By on July 21, 2010


From the surface, the C63 looks like it has the goods to compete with the big boys in the Euro performance club. Boy racer styling? Check. Monstrous V8? Check. Ginormous tyres? Check. Manual transmission? Not so much. Also not along for the party is a coupe or convertible version of the C63. Mercedes’ decision to make the C63 auto-only is perplexing enough, but the fact that they also decided to ignore the rest of the M3 portfolio is truly baffling. Consider the competition: the M3 coupe and convertible [combined] outsell the M3 sedan almost five to one. This halfhearted approach to a hotly contested and prestige-generating segment truly defines the experience with the C63: you constantly feel like this could have been a great car.

When reviewing a car I often find it useful to read other reviews on the same car, usually to see what likes and dislikes other reviewers had, and then see if those same issues bother me at all. When the C63 AMG was dropped off on my doorstep, I have to admit I was giddy, not just because it looks like a mini-me version of the E63 that I routinely park next to, but because every review I have read waxes poetic about it being the answer to the M3.

Starting off inside, for a $66,500 (as equipped) car, the cheap plastics and lack of features are startling. The same options – or lack thereof – that greet you in a base C300 rear their heads in the C63. If you don’t opt for the $3,300 multimedia package, then you are stuck with a pointless microscopic screen tucked under a manually opening storage cubby. The screen shows a digital tuning dial for the radio and provides a display for the built-in Bluetooth, but it’s so small that you might as well dial on your phone. When you opt for the $375 iPod integration kit, the screen becomes an oddly placed paperweight since the iPod can only be controlled via the steering wheel.

This is good if you don’t like your passenger’s to decide what tunes to listen to, but bad if you would like to use the screen in the center of the speedo for something else like the AMG mode where you see oil and coolant temps and an alternate gear indicator. This feature is so counterintuitive that when reading reviews like Autoblog’s review of the C63, they never even worked out how to use the iPod interface and instead disconnected the iPod and manually changed songs and playlists! Our press car didn’t come with the uplevel sound system or keyless drive, a feature found on Kias these days. Electronic shocks aren’t even an option.

I drove the C63 for two days, then re-read a number of reviews on the car. I figured there must be something wrong: they must have been driving a different car. The front seats in the C63 are epically uncomfortable yet no other review mentions this; they were apparently designed for someone less than 5’10” tall and less than 8” from shoulder to shoulder. I had no less than 15 random people try the seats, nobody found them pleasant to sit in. Six feet tall and with an average build, I was incapable of finding a comfortable seating position because the upper portion of the seat is so severely bolstered that the only way my upper back could touch the seat is if I hunched forward and curled my shoulders. Otherwise it felt like I was being groped by the side bolsters, and not in a good way. Sadly Mercedes offers no alternative seats. The front seats alone are reason to avoid the C63. Don’t get me wrong, I love side bolsters, but they need to be adjustable or sized for 85% of the populace.

The C63 is a deeply conflicted car; it has the engine of a world-class sports car and an exhaust note that makes teenagers cream their shorts, yet it possesses the most dimwitted automatic I have ever experienced in a sports sedan. The C63 doesn’t get the E63’s new automatic-with-a-clutch. Instead it gets Mercedes’ “Speedshift Plus” 7-speed automatic. The name suggests that this transmission shifts quickly. It doesn’t.

The C63 may very well be faster than the M3 in a straight line at a drag strip from a stop, but in reality when you are on the freeway next to one and compete for a freeway exit, the M3 is off the freeway and on the ramp before the C63 has even shifted. Speaking of those shifts, cars like the M3 or even the portly (in comparison) XFR will queue shifts: i.e. if you are in 6th and want 2nd hear, just flip the paddle four times and most performance cars will shift directly from 6th to 2nd blipping the throttle only once in the process. The AMG will not. You have to flip the paddle once, it blips, the transmission engages 5th, once in 5th you flip the paddle again, it blips again and engages 4th rinse and repeat for gears 3 and 2.

By the time you get to 2nd gear, you have run over the bicyclist in front of you, careened over the cliff or forgotten why you wanted 2nd gear in the first place. When I asked about this annoyance, I was told that all you have to do is hold down the down paddle and “the transmission will shift to the lowest gear available.” Sounds good, right? Wrong. The transmission still blips and shifts sequentially all the way down from 7th to 2nd (that’s five blips, five gear changes) making you sound like some knob that can’t drive a stick, plus you can never summon 1st gear in that fashion, that is always one more paddle pull away.

What makes the transmission all the more infuriating is how the car handles. There is zero drama at speed. The electronic nanny reels in the fun at all the right moments and, should you tell the nanny to pack it in for the day, you can burn out and do doughnuts to your heart’s content. This car is fast, seriously fast. The forums are alight with complaints that Merc didn’t keep the 518HP tune from the E63 in the C63, but it doesn’t really matter because there isn’t enough grip to use all that power from a stop anyway. My best accelerometer tested 0-60 time was 4.8 seconds, and that was (by necessity) easing up on the throttle around 3500-4500RPM to keep from burning out in first gear.

At the end of the day, the M3 remains the better car. The BMW’s ride is more compliant, thanks to electronic shocks. Its dual clutch transmission is neck-breakingly fast. And, perhaps most significantly, its interior parts quality is light-years ahead.Every person who got into the C63 was surprised that they were not surrounded by luxury. If Mercedes ditched the M3 wannabe seats, spent some cash making the interior a better place, and softened the suspension a hair, it might just be the perfect compact Euro sports sedan. Until then it’s playing third fiddle to the RS4 [a car that is no longer even sold new] and M3.

Mercedes-Benz provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

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52 Comments on “Review: 2010 Mercedes C63 AMG...”


  • avatar

    These seats might work for me, as I’m 5-9 and haven’t been bulking up at the gym or buffet line.

    I have an IS-F next week. Might have to swing by the MB dealer to see how the C63 compares for me.

    Reliability has been a big question for Mercedes in recent decades. But the current C-Class has been faring well in TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey.

    http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability.php

  • avatar
    william442

    The seats in my 1999 C43 have multiple adjustments ,and are very comfortable for me, even on the drive from Virginia to Tampa. I guess it has a radio, but who needs it.
    It bested both of our S Audis , one chipped, one not, on the local drag strip.
    It does upset the cat, who can yowl all the way to Savannah, or until he wears out.
    When you live with one of these as long as I have, we will talk again .Thanks for the very complete article.

  • avatar
    william442

    Addendum: Sorry, but I must add: It is not my big block 442, but it is very close.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    In fairness, Alex, I did mention the seats in my review of this car back in 2008:

    A mere three grand buys you hyper-bolstered sport seats, completely unsuitable for anyone who’s ever eaten a deep fried mozzarella stick.

    And you’re right. I do know someone who decided not to buy this car purely on the basis of the narrow seats.

  • avatar

    The bolsters are adjustable. Is the problem that only the lower side bolsters are adjustable, while those on the upper seatback are fixed and narrowly spaced?

  • avatar
    Steve C.

    Those seats actually sound great for me… but then again, I’m only 5’6″

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    We recently had someone trade in one of the new C class cars (not an AMG) and I was amazed at how cheap the interior was. The next reviewer who wants to badmouth a MKZ for a supposed lack of interior plishness needs to sit in a new C class first to get some perspective.

    The AMG cars haven’t really been true BMW competitors for years. BMW is all about handling, balance, steering, and a genuine feeling of sportiness to go with the insane speed of the M cars. Mercedes seems content to build autobahn bruisers with huge engines that can take a curve or two, but won’t thrill you in the right way when you do it at speed.

    I don’t have a problem with big softly sprung sedans with powerful engines, but is that is what MB is going to do, they need to go that way whole hog – an automatic with effortless and undetectable shifts, a much more plush interior, and a nicer ride. You will miss every shot if you are aiming at a different target with each eye.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Thanks for the honesty Alex.

    There really appears to have been very little engineering love for any of the C class models at MB. I was a passenger in a C300 some weeks back and was surprised at how low rent the interior was. As for the seats – it’s inexcusable for any driver oriented car to have such poor ergonomics.

  • avatar
    bp527

    Good review… I’m curious how you think the C63 stacks up against the CTS-V sedan, with regard to the interior quality and real-world driving experience that you described. You made it perfectly clear that the C63 is inferior to the M3 and even mentioned the XF-R in passing, so would you choose the C63 over a CTS-V?

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    That center stack looks about 10 years old in design and something you’d expect in a mid-size rental. And 65K? Oh well, PT Burnum is once again shown to be a prophet.

    But people will still buy it for the badge on the front.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      It’s not that low rent, but in design, materials, and quality it isn’t appreciably better than what you’d find in a mid-to-high $20k VW like the GTI or CC.

  • avatar

    The non AMG C classe cars always reminded me of small detroit cars of the 80′s The Company that makes the E classe and the S Classe could clearly do better, and the small car is built to remind you you didn’t buy the bigger car.

    Anyone who cross shops a 3 series (and I mean the average buyer (badge buyer), not the hotshoe) will come away with the 3 being a better car in both average “luxury” trim and “sport packages”.

    It’s almost like MB does not want to take on BMW, and is content to build a car aimed at ‘non drivers’. MB is also no longer built like a bank vault so you can’t justify with “it lasts 17 years”.

    AMG is designed to compete in the left lanes of the Autobahn, so the big honking motor and the special nose clip (for over taking authority) are all it really needs. Most autobahns don’t have tight curves.

  • avatar
    Wagen

    What’s with the most prominent gauge in the 3-can instrument panel being the speedometer? Doesn’t AMG know that any car that has any pretense of sporting ambition would either have equally-sized tachometer and speedometer or make the more prominent gauge the tachometer (a la Porsche)? Oh, wait, a tach would be almost useless in this car because it’s only available with a slushbox. Come on, M-B, don’t just up the power of the engine and call it a sports car. Now that you’ve divested yourself of Chrysler, you can do way better than that.

  • avatar

    I never felt “bad” about Mercedes Interiors till I got in an Infiniti M37. http://www.epinions.com/content_510359473796

    Made me wonder, how is it the M showed almost no plastic inside at all, but the Benz shows so much of it. If i had the choice between these two cars, I’d take the M37 over the C63AMG anyday.

    In fact, I think the CTS-V blows away the C63. The CTSV is less expensive and seems to offer so much more in terms of fun. the centerstack in the CTSV looks like a silly Vertu phone, but it still feels like the better choice. http://www.epinions.com/content_515761540740

    The M37 has a V6 that blows away every V6 I’ve ever seen. In fact, I a-l-m-o-s-t enjoyed driving the M37 over my own S550. The only problem I had with the M37 was the styling. Its a pretty car, but it just isn’t “me”.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob6879

      Not trying to flame here, but I think we can all agree that Infinitis are dorky robot-mobiles built expressly for dorks. Don’t care if they’re faster per dollar, have more toys, etc. They’re just deeply, intrinsically uncool.

    • 0 avatar
      Selektaa

      @jimbob

      I think we can all agree you shouldn’t be speaking for everyone. I’ll take a G37 coupe to go, please.

  • avatar
    threeer

    While not the C63, I tested the C300, and then went across the street to look at the A4. Sure, the A4 “only” had the turbo-4, but I came away with a real smile after a round in the A4. The C300, not so much. Sad, really…the exterior looks aggressive on the C. I’ll be testing a G37 (actually a coupe) in the next few days to see where it falls in regards to the two Germans. And at one point, I really thought that I’d work to spring a new C-class for my mother as her “last” car, but I don’t think I’d be able to do that with a clear conscious, knowing there are better out there than the baby Benz…

  • avatar
    william442

    For CARGUY: Muscle cars were always more fun, and more usable than sports cars.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Junky interior, crappy seats, hilariously oversized engine?

    Sounds like a Corvette.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    I too sat in the car and couldn’t fit in my back in the seat. I too thought that there must have been a way to adjust the seat, that illusion is gone now and with it my lust for the car. As far as the interior goes spot on again. The plastic Merc uses on its front under the windshield is really pathetic. But even the E series uses the same plastics.

    However despite all this the C is selling like crazy around here in Toronto. They are everywhere driven by young and not so young, black white and brown, women, men, teenagers you name it. It tells me that MB nameplate still carries a lot of cache. And to be fair the car does look pretty good from just about any angle plus the prices dropped somewhat in the last 2 years. C63 is actually a lot cheaper than the M3 lack of equipment and all.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The C250 and C300 aren’t really that bad a value. They’re not great, but what you get is more or less appropriate for the price and market (and nicer than the 323i). They ride and drive well enough, though they’re a little slow, and the trim is nice enough, though not plush. I happen to like the austere look, though.

    The C350 pushes that price/sanity boundary; I don’t think I’d shell for the extra money. If the C63 doesn’t improve upon it, I can see the problem.

    I got some seat time in the C250 recently. It wasn’t fast, but the seats were comfortable and the ride very good. It felt like the kind of car I would blow through a several hundred miles per day with and not hate myself for it at the end. It was a good size, too: small enough to maneuver and place.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Alex,

    just flip the paddle four times and most performance cars will shift directly from 6th to 2nd blipping the throttle only once in the process. The AMG will not. You have to flip the paddle once, it blips, the transmission engages 5th, once in 5th you flip the paddle again, it blips again and engages 4th rinse and repeat for gears 3 and 2.

    What happens when you just put your foot down on the gas pedal in “D”?

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      In D the shifts are lethargic, in S they are a hair faster. All-in-all, quite honestly my 2000 Jaguar XJ8 which has zero sporting pretence what-so-ever shifts faster for passing on the freeway in “Drive.”

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I realize much of that sticker price is the excellent hand-built AMG engine, but the idea that you don’t even get satnav or a halfway-intuitive ipod connector included with a $66K+ car is absolutely baffling. Plus that center stack reminded me of a previous-gen Opel/Saturn Astra’s.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Remember that this is a German car. Germans only gave us standard CD players around 2005, when they finally dumped the cassette deck. They’re probably still waiting to see if this iPod thing will blow over.

    • 0 avatar
      Wagen

      +1 psar

      I actually like the European way of buying a car “model” by engine size, then adding options as one-by-one as possible to customize it to one’s desires. Contrast Hondacura. Too bad the European manufacturers bundle options exclusively into “packages” when they ship their cars across the pond.

      I think it goes along with the German idea that the car is for driving – typically long distances at high speeds; it is not for being entertained with audio/video, not for drinking (cup holders), not for being coddled.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      And the CD player was mounted in glove compartment (really handy for safe use)…it looked really well integrated into the design. And it cost $2k.
      Many auto makers seem to be very stingy with the LCD displays…tiny…antiquated graphics. I think it’s because the electronics product cycles change at a much faster rate than auto product cycles.

    • 0 avatar
      Davekaybsc

      There’s actually been a remarkable swap in the last decade in terms of who is leading in technology in the US market. Acura and Lexus used to be the leaders, first with NAV, first with DVD based systems, Lexus lead the push for truly high-end factory sound systems with Mark Levinson, etc. At the time the Germans were a joke, with tiny, low res in-dash screens and NAV systems that in BMW’s case lost you the CD player, and required swapping CDs for different regions long after everybody else had moved to DVD.

      Now things have changed. BMW and Audi are the tech leaders, and the mainstream Japanese brands are still peddling ugly looking last gen systems that still require DVDs rather than a hard drive. Acura’s iDrive knock off looks hideous and is outdated. Some Lexus models still included cassette decks as recently as LAST YEAR!

      The most technologically advanced luxury car on the market? Audi A8. Yep, it’s German. The Lexus LS460 is using a system Lexus has had since around 2004.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Speaking strictly of in car nav/phone/infotainment the lead isn’t in German hands, it’s in American. Lincoln vehicles with Sync, voice activated nav, and MyLincoln Touch (awful name, great piece of kit) have hands down the most full featured, easiest to use, and most intuitive in car electronics on the market.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @Wagen, a big reason why the Germans don’t offer the huge variety of colours and options here that the Europeans can get is that the North American buyers tend to want immediate gratification (ie buy a car off the lot) whereas European buyers are much more likely to want to get exactly the right car (ie place a factory order). If the dealers ae to sell out of inventory, it’s much easier with a smaller number of colour and package combinations.

      Me, I’ve factory-ordered three of my last four new cars … and should have done the same for the fourth!

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      @th009–

      But GM, Ford, and Chrysler offered an insane number of exterior and interior colors before the Germans took over the luxury market.

      Now, it’s just silver, silvery-grey, black, and maybe the random red or blue when it comes to exterior colors on cars of all origins. With interior colors, it’s even worse: you have your choice of grey, black, and tan.

  • avatar
    WEGIV

    Ok, appears that today I’ll be playing the part of TTAC’s copy editor…
    “This is good if you don’t like your passenger’s to decide”
    ‘s = possessive form. s=plural.

    “if you are in 6th and want 2nd hear”
    hear = to perceive sound
    here = the author’s current location
    Nevermind that it’s a strangely constructed sentence…

  • avatar
    ajla

    You guys are all crazy. This and the GT500 are my favorite new cars going right now.

    I would take one in a second and engrave Ezikiel 25:17 on the engine cover.
    ______
    I love the M156. It is absolutely worth every dime they are charging for it. I’m really disappointed that the reviewer only saw fit to devote one sentence to it.

    Heck, if it were legal, I would get married to that motor.

    The C63 could have the Camaro LS’s interior with seats out of Dodge Journey, and I’d still lust after it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    That center console is pretty sad. A mid 90s Infiniti with an aftermarket double DIN touchscreen navi unit has a better one.

    I am surprised the reviewer hated the car so much though. The only thing I remembered from my first drive of an SL55 is the fury of that V8

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The SL55 doesn’t have a distractingly bad interior, nor uncomfortable seats. Plus, any roadster is automatically more fun than a sedan, the wind in your hair and open air plays tricks on you, even a Sebring convertible is halfway enjoyable to drive with the top down.

  • avatar
    ScottA

    The review was kind of disappointing considering how good looking this car is. Of course, lack of a manual disqualifys it for me anyways. Eh. Not like I can afford it anyways.

  • avatar
    crush157

    For that much coin there is a ’05 CL65 AMG in Chicago with an ?ok? history and 44k mi for $46K. Makes this C63 look like a paper weight and much better handling. Oh, and the seats are infinitely adjustable in the CL…and real wood and leather….

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Alex Dykes:
    AMG has been “auto only” for many years.
    They don´t sell C63 AMG coupe and a convertible because they don´t have any C-class coupe or convertible.
    (Well they have an ancient hatchback car that they call a coupe in Europe namely the CLC)
    Maybe they think that the SLK fits that niche.
    The interior doesn´t look cheap but a bit simple.
    AMGs are a bit different from BMW M cars.
    AMGs are supposed to be relaxing to blast down the autobahn at 200+ km/h.
    The BMWs are the more sporty cars, with a sensitive/nervous steering among other things.

    I have a feeling that if this car had a Ford badge, you Ford fan boys would all be lyrical.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    Buckshot,

    I realise that the AMG is not sold as a coupé and convertible because there are no such derivatives of the C class, but that is part of the problem with the C63. The big problem is: it is not a relaxing car to blast down the autobahn at 200+ km/h. The suspension is far too stiff, the seats are far too uncomfortable and trust me when you sit inside a C63 and compare it to other $66,000 vehicles, the interior feels cheap. Here is the rub: The M3 is by far the more comfortable car, it is also the smoother, quieter car, it has a better quality interior, softer ride, it has more electronic gadgets, it has more luxury features and at speed it feels more solid than the C63. Mercedes’ biggest problem is that the M3 is no longer what you would expect from BMW, instead it is *exactly* what I used to expect from Mercedes.

    By Mercedes trying to compete head on with the M3, they ruined the opportunity to create what you describe: a fast luxurious small car that is a joy to drive fast on the autobahn. If they had done that, all would be well in the world, and I would take one over an M3.

    Back to the form factor: Since there were no coupés and convertibles to use, they should have just ditched the attempt to make a “Mercedes M3″ and just made a fast Mercedes.

  • avatar
    Lexingtonian

    I’m still stunned that keyless drive isn’t a standard option on the big-badge luxury cars. After living with it for three years on my G35 (which, like all Infinitis, keyless drive is standard on), it makes any car, regardless of marque, seem unluxurious to not have.

    It may be a minor feature, but it’s something you really get used to…

  • avatar
    Geeky1

    So… I take it you weren’t very impressed then, Alex?

    Personally, while I can see the validity in a lot of your complaints, none of the issues you bring up bother me (and I have been looking at C63s) terribly, if at all. This not an M3, and it is not a car that I-or, I believe, the majority of buyers-would cross-shop with an M3. The performance on paper is similar and they’re obviously intended as competitors, but the personality of the cars is so radically different that anyone who likes the C63 is probably unlikely to be enthralled with the M3, and vice/versa.

    Take myself, for example. The M3 is a fine car, it just doesn’t appeal to me in the least. I don’t especially care for the styling, the sound of the BMW’s V8 does little for me, and while it’s not far off the C63 in horsepower, in the number that matters far more to me-torque-the BMW is severely lacking. I wouldn’t cross-shop the Audi either, mainly because I have enough experience servicing German cars to know better than to buy an Audi anything. In fact, the only car that I would (and have) cross-shopped with the C63 is the CTS-V. It’s larger, but it costs about the same and it is by far and away the best American car I’ve ever driven.

    I suspect that most people buying the C63-or the M3-are in the same boat. They appeal to different people with completely different tastes and criteria for judging a car. To each their own, as the saying goes.

  • avatar
    Alwaysinthecar

    Stereotyping usually comes from people who have never owned any of the brands they are describing (and long term ownership is a lot different than a test drive or knowing a distant cousin who has one.) While it’s common to stereotype, it’s also unfortunate. It keeps people from buying something that may actually work for them, but instead they stay away (and sometimes in fear of being labeled.)

    Why always complain about no manual tranny when everyone knows MBs don’t have them anymore? Whether or not the C63 fits into one’s world of what a car should be, is kind of irrelevant. They fit into someone’s world, although it might not be yours. Does that make them crap? Can’t fit in the seats? Does that mean no one can? I guess it’s amazing that they even sold any C63s. No, wait, all owners are just badge whores. Hey, I can’t fit easily into a Lotus, but they are pretty decent cars for what they are.

    No, I don’t own a C63 but I do own a W211 E63. And also a 997 and a BMW E39 (which is my grocery getter beater car now.) None of which I bought for the badge (which is something that one can stereotype with any car brand.) For car enthusiasts the badge is totally unimportant, it’s always the driving dynamics and which style of car fits one’s needs at any given moment.

    For me personally, the E63 is the most comfortable cruising car I’ve owned in quite sometime. It’s fast, handles quite well for a large, heavy and safe sedan (and is a much more comfortable ride for me than the 5 series; I once also owned a 550i.) For what it is supposed to be, it does pretty well. But it will not work for everybody, particularly if the only car in one’s world is a M3 or equivalent.

    I’ve found that those who stereotype about AMG handling haven’t owned one and driven it somewhere where they can really push it near its limits. The car handles much better than people understand. Because most people just read into the stereotypes instead. Anyway, the trademark of the E and S Class has always been to provide a comfortable ride along with good handling. Because they don’t handle like a Cayman doesn’t mean they’re crap. MBs are MBs. They have their own characteristics and their own specific dynamics. Hopefully all cars do, too. Who really wants a world of only M3s.

    And who says that Daimler is truly trying to compete the C63 with the M3? Did they specifically say that? I haven’t seen any ads placing the M3 next to the C63. Maybe they’re just sticking a 6.2 into a slightly tuned C Class and letting it go at that. Oh, and of course it’ll be detuned from the more expensive E Class with the 6.2. Maybe the C should have the same tuned 6.2 as the SLS. Does anyone think M5 owners want the M5 motor in the M3, too? And no, the forums are not alight with complaints. All it takes is an aftermarket tune and a few bolt ons.

    The only car that AMG has made from the ground up since being 100% owned by Daimler is the SLS. Let’s give Affalterbach some time. Now that they are the official performance division of Daimler, they have enough resources to produce some interesting products instead of tuning (and super charging) existing MB motors and simply popping then into an existing MB chassis. The AMG built 6.2 has won performance engine of the year twice, and the new 5.5TT is now here. Motors have been one of MBs fortes and yet the motor was barely mentioned in this review(?) In addition they have designed a new DCT, while putting the SL’s MCT into the E63.

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    Having both a MB and a BMW (non-M/AMGs), I believe the car companies aim at different markets. Even though both are prestigious / status cars, they drive differently across the board. I don’t think MB will make a M killer b/c that’s not really in their DNA (luxury over sport in the ride at least)

    The C-class has a lackluster interior but so both the 3 IMO and these are the starting blocks for the M and AMGs.

  • avatar

    Alex,

    Great review.

    It basically hits the nail on the head.

    At the end of the day, it is still a C class. An entry level MB for wanna be’s.

    To bad MB does not devout as much time and resources on the class size as BMW or Audi.

    Now, the E63, that is something MB can be proud of and so can its owners.

  • avatar
    Bunk Moreland

    This car does absolutely nothing for me. Mercedes has, on paper, very impressive vehicles. In life, they’re uninspired odes to equally unimaginative capitalists.

  • avatar
    gonflyn

    Ya know, I’ve been pretty happy over the last few years with a BMW 335 and most recently a 135, but I’m a greedy bastard, and one who believes that if a lot of horsepower is good, then a sheisse load is even better. That nagging little demon in the back of my head is always saying that 0-60 in five seconds or so is all fine and dandy for mere mortals, but doesnt a guy like me deserve to do it in four and half? Hmmm, you know, maybe it is time to move up to the next echelon of performance, yeah……………

    Naturally, the M3 is the logical choice for someone like me whos been chugging the Kool Aid from Munich for a while now, but I’m pretty open minded really, and the juice from MB in the form of the C63 is lookin’ pretty tasty too.

    After reading about the baby AMG for some time, I stumbled upon one at a Porchse dealer while looking at a Cayman S of all things.
    What the heck. Might as well drive it. While I’m here, you understand.

    Good god. The things like the Josef Mengele of motorcars, a squirming pyschopath in impeccable clothing. Err, no, what did Jeremy Clarkson say of it? Oh Yeah. Its an axe murderer with headlights. In fact, I’m pretty sure it had a button right there on the dash that actually said that……….Look – right there. Axe Murderer Mode.

    I found my driving becoming decidedly antisocial withing minutes of turning the key, weaving in and out of traffic and pinning my self to the seat with every glimpse of an open lane. All the while cackling manically to myself and muttering incoherently, doing little to reassure my fellow motorists that I in fact was not an axe murderer accomplice, but merely a mild mannered car enthusiast being held against my will and momentarily O’deeing on torque. Hmmm, maybe this more power things not such a good idea. Wait a minute. Yes it is.

    Interior – I dont care. Bolsters on the seats that rub up against the windshield – Bring it. Gas mileage that would make BP oil exec blush – well, ok then. Its a seriously fun car. The exhaust note alone would induce me to treat myself to speeding tickets weekly, say “thank you officer”, and mean it. It’s Germanys answer to the muscle car, only with respectable quality and handling. Not quite M3 handling, but pretty decent thank you very much.

    I’d buy one of these in a heartbeat, but sanity will most likely prevail and I can see ending up with an M3 – it really is the better allaround car. But having said that, I have the sneaking suspicion that all it would take is a bad day at work and I might do something………………rash.

  • avatar
    thomm9326

    Old thread, but still wanted to provide an alternate view for anyone considering purchase of a C63 and reading this review.

    Of course, the C63 comes in different flavors now, so the point regarding the lack of a coupe version is moot. I also want to add that a few years (from orginal review date) has shed some additional light on the relevance of this car. Now, it is the only model that one can still get the same (mostly) engine as in the SLS. One ECU tune later and the stock 451hp engine (non development package) is pushing 480 and headers and a stage 2 tune and it makes 510hp and 508tq (crank). That is seriouly stout (yes I have dyno sheets).

    This engine is just awesome, imo, and if muscle cars are your thing, then this is hard to beat. Regarding refinement: The quality is not up to Audi and BMW standards, but it is close. Get the extented leather package and get closer still. Get the multimedia package; it is the only reasonable way to outfit the car. Are these expensive? Yes. If that is a problem, you are looking at the wrong car.

    Seats: I am 6’3″ and 215. The seat suit me very well and are the best (including a aftermarket race seat in my old Evo) for track days that I have ever used. The adjustment on the side are critical for fine tuning the fit, however.

    The ride: I like it firm, so much so, that I installed stiffer springs after a year of ownership. This car makes sense at higher speeds. At low speed/rough roads, it will beat you up. If you don’t like that, again, this is not your car. I have driven M3′s; they strike a better handling/comfort balance. The C63 is not that car.

    Tranny: It took a while, but I have grown to like it. It takes knowing what it will/won’t do and living with it. Does it shift as fast as the DCT in the M3, no. Does it shift as fast as my Father’s XK-R, no. It will bang off the rev limiter and and fire off up/down shifts faster than a manual, however, so it gets down to preference.

    In the end, there is no other engine sold today that does what this one does. You either like that or you don’t. I drove the M3, walked next door to the MB dealer and drove the C63. Two years later, I still get excited everytime I get to head out in the Merc. The platform is solid and easy to throw around, though rear tires get expensive. I have had a blast at the track, amazed the other drivers in their Lotus, Vipers, gutted M3′s driven it home, washed it and taken the family out for dinner. Hard to beat if you ask me.


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