The interior layout, fit and finish
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S comes with an electrically adjustable steering column and racy semi-bucket front seats with integrated head restraints, which are also fully electric, so nobody should have an issue with finding a suitable posture. They're quite hard, though, so expect a little bit of back stiffness on long journeys.
The driving position isn’t the best in the class with the pedals, wheel and seat not lining up particularly well, an issue exacerbated by the grippy seats. You’ll also find that the transmission tunnel bulges sideways and impinges on space for your left leg, although these contortions don’t cause too much discomfort. Even so, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (QV), Audi RS4 Avant and BMW M3 are all better in this respect.
Forward visibility is fine, but it’s trickier to see out of the back of the coupé, convertible and, to a lesser extent, saloon because of their thick roof pillars. The estate, by comparison, is fine. Either way, fear not, because all-round parking sensors and a rear-view camera are standard, as is a 360deg camera on the coupe and convertible (it’s an option on other models). All models come with adaptive LED headlights that are not only bright but can also shape their light spread to remain on main beam without dazzling oncoming traffic.
All C63 S models get the C-Class’s top-spec COMAND Online infotainment system and sat-nav. This comes with a 10.3in screen, and rotary and touchpad controls. The graphics look great but the system can be tricky to use due to menus that aren’t always obvious. The combination of the rotary selector dial, touch-sensitive centre pad with sensors on the steering wheel, plus the touchscreen can become confusing – when you’re concentrating on the touchscreen it’s all too easy to interrupt your inputs by accidentally stroking the steering wheel pad. Ultimately, it’s less intuitive and slower to respond than the Audi and BMW systems.
The rest of the C63 S’s controls are well laid out and come with a configurable 12.3in digital driver’s display as standard in place of conventional analogue dials. This allows you to alter the display style and show maps, media and various other information in the instrument cluster where they’re easy to see. You can even select a simplified layout with a big rev counter and gear shift lights – although this is a little redundant in the coupé because you get a head-up display as standard that places key information in your line of sight.
There’s a real flamboyance to the C63 S's interior and a plush mix of soft Nappa leather, brushed metal and gloss-black plastic surfaces. Optional upgrades range from a carbon fibre or wood finish centre console with analogue clock, right through to coloured seatbelts. It has a much more premium finish than the Giulia QV but in places doesn’t match the solid build of the BMW M3 or Audi RS4 Avant.
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