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Mercedes-Benz E Class 2010 Review

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  • easily carry pram & baby seat
  • great cabin and sports seats
  • enthusiastic engine
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  • no guides on reversing camera
  • road noise from tyres
  • expensive, especially options

If the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG was a person it would be a lot like Nathan Buckley.  We're talking about a car that's good with a family, pretty mature, intelligent and still able to get up and run. Fast.

The belter Benz is not the best looking car on the road, and notably more chunky than the E-Class it replaces, but it's a great new hero.  It shows exactly what AMG can to do make a mid-sized Benz into a thumping go-faster car, without losing the quality and comfort and refinement of the silver star.

It's not perfect, but for family motoring with a kick it comes close.  The new E63 is also a long way down the road from the compact C-Class 63, which always feels as if it's going to twist your head around and then rip it off. This car is just as fast when you ask, but much more restrained when you just need comfortable transport.

Engine and transmission

The heart of the car is still the 6.2-litre AMG V8 engine, with an extra eight kiloWatts of power and a new 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.5 seconds.   There is three-stage ESP for sporty driving and steering with a more-direct control.

There is a a seven-speed 'speedshift' automatic gearbox, and the transmission controller is new, and identical to the look in the Gullwing, with a choice of four driving modes.

Pricing and market position

Oh, but there is the price ... It costs at least $234,900 to park an E63 in the driveway, which is a huge amount of money by any measure. And you don't have to run far into the list of optional equipment to run up to $260,000, the pricetag of the test car.

Still, the engineering is excellent and it's built up over a mid-sized luxury car that pretty much sets the standard for its class. BMW has a new 5 Series coming soon, but for now it's Mercedes that sets the standard, with — perhaps surprisingly — Jaguar in second place.

Australians have a huge appetite for AMG Benzes and the latest E63 is no exception. There is already a waiting list, although it's not as long as the one for the SLS Gullwing.  The car hit Australia just before Christmas with a long list of improvements over the previous model and some considerable promises.

Mercedes-Benz Australia says the new E63 has a value story, with a price that is $4056 below the outgoing model, despite having more than $28,000 of extra standard equipment.


Suspension is AMG developed with electronically-controlled damping and a steel-sprung front end and — just like the C63 — the key to its success is unique AMG design work and parts.  But the E63 is still a Benz and that means it comes with full leather trim, automatic air-con, no fewer than 11 airbags — and both lane-keeping and blind-spot assistance.

Driving --  Paul Gover

The E63 is a belter. Such a fun car, but also refined and luxurious.  It is exactly the sort of car that every HSV and FPV buyer in Australia is dreaming about, apart from the price. They get a great deal on their Falcons and Commodores, but the Benz shows the way it can be done.

It helps to start with a car as good as the latest E-Class Mercedes, but AMG makes a big difference with everything from the chassis engineering through to its 386kW engine. Each one is assembled by hand and the mechanic responsible gets to sign the motor.

I decided to take things easy at first in the new E63, leaving all the settings in comfort positions to assess the car. It has more road noise with big Pirelli P-Zero rubber, and there is more thump over road joins, but it's not unpleasant.  The car also has a brilliant cabin, helped by terrific sports seats, and it's just as easy to park as a regular E with a huge boot and space for three adults in the back.

But when I decide to get going it . . . goes. The engine responds brilliantly from 2000rpm and full-power upshifts produce a wonderful 'whump' from the exhaust. It's telling you it's keen.

Driving the gearbox as a full manual, with the AMG settings to maximum including the lowered sports suspension, it would take a Porsche to get away from a well-driven E63. And even a poorly-driven one would be way too quick for Australian speed limits.  But it's the flick back to comfort that brings me the real surprise, as the car is still swift and nicely relaxing.

I eventually decide the Sport-plus setting is best on the seven-speed gearbox, neatly anticipating the places where I would make a manual shift, with the suspension at soft and the thumping sound system providing a soothing background soundtrack.  There is a lot to like about the E63 and only one thing that really grates — the price.

It lifts the bar again on luxury sports sedans and also shows why AMG cars are so good, and so downright popular with muscle car buyers in Australia.

She says – Alison Ward

Do I like the E63? A little. Do I love it? You bet. Actually, I find easier to say what I don't like about this one.  I think the reverse camera is quite poor, because it doesn't have the indicator guidance lines in a lot of other systems including Lexus. And I don't see the point of the night vision — which is a bit dumb and hard to use.

And what about the blow-up bolsters in the seats when you go around corners? That's just a gadget.  Other than that, the E63 is a hot item.  It's a really good family car, obviously well built — but you expect that with such a giant price-tag — and it can really go.

A lot of people seem to be surprised by just how quick it is, and I like the fact that I have to think when I'm driving because I know it can get away from me. I haven't had that runaway-train feeling in years, probably since I drove the crazy turbocharged Porsche 911 GT2. And that definitely will not carry a pram and baby seat.

The Mercedes definitely has space for the baby, with everything from his pram to the giant nappy bag and a baby bouncer, but it is still a car that is great fun.


A new benchmark, simple as that.

Score 86/100


Price: $234,900
Engine: 6.2-litre V8
Power:  386kW at 6800 revs
Torque: 630Nm at 5200 revs
Transmission: Seven-speed Speedshift automatic, rear drive
Body: Four door sedan
Seats: Five
Dimensions:  Length 4891mm, Width 1872mm, Height 1442mm, Wheelbase 2874mm, tracks front/rear 1625mm/1594mm
Steering: Speed sensitive power assisted rack and pinion
Suspension: Three-link coil springs; Multi-link rear air suspension
Fuel tank: 80 litres
Fuel type: Premium unleaded
Fuel consumption: 12.7/100km combined
Weight: 1840kg
Spare tyre: spacesaver
Brakes:Anti-skid disc
Wheels: 19-inch alloys
Tyres: 255/35 R19 front; 285/30 R19 rear
Safety gear: 11 airbags, electronic controlled damping, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-skid brakes, brake assist, emergency brake distribution, Attention Assist, Adaptive highbeam assist, reversing camera
CO2 emissions: 298g/km


BMW M5: 80/100 (from $241,816)
Audi S6: 78/100 (from $212,465)
Jaguar XF-R 82/100 (from $208,450)

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