Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate vs Audi RS4 Avant
We hit the red line in two fast estates, as the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 battles Audi’s RS4
Things are hotting up in the fast estate class, with the arrival of the all-new Mercedes-AMG C 63. Featuring the same muscular twin-turbo engine as the brand’s GT sports car, the newcomer aims to raise the performance bar set by its predecessor.
There’s more to the C 63 than a thumping great engine and blistering acceleration, though. For starters, AMG’s engineers have worked hard to make sure the car is as impressive in corners as it is in a straight line.
With heavily revised suspension geometry, stiffer springs and dampers and faster steering, the Mercedes promises class-leading agility and unflappable poise.
Plus, because the C 63 is based on the latest C-Class, it looks great and boasts one of the slickest interiors around. And in Estate guise (you can also get a traditional saloon), it’s spacious and versatile.
Setting the standard for the Mercedes is the Audi RS4, which blends ferocious performance with all-weather four-wheel-drive composure. It’s also beautifully built, well equipped and, crucially, costs nearly £5,000 less to buy. So, which of our warp factor wagons wins this space race?
Click the links above to read individual reviews of the performance estates, and scroll down to see which wins...
The C 63’s powerplant is based on the same 4.0-litre V8 as the AMG GT uses, with twin-turbos mounted in the ‘V’ of the engine. However, the GT’s race-bred dry sump oil system is replaced by a more conventional wet sump. With its natural aspiration, the RS4 can’t match the AMG for power and efficiency, but the 4.2-litre does rev to 8,500rpm.
Both our contenders feature powered tailgates and the same 490-litre boot capacity with the rear seats in place. The C 63 has more space with the back bench folded and boasts handy hooks for shopping. However, the Audi hits back with its £155 optional sliding rail load divider system.
Optional sports exhausts are available on both cars. The AMG’s £1,000 system is activated by a button on the dash that opens valves for increased volume at low revs. The Audi’s set-up costs £890 and is a passive system with no driver override.
1st place: Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate
If you’re after power, performance, prestige and practicality, look no further than the mighty Mercedes-AMG C 63. Thanks to its bombastic new V8 engine and sharp handling, it’s thrilling to drive whatever the journey, while the classy looks, upmarket cabin and spacious boot make it easy to live with. And although it’s expensive to buy, strong residuals mean you’ll lose less in the long run.
2nd place: Audi RS4 Avant
It takes the runners-up spot here, but the RS4 is still a hugely capable and desirable car. At the heart of its appeal is the screaming V8 engine and the all-weather security of its quattro four-wheel drive. It also looks great and features a surprisingly versatile cabin. Yet it’s even more costly to run than the C 63, plus it can’t match its rival’s performance and engaging handling.
Other options for similar money…
New: Alpina B3 Touring
Price: £58,950 Engine: 3.0-litre 6cyl, 404bhp
There’s no BMW M3 estate, so the next best thing is the Alpina B3 Touring. Its twin-turbo straight-six boasts 600Nm of torque and delivers 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds. It strikes a perfect balance between agility and cruising comfort.
Used: Audi RS6 Plus
Price: £49,995 Engine: 5.0-litre V10, 573bhp
Buy used, and you can get a previous-generation Audi RS6 for this money. It has a twin-turbo version of the Lamborghini Gallardo’s V10, quattro 4WD and a 565-litre boot. We found a 10,000-mile 2010 Plus model for under £50k.
|Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate||Audi RS4 Avant|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£61,260/£61,810||£56,545/£64,900|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)||£31,181/50.9%||£23,862/42.2%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£4,129/£8,257||£4,116/£8,232|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£3,096/£5,159||£2,984/£4,974|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||47/£670/J/£265||46/£508/L/£490|
|Servicing costs||£40pcm (3yrs/36k)||£43pcm (3yrs)|
|Peak power||470/5,500 bhp/rpm||444/8,250 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||650/1,750 Nm/rpm||430/4,000 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||7-spd auto/rwd||7-spd auto/4wd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||66 litres/sealant||61 litres/sealant|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||490/1,510 litres||490/1,430 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.3 metres/N/A||11.6 metres/N/A|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unltd)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable/136||Variable/121|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||11th/21st*||13th/26th*|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||92/84/77/5||93/84/39/5|
|0-60/30-70mph||4.0/3.1 seconds||4.4/3.8 seconds|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||2.9/3.9 seconds||2.9/3.9 seconds|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th||4.1/5.3/7.1 seconds||5.4/7.0/10.2 seconds|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||155mph/1,900rpm||155mph/2,200rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||21.5/4.7/312 miles||22.3/4.9/299 miles|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/£400/£300|
|Electric tailgate/cruise control||Yes/yes||Yes/yes|
|Metallic paint/LED lights/keyless go||£645/yes/yes||£615/no/£470|