Mercedes C63 AMG Estate review

Our Rating: 
4
4.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Mercedes C63 AMG Estate offers the performance of a supercar in an understated and practical estate car body

For: 
Performance, V8 soundtrack, understated looks
Against: 
Economy, emissions, running costs

The Mercedes C63 AMG Estate gives all the thrills of supercar ownership, but with the added ability to transport the entire family in total style and comfort. As of yet, BMW doesn’t offer the M3 as an estate, and the only real rival to the C63 is the Audi RS4. If you need an estate that can carry you and a boot full of luggage from A to B faster than near enough anything on the road – the C63 is a winner. There is only one model to choose from and it uses the older 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine rather than the twin-turbo 5.5-litre powerplant in the most recent AMG branded vehicles.  

Our choice: Mercedes C63 AMG Estate

Styling

4.2

On the outside, the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate doesn't shout about its performance. It gets subtle but effective styling upgrades that set it apart from lesser models. Discreet AMG badging hints at the incredible performance, with quad exhausts and distinct alloy wheels only confirming this. Inside, the flagship C-Class has a level of luxury associated with cars costing twice as much. There is leather everywhere and the dash layout is smart and simple. However the thick seat bolsters and high seat position can make it feel a little cramped inside compared to the Audi RS4 Avant.

Driving

4.5

A number of new AMG models use a 5.5-litre, twin-turbo V8, but the C63 AMG sticks with the 6.2-litre, naturally aspirated powerplant. Even without a pair of turbochargers, the burbling V8 is quite special – pulling the C63 Estate from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds. This is just a tenth of a second slower than the saloon and two-tenths faster than the BMW M3 Coupe. But it is the AMG’s overtaking ability that is truly astonishing – 600Nm of torque is available from low down in the rev range, so no matter what speed you’re doing the pull from the V8 is staggering. The C63 AMG gets a number of subtle chassis tweaks, which make the Estate as capable on long motorway trips as it is on a twisty back road. The C63 AMG really is a car for any occasion - but the seven-speed gearbox is starting to show its age.

Reliability

4.3

Mercedes is renowned for its technology and has regained its reputation for quality in recent years. Features seen on today’s S-Class limo will be standard equipment on superminis of the future; and leading cars like the C63 feature much of the same tech today. Impressive brakes and a host of airbags make the AMG Estate a very safe place to be. Add this to an accomplished chassis and five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and you’ve got one of the most capable cars on the market. In terms of reliability, the C63 should be just as dependable as a base C-Class.

Practicality

4.6

With the rear seats folded, the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate has a 1,500-litre boot, so there are very few ways of carrying a new kitchen back from Ikea any quicker. In terms of outright loading space, the C63 Estate beats the Audi RS4 Avant, and inside, you get the same leg and headroom as in the normal C-Class Estate. This means due to an ergonomically designed cabin and comfortable seating position, the flagship C-Class is a very comfortable place to sit despite its performance credentials.

Running Costs

2

Mercedes is constantly striving to improve efficiency and emissions, but the C63 AMG is still a long way from being frugal. In terms of economy, the AMG manages just 23.2mpg, leaving it lagging behind the less powerful Audi S4 Avant, which achieves 33.6mpg, and even the Audi RS5 coupe does 26.9mpg on the combined cycle. Added to this, the C63 sits in the top tax band and consumables such as tyres are likely to burn a small hole in your pocket too. But if you buy a 445bhp V8 estate car, what do you expect? Insurance, parts and servicing will all be similarly eye-watering so be prepared to fork out a sizeable amount to keep it on the road.

Last updated: 31 May, 2012
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