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Driven — 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon

The best wagon you'll own since your Radio Flyer.

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Story: Michael Crenshaw

Model Tested: AMG Performance Package

Rating: 6 out of 6

Wagons get a bad rap. Sure, they’ve sometimes—in the past and now—looked as if a blind dog designed the outside; some were soft and some have that flair to them. Some, however, are straight murderous, like the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon. Not only will this 186 mph wagon destroy almost anything in a straight line, it’ll also coddle your backside with massaging seats, or let you ask for directions, phone or any number of commands at the touch of a button. This E63 AMG wagon will have you rethinking whether you’re a wagoner or not.

Granted, this choice doesn’t come cheap, since the E63 bases at just over $91K; that said, don’t think this is a bare-bones boredom mobile. Not even close. With a hand-built twin-turbo V8 producing massive amounts of horsepower and torque, the motor—and the accompanying sound—would be well worth the price. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With a rearview camera, panoramic sunroof, adaptive sports suspension and Alcantara faux suede throughout, and with one of the best steering wheels (AMG specific) complementing the driving experience, it’s easy to see why this may be the best “bargain” new-school German muscle car.

If you were looking to spend some serious loot on something with a ton of space that can literally haul the family around, you’d be hard-pressed to find something comparable. Sure, the Porsche Panamera sounds nice, but if you’re looking to get into something that will compete with the E63 wagon, the base Panamera ain’t gonna cut it, and at $186K for the Turbo S, you could equip the AMG with aftermarket wheels and still have plenty of cash to spare for the price.

Where you’re really going to drop some serious dough is when you start making checks on the option list. With carbon ceramic brakes costing $12,625, 19-inch AMG wheels for $1,790, the AMG exterior carbon package going for $3,125 and the AMG Performance Package priced at a nice round $6,550, you’re looking at almost 40Gs in accessories on our tester

In the end, to wagon or not to wagon, that is the question—and the E63 AMG means the answer is a resounding yes.

Specs:

Damage: $128,355

Power: 550hp, 590 lb.-ft.

0-60: 3.8 secs.

Fuel Economy: 15 city, 23 hwy

Miles Driven: 830

Interior: All standard Mercedes fare: Leather everywhere and carbon accent trim keep it modern, with the most supple headrests in the automotive world. Seriously, now we understand why Mercedes has the drowsiness monitor—they’re almost too comfortable.

Exterior: Subtle inlets here, quad-quadrilateral exhaust tips out back—that spit the most sensational exhaust note this side of a ’60s muscle car—and a brawny masculine stance that makes no reservations about what this wagon can accomplish.

Floss Factor: The AMG Performance Package adds 32hp, bumps up the torque by 74 lb.-ft. and also raises the top speed to 186 mph. Good luck not getting speeding tickets!

Flaw Factor: If there was one quip (that was made by rear passengers, by the way), it was that the rear sunshades were manually operated and, at this price, definitely should be automatically adjustable.

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