2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon Review: Overachieving as an Art Form

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick


Engine: 4.0L V8 Turbo
Output: 603 hp, 627 lb-ft
Transmission: 9AT, AWD
US fuel economy (MPG): 16/23/18
CAN fuel economy (L/100KM): 14.7/10.4/12.8
Starting Price (USD): $113,500 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (USD): $129,425 (inc. dest.)
Starting Price (CAD): $130,000 (est, inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): $145,500 (est, inc. dest.)

“Uh, my seat is moving.”

My fiancée sounds only slightly concerned from the passenger side of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon. We know this uber-wagon has massaging seats, but this is only happening during turns. Once we’ve pulled up, a dive into the comfort menu reveals the E63 has what Mercedes calls “Dynamic Seat.” When active, the system tightens the corresponding seat bolster to better cradle the body against the g-forces the E63 is capable of. It’s smart enough to even handle angled speedbumps.

Get a Quote on a New Mercedes-Benz E-Class

It’s this sort of we-thought-of-everything approach that defines the E63 experience. Every single part of this car is designed to not just satisfy needs, but surpass them. While it’s unlikely anybody shopping one of these six-figure wagons is looking for just one car to satisfy all their automotive needs, the E63 S perhaps comes closest to doing just that.

What’s new?

Mercedes refreshed the entire E-Class lineup for 2021, including sedan, coupe, convertible, and wagon body styles. The exterior changes consisted of tweaked headlights, a new grille shape, different wheel designs, and a smattering of new color options. The three-box shapes also gained new taillights, but the wagon kept everything the same as before. Inside, there’s a new split-spoke steering wheel, and the latest and greatest MBUX infotainment setup.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 All-Terrain Review: Keeping the Dream Alive

We’ve already experienced the 2021 E-Class long-roof in very smooth All-Terrain form. That one, and indeed all six-cylinder Es, now benefit from Merc’s EQ Boost mild-hybrid system. There’s no such setup here, with the hand-built 4.0-liter, turbocharged V8 still the only act in the spotlight. The “hot-vee” eight-cylinder still cranks out 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet, heading to all four tires via a fast-acting nine-speed automatic transmission. AMGs are all about the power after all, right?

Driving experience

Not so fast. Okay, the E63 S is actually very quick: the official quote is 3.5 seconds to 62 mph (100 km/h), and that feels conservative. I more mean that the idea of AMGs as one-dimensional power-focused experiences is an outdated one. As epic as the E63’s engine is, it’s just one ingredient in an expertly judged recipe.

For starters, the nine-speed auto is an excellent conductor. In regular modes it shifts quick and clean, but it’ll do the low-key, barely-off-idle shuffle if you keep your foot out. The engine is almost docile, with only a scintilla of growl on the move. Sport mode brings out the V8’s singing voice, replete with crackles and bangs between shifts. Drop a few gears and the V8 wakes up further still, picking up the rest of the car and hurling it towards the horizon.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 Review: The Hot Hatch for Grown-Ups

The staggered tire setup—265-section up front, and 295-section out back, necessitating 1.1-inch (30 mm) wider fenders—finds purchase on all manner of paved surfaces. Until the sensors tell it otherwise, the E63 operates in rear-drive mode. When power does shuffle its way forward, it does so naturally, never upsetting the balance. There’s the option to lock the E63 in rear-drive mode for big smoky burnouts, too.

Standard on the E63 S is a three-chamber air suspension setup with adaptive dampers. In Comfort mode it’s a perfectly, well, comfortable ride around the city, taking the sting out of construction zones yet remaining flat in corners. Switch over to the sportier modes and while body control is more locked-in, there’s still a welcome level of compliance in all but the most extreme Race mode.

The flat-bottomed steering wheel provides sharp feedback and a good amount of weight to lean up against. Like everything else in the E63 it varies from mode to mode: the best balance is Sport, as the weight becomes artificial beyond that. Stopping power is simply stunning for a 4,600-pound beast. The steel brakes never show any signs of fade on the road. Pricey carbon-ceramic discs are available for those more track-inclined.

Interior and comfort

Mercedes has left well enough alone in the E-Class cabin. The front row is typical modern Merc, all steampunk air vents and cycling LED ambient lighting. The yellow stitching adds a welcome flash of color, too. Gray-and-black Nappa leather seats are well-contoured, striking a solid balance between support and comfort. The seating position is great, with clear sight lines out of the car as well as on the digital instrument panel. The perforated leather sections of the wheel make it a joy to hold; there’s an all-Alcantara option if you’re so inclined.

The second row is pretty sweet, too. The seats are very nearly as comfortable, and there’s plenty of leg- and headroom. Pillar-mounted air-con vents are a nice touch, as well. The optional three-zone climate control (standard in Canada, natch) provides the rear-seat riders with their own controls. It’s very effective, as we find out when the rear controls are accidentally bumped to maximum temperature. On a hot summer weekend.

SEE ALSO: BMW M5 Competition vs Porsche Panamera GTS Comparison

This happens because we used this wagon for a different sort of hauling: moving my soon-to-be brother-in-law back into university. With his clothes all stored beside him in the back, and everything else (including a bar fridge) in the trunk, the E63 S was a long-distance moving vehicle par excellence. There’s 35.0 cubic feet (991 liters) of space with all the seats up, and an SUV-rivalling 65.0 cubes (1,841 L) with them folded flat.

So many tech toys

Most of the E63’s substantial tech suite is good. The twin-12.3-inch display setup runs MBUX, which is bright and easy to use. There’s a little too much menu-digging for some, but it becomes natural by the middle of our week together. Mercedes offers up multiple input methods too, to please both driver and passenger. The touchscreen is obvious, as is the center console-mounted touchpad. My personal favorite was the set of thumb pads on the steering wheel. The new steering wheel switches them out for smaller touch-sensitive sections. I didn’t quite gel with them in the All-Terrain, and they’re still fiddly here, specifically when adjusting volume or cruise control speed.

SEE ALSO: BMW M5 Competition vs Porsche Panamera GTS Comparison

The afore-mentioned Dynamic Seat system is part of the optional massaging seat function, which offers something like half a dozen different patterns. My better half rates the Activating Massage program highest. Even my 89-year-old grandma, who I take out for lunch the following day, appreciates the feature. She’s impressed with the voice assistant too—not as over-eager as it was in some Mercs last year—and the augmented reality native navigation. Personally, I’m most happy with the head-up display, which can also handle navigation info.

Other luxurious features include soft-close doors, a foot-activated tailgate, heated front armrests, and a 360-degree camera. These and more are all part of the $7,900 CAD Premium Package.

Many of Merc’s driver assists are bundled within a $1,950 ($3,000 CAD) pack. It includes the usual assists—blind spot, lane-keep, lane-change, evasive steering—plus adaptive cruise control. The latter is super-smooth, and now features GPS-augmented speed adaptation for even more natural progress. The miles melt away without stress—but it’s still shocking these things are extra in a $120,000 car.

What’s the competition?

Sticking to wagons? Not a whole lot. There’s the audacious Audi RS6 Avant, another 600-horsepower weapon of a wagon. Unfortunately, we haven’t driven it, so can’t comment on how it stacks up. There’s also Porsche’s Panamera Sport Turismo, which rings in even richer in Turbo S and plug-in hybrid Turbo S E-hybrid forms.

How rich are we talking? The 2021 E63 S wagon comes in at a cool $113,500, including destination. (The Canadian starting price is $127,900 before destination, since MB Canada lets dealers set their own freight charges.) This tester comes with a few options ticked, adding in things like the 360-degree camera, fancy massage seats, pretty 20-inch wheels, and more. The grand total is $129,425 ($143,150 CAD). For around $4,950 less ($3,000 CAD), you can also opt for the E63 S sedan.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing First Drive Review: Do Not Go Gently

If the four-door is more your thing, you might be tempted by the BMW M5 Competition or Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. Both feature absolute powerhouses of engines, especially the Caddy, which is unique amongst the bunch for offering an available manual transmission, and sticking to rear-drive.

Verdict: 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon Review

It’s impossible to dislike the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon. I could lament how wallet-wiltingly expensive it is, but it’s not like anything else out there packs as much refinement, performance, practicality, and ease-of-use into one single package. That sort of mix costs (big) money.

It might cost even more soon, too. With Mercedes confirming no AMG 63s will be coming to North America for 2022, it’s entirely possible we may never see another V8-powered E wagon. That would make the E63 S something of a collector’s item.

If that ends up being the case, the lucky few who end up with the keys should be content. The E63 S wagon is supercar in the body of a station wagon, and we’ll miss the breed when it’s gone.

Become an AutoGuide insider. Get the latest from the automotive world first by subscribing to our newsletter here.


  • Stupendously quick
  • Luxurious digs
  • SUV-rivalling storage space


  • It's how much?
  • Wheel-mounted controls are fiddly
  • Merc is pressing the pause button on 63s for 2022
Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

More by Kyle Patrick

Join the conversation