Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Clearly, with a 4.0-litre petrol V8 and two turbochargers, there are cheaper cars to run than tha Mercedes-AMG C63 S. Yet for the performance it offers, it has reasonable emissions and fuel consumption. On our mixed test route, a C63 S saloon returned a respectable 25.5mpg – better than the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV’s figure of 23.7mpg and just fractionally behind the BMW M4’s figure of 26.6mpg.
Compared to the Alfa and Audi RS4 Avant, the C63 S saloon looks a little expensive, but bear in mind that it undercuts the BMW M3 Competition and, like the M3, is the most potent version in its model range; although it is worth noting that the coupé attracts a hefty premium because it’s only available in range-topping Night Edition trim.
All C63 Ss have automatic emergency braking (AEB) to help in situations where quick thinking is needed. In addition, there’s a tyre pressure monitoring device to alert you early if you have a slow puncture and a system that can detect when you’re getting drowsy on a long journey. Opt for the Driving Assistance (standard on Night Edition trim) package and you also get adaptive cruise control, blindspot monitoring, active lane-keeping assistance and technology to adjust the car’s speed in advance of bends, roundabouts and junctions.
This all helped the standard C-Class score impressive marks in its Euro NCAP safety tests in 2014 ( the C63 S wasn't tested as a separate model). It was awarded the maximum five-star overall rating, although the result was under older, less stringent rules that make it impossible to directly compare it to newer rivals.
Mercedes didn’t do very well in the What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing 26th out of 31 manufacturers. The C-Class fared similarly poorly, ending up near the bottom of the executive car class. Audi, BMW and Alfa Romeo all proved more reliable.
An alarm and engine immobiliser are standard on all versions of the C63 S, while security experts Thatcham Research awarded the car five out of five for resisting theft and four out of five for resisting being broken into.