Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
It falls not to us to say whether the world needs a 603bhp saloon or estate car, or whether buying one is a sensible thing to do. But we will say one thing: that running one won't come cheap. The E63 S saloon's cash price eclipses that of the entry-level M5, and mirrors the M5 Competition. Meanwhile, the E63 S estate is quite a bit more expensive to buy outright than the entry-level Audi RS6 Avant, although the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is way more expensive than all of them.
If you're buying on finance, PCP costs are relatively high because the E63 will tend to lose a greater percentage of its value after three years than its rivals, such as, for example, the RS6.
Thanks to cylinder shutdown, which means the V8 engine can run on four cylinders when cruising to save fuel, you should be able to get near to the official claimed economy figure of 23.7mpg (WLTP combined for the saloon). We managed 20.9mpg on a mix of roads with the estate. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is the only rival that will get substantially better figures, but only if you keep its battery topped up.
The Panamera will also work out better if you're thinking of running one of these as a company car, because the E63 sits in the top bracket for company car tax.
To help justify it's the weightier list price, the E63 S does come very well equipped. We've already mentioned the infotainment features and electric seat adjustment, and added to those are 20in alloy wheels, unique AMG bumpers and side skirts, a limited-slip differential, heated front seats, nappa leather trim, climate control, privacy glass, adaptive cruise control, power-folding door mirrors, a sports exhaust, powered tailgate and multi-coloured interior ambient lighting. That's way more kit than you get as standard on the entry-level RS6.
Euro NCAP awarded the E-Class its top five-star crash-test rating, with a particularly high score for adult occupancy protection. And it should prevent you having a crash thanks to standard active safety kit such as automatic emergency city braking, blind spot warning and traffic sign recognition.
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