjoyable rear-drive-like dynamics.

A mechanical limited-slip rear differential further optimizes traction, while the stability control system can be set to provide rear brake-based torque vectoring in order to minimize understeer.

Helping to keep things under control when the road gets curvy is the AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension that features a specially designed front axle with a 1.9-inch increase in track width relative to the normal E-Class, in addition to independent wheel carriers for increased negative camber at the front to improve grip during performance driving.

Further features include steel suspension struts on the front axle and air suspension struts on the rear axle with an automatic level control system and an electronically controlled damping system, which automatically adjusts the damping characteristics depending on driving conditions and reduces body roll. The driver can switch between the three suspension modes of "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport plus" at the touch of a button.

Should a red light or stop sign impede the driver's backroads fun, the E63 S is prepared for the occasion with six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes with 15.4-inch cross-drilled rotors up front. Carbon ceramic brakes with massive 15.8-inch rotors for maximum stopping power are optional.

Inside and out

The E63 AMG is effectively a well-optioned E-Class sedan with serious upgrades. Inside, things are as plush and refined as ever, with generous amounts of wood and chrome trim creating a decadent environment. Notable new touches include a revised steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls and, on up-trim models, a 12.3-inch display cluster in place of traditional gauges.

Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system remains; controlled either by voice commands, a central knob or steering wheel-mounted controls, it integrates the sedan's audio, navigation and Bluetooth-based connectivity functions into a single unit - a second 12.3-inch display screen mounted on the dashboard.

An optional mbrace system adds a host of cloud-based goodies, including a concierge service, location-based traffic and weather updates, stolen vehicle location assistance, automatic collision notification and more. Available apps add internet browsing, Google local search with street view, Yelp reviews, Facebook access and news reports. Owners can even use an mbrance smartphone app to remotely lock, unlock or locate their E-Class.

A wide variety of optional extras can be spec'd to enhance the E63 experience, including premium Nappa leather upholstery, heated, ventilated and massaging front seats, a 14-speaker Harman/kardon surround sound system and a rear seat video entertainment system.

Standard and Optional Features

The E63 comes standard with leather upholstery, heated, ventilated and massaging front sports seats, heated rear seats, 12.3-inch COMAND infotainment, a harmon/kardon AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM stereo with AUX and USB inputs, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, genuine wood trim, full-LED headlamps with active curve illumination, adaptive high beam assist, a headlamp-washing system, corner-illuminating front lights, a proximity key, a power trunk lid front and rear parking sensors, an automated parallel-park system, a limited-slip rear differential, red brake calipers and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Occupant Safety

Mercedes-Benz has long been known for its safety features, and the E-Class will only add to that reputation. In addition to traction and stability control systems, the car boasts nine supplemental restraints including two-stage front air bags, a knee air bag for the driver and pelvic air bags which work together with full-length side curtain and front side air bags (rear side units are optional) to provide extra protection for front occupants in dangerous side-impact collisions.

Also standard is an "ATTENTION ASSIST" system that can alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S.A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of driving. Between 50 and 112 mph, the system identifies the erratic steering corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an audible warning and a "Time for a Rest?" message with a coffee cup icon in the instrument cluster.

New for the latest model year is Collision Prevention Assist, which uses radar to determine whether the E63 is in danger of colliding with a vehicle or object up ahead. Active at speeds above 20 mph, it automatically prepares the brakes to apply the ideal leveling of stopping power once the driver hits the pedal.

Optional safety gear includes Active Lane Keeping Assist, a new technology that warns the driver if it detects that the E63 is drifting into an adjacent lane and can apply steering inputs to remain on the proper course. Also available is Active Blind Spot Assist, which uses radar to detect if a vehicle is in the blind-spot area. It provides driver alerts and can also steer the car out of harm's way if the driver accidentally starts to merge into a vehicle.

Pre-Safe Brake detects impending collisions and can automatically apply 100 percent of the E63's braking force to avoid or mitigate the severity of the crash. It also includes Cross-Traffic Assist, which can detect potential collisions with vehicles approaching from either side of an intersection. Both are part of the Distronic Plus with Steering assist system, an active cruise control setup that can maintain a set distance from the car ahead and also keep the vehicle centered on straight roads or in gentle curves.

Key Competitors

Those shopping for a high-performance midsize sedan are in the delightful position of having several excellent options to choose from. Along with the E63, options include the legendary BMW M5 and the extremely enjoyable Cadillac CTS-V.