It was in late November -16 that I picked up my then 18-month old E63 AMG Station Wagon (leading to some early impressions that if you missed them, you can read here), so it’s been a bit more than a year and roughly 20.000 kms between then and now – and what a pleasure it has been! Looking back at my past car buying history, they tend to come and go at quite regular (and short!) intervals, but at least for now I haven’t a single time entertained the thought of switching – it’s just too good.
Starting at the heart of the matter, the engine is quite simply superb. Power is just everywhere, delivery is instantaneous and never-ending, and the sound still gives me goose bumps every time. It’s been rumored that most of these engines deliver more than the 558 hp on paper. I have no clue whether that is true but if someone told me there was another 100 hp under the bonnet I would believe them straight away. I’m actually thinking of getting it measured at some point.
At the same time it’s as smooth and practical as any Merc for the local shopping round, or transporting empty boxes from my wife’s shop to the recycling station. Consumption is highly reasonable; sure, it’s no Prius, but we did 1000 kms through Germany last summer at speeds that would make you lose your permit in every other part of the world, and came down with 14 litres / 100 kms. In normal driving it’ll come down to 10-11 litres which really isn’t much to complain about.
In the first post I mentioned the Speedshift gearbox as a positive surprise, and it still is. It’s so much better than MB’s regular box, up-shifting instantaneously with a thumping sound in Sport and Sport+ Mode, whilst also downshifting highly effectively and always timely. Well done AMG! The same goes for the light-footedness chassis and the perfectly weighted steering.
So what’s on the downside? Well, actually nothing at all (this is the point where I’m actively forgetting a decent amount of speeding tickets through the year…). There is also this saying that a model is never as good as just before it ceases to be produced, and I tend to believe that. Sure, the new model is out (with the same V8 Biturbo engine, and not a V6 as I had claimed, based on false rumors), and it delivers a bit more than 600 hp, but the design still needs to grow on me – and prices on the next-to-new market need to come down, so for now I see little need to change. In fact I find myself surfing around various tuning sites in my spare time, something I haven’t done in many years. A power upgrade doesn’t really feel necessary, but the suspension could be lowered a bit… And maybe that dash-controlled exhaust would be cool… and…. So as you can see, the mid-life crisis is all over, but boy is it fun!