Used test – super saloons: BMW M5 vs Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

These super saloons offer luxury, practicality, and immense performance – plus they're surprisingly affordable as used buys. But which is best?...

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Alex Robbins
28 May 2016 06:00 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Our Verdict

There’s no real loser in this test. Each of these cars is superb in its own way, and we doubt you’ll feel dissatisfied whichever you choose.

The BMW M5 is the one to go for if you want the best all-rounder, or if you plan to do lots of motorway cruising. It’s the more technologically advanced car; as well as delivering more acceleration and cornering grip, it’s also remarkably quiet and comfortable.

Of course, you’ll have to pay extra for that fulsome ability. What’s more, the M5 feels rather clinical in this company; get to know it well, and it will give up its rewards, but that requires dedication and even then, thanks to its numb steering, it’s still the less engaging of the two cars.

Which is one reason we’d probably take the Mercedes E63 AMG instead. The other is its lower price. The Merc does have its flaws, of course – it isn’t as comfortable as the BMW, and its interior is a smidge less classy. But ultimately, not only is it the cheaper car to buy, but with that steering and its hairy-chested engine note, it’s the best fun, too.

It’s a victory, however, by the narrowest of margins – and if you’d rather trade outright thrills for comfort and finesse, you might find the BMW is more your cup of tea.

Read our review of the all-new BMW M5

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1st – Mercedes E63 AMG

Used test – super saloons: BMW M5 vs Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

For Seriously quick; sharp steering; sonorous engine price; lower price

Against Firm ride; sluggish infotainment; pricey servicing

Verdict Not the best all-rounder, but the most fun, and at a tempting price

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full used Mercedes-Benz E-Class review

Find a used Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG for sale in the What Car? Classifieds


2nd – BMW M5

Used test – super saloons: BMW M5 vs Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

For Savage pace; stupendous grip; supple ride; classy interior

Against Numb steering; plain soundtrack; higher price; feels heavy

Verdict Second place, but certainly not second rate.

Rated X out of 5

Read the full used BMW 5 Series review

Find a used BMW M5 for sale in the What Car? Classifieds


Also consider:


Specifications: Mercedes E63 AMG

Engine size 5.5-litre petrol

List price when new £81,390

Price today £27,000

Power 550bhp

Torque 590lb ft

0-60mph 4.8sec

Top speed 155mph

Fuel economy 28.8mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 230g/km


Specifications: BMW M5

Engine size 4.4-litre petrol

List price when new £73,040

Price today £29,000

Power 553bhp

Torque 502lb ft

0-60mph 4.2sec

Top speed 155mph

Fuel economy 28.5mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 232g/km

Price today is based on a 2012 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

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