Pros: Supercar-like performance with four doors; all-wheel drive adds minimal weight and dramatically improves acceleration; imaginative styling upgrades more closely echo the E63 model's capabilities than the previous design
Cons: Elevated engine output and all-wheel drive make it harder to enjoy driving at lower speeds; no option for rear-wheel drive only; despite upgrades, the interior still feels a bit stern
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is a well-established player in the high performance sedan game, and the already speedy 4-door receives even more power with this mid-cycle refresh. It gains 32 horsepower and 15 lb-ft of torque - or 59 hp and 74 lb-ft with a new S model, which replaces the previous model year's Performance Pack option. To manage that considerable engine output, AMG has installed all-wheel drive in the notoriously tail-happy sedan, making this the first 4-wheel-drive 4-door in AMG history.
The E63 model's new styling cues take the standard E-Class model's appearance - which is now available with two faces, Luxury and Sport - and beefs up the latter's look with more aggressive details and standard all-LED headlights. The interior's material quality and layout has been upgraded. Mechanical improvements include torque vectoring braking in Sport Handling and more responsive suspension calibration. The E63 also inherits safety and collision-avoidance technology from the upcoming S-Class.
Comfort & Utility
You'll find a decent list of standard items on the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, such as keyless start, a rearview camera, a power sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and a 5+1 surround sound stereo system. Standalone options include a self-parking Parktronic system ($970), a panorama sunroof ($1, 090) and a premium leather upgrade ($1, 310).
Though the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG boasts plenty of go-fast technology under the hood, its 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is surprisingly simple and adds only 154 pounds of weight - good news for performance enthusiasts. The safety items outlined below represent the most cutting-edge aspects of the E63 model's technological offerings, while unique standalone options include Night View Assist Plus ($1, 780), which offers the superhero-like ability to see in the dark.
Performance & Fuel Economy
While the E63 model's performance is more outrageous than ever, with up to 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque churning from its twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8, what differentiates this 4-door from its high-hp counterparts is the incorporation of all-wheel drive. The 4Matic system diverts a fixed 67 percent of power to the rear wheels, though more can be transferred when traction is reduced at the front wheels. The more powerful S model adds a limited slip rear differential, which helps that model achieve an impressive 0-to-60 miles per hour time of only 3.5 seconds - a half-second improvement over its rear-wheel-drive predecessor. The S version also lifts top speed from 155 mph to 186 mph.
Official fuel economy figures have yet to be announced, but Mercedes claims that their latest E63 is the most efficient offering in its segment, thanks to features such as smart engine tuning and auto stop/start.
The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG inherits 11 new or optimized safety systems from the upcoming top dog S-Class model, though not every safety item comes standard. For instance, rear side airbags cost an additional $420, a lane tracking assist package runs $850 and active blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assist is bundled with adaptive cruise control for $2, 950.