By on March 22, 2013

Last spring, I sold my Porsche to buy a station wagon. Car guys understand this, because it’s outlined in our unspoken creed: eventually we all trade in our beloved sports cars for a practical family vehicle that can haul our kids and whatever expensive musical instruments they’ve decided to learn this week. But for me, the swap came early: at 23 years old, single and without children, I swapped my 911 Turbo for a mommy-mobile.

Most car guys understand this, too, when they hear about my mommy-mobile of choice: a 2007 Mercedes E63 AMG station wagon. At 507 horsepower and 465 pound-feet, it had more of each than the Ferrari F430 or Lamborghini Gallardo of its day. This compares rather favorably to the car my own mom had when I was growing up, which was a 1993 Isuzu Rodeo with a stick shift and no airbags.

The Rodeo had more power than nothing, except maybe one of those little scooters you rent in the Caribbean from a place that just finished washing off the blood stains from the last guy who rented it (“No helmet … sorry … is okay?”). But the Rodeo was capable of hauling children, provided you didn’t mind springing for expensive dental work should their heads hit the rather vertical dashboard.

In addition to no airbags, Mom’s Rodeo also didn’t have a third-row seat, which I’m proud to say the Mercedes did possess. In true Mercedes wagon style, it was located in the cargo area and faced backwards. Yes, this was automotive heaven: a 500-horsepower car with a rear-facing third row. I pictured pulling away from an Audi R8 while a tuba-playing eight-year-old boy waved goodbye from my third row. Not that I ever street race. Or carry around eight-year-old boys.

Still, there were some enthusiasts who didn’t get it. A few weeks before buying the wagon, I was at a party and met a self-described car guy who owned a Monaro-based Pontiac GTO. When I told him I was planning to swap my Porsche for a three-row station wagon, he gave me a disgusted look and walked away. This actually happened.

I didn’t mind. I had always been into strange cars, and the E63 AMG wagon is among the very strangest. In the wagon’s three years on the W211 chassis, the US got only 153 units – the same number of Camrys that Toyota sells in three hours. In other words, it was about as common as the Ferrari Enzo, which couldn’t haul anywhere near as many eight-year-old boys, or their tubas.

Finding one, then, was a challenge best described in another story. After months of searching, I eventually located mine in Indiana and drove it home to Atlanta. I owned it for eight months and around 9,000 miles, nearly all of which were spent with an ear-to-ear grin across my face.

Exterior

Generally speaking, I find the W211 E-Class wagon to be a handsome car in the same way that William H. Macy is a handsome man: not really at all, but you can sort of see it. The AMG version boosted its appeal with those enormous wheels, the rear diffuser and those little inlets on the front bumper that are the kind of thing I absolutely love, but my girlfriend would never notice unless she damaged them. Which is quite possible.

However, being a typical car enthusiast, I couldn’t help but notice a few flaws with mine. One was, quite obviously, the color. My wagon was painted a shade Mercedes called pewter, which I believe came from a focus group of 97-year-old men, 87-year-old women, and people who actually do find William H. Macy handsome. The color never should’ve been allowed on any AMG car, but unfortunately it was on mine. This may help explain how I was able to afford it.

The other flaw with my wagon was an issue I had with all 2007-2009 E-Class models. A facelift inexplicably gave the cars a pointy beak, which oddly resembled the 1997-1999 Acura CL. Mercedes never provided an explanation for this, though I suspect the car could double as an Arctic ice-breaking ship. It certainly has enough torque.

Interior

The interior of the E63 AMG’s main competitor, the E60 BMW M5, had attractive carbon fiber and aluminum on nearly every surface. The E63 AMG, meanwhile, had what I call “Mercedes wood,” which starts its life as real wood but then, after weeks of hard work at the Mercedes factory, ends up looking like plastic.

This was one low point. The other was the interior’s color, for which Mercedes probably devised some high-class-sounding name to take your mind off the fact that it was actually a somber shade of dull gray. Presumably, this one came from a focus group of lifelong Seattle residents.

However, the E63 wagon’s cabin had some benefits. One was, of course, the third-row seat, which every single one of my friends tried to sit in. They were unsuccessful, largely because they have legs. But while third-row room is tight, the overall interior volume is immense. I ended up using the E63 to move my entire apartment, which included my queen-size bed (broken down, of course). I also used it to transport my electric keyboard, proudly joining the ranks of those musical instrument-schlepping parents.

On The Road

Up until now, I’ve been a little negative about my E63 wagon. That’s because it’s not about exterior styling or interior design. The E63 AMG wagon is all about the monstrous engine you’re reminded of whenever you put down your foot or visit the gas pump, which happen equally often.

Acceleration is the car’s strong suit. There is no other car on earth that lets you go so fast and look in your mirror to see seven headrests and a rear wiper.

Acceleration is so massive that I just had to take the wagon to the drag strip. This occurred on a Friday night in rural north Georgia, where going to the drag strip is something people do, presumably instead of reading. There’s even an announcer, who initially made fun of the wagon (“Mom’s here, roof racks and all!”) until it ran a 13.1. I believe a twelve was in it somewhere, but I was embarrassingly unqualified since my previous drag strip experience came as a high-schooler in an automatic Volvo.

Handling, however, wasn’t the E63’s strong point. I once took it on a mountain drive that included Lamborghinis, Ferraris and even a Carrera GT. It kept up with the pack, mostly because of its monster engine and immense grip, which comes from tires as wide as a regulation speed limit sign. But it had some noticeable body roll – even in the “Sport” chassis setting. Still, for a family car, it was damn good. Far better than Mom’s Rodeo, which – on similar roads – probably would’ve gone the way of the Consumer Reports Isuzu Trooper.

One of the best parts about my E63 wagon driving experience came from other drivers. I once had a Lotus, which earned me commentary at every stop light from people whose brother’s cousin’s milkman had one. (Side note: how does one respond to this? I never figured it out. Eventually, I just sold the car.) Not so with the E63 wagon. The only people who ever approached me were true car people, which made virtually every conversation tremendously enjoyable.

Once, when I was in my wagon, I spotted an E55 wagon, which was made in only slightly larger numbers. This is the automotive equivalent of two black people passing each other on the street in Vermont. The response was similarly enthusiastic, with lots of waving and smiles all around. If this happened in my Lotus, the other driver would’ve been mad that someone dared to try and steal the attention from him.

Verdict

In the end, I loved my E63 wagon, but my mechanic loved it more. That’s because I spent several thousand dollars keeping it in perfect condition during my tenure as its owner, from suspension work to a new differential. (Yes, a new differential. Your guess is as good as mine.) When I discovered that brake rotors cost something like two grand in parts alone, I had reached the final straw.

I sold my AMG wagon – with newly-installed brake rotors – four months ago. Still, in spite of the huge running costs, I miss it dearly and I occasionally check used car listings to see if any are available. By chance, mine went to a TTAC reader, long before I ever started contributing to this site. When he sees this post, he will undoubtedly e-mail me and say: “You took my car to the DRAG STRIP?!”

Hopefully, this will prompt him to sell it back to me for exactly what he paid.

Doug DeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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85 Comments on “Doug’s Review: 2007 Mercedes E63 AMG Wagon...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Mercedes quality/reliability aside, I still think its epic to own a E-series wagon when its still reasonably new (no less the fricking E63)… its still a classy Benz and all the toys are still working.

    Btw could you please send me tickets to this awesome fantasy world you live where you’re in your 20s owning 911s and later an AMG Benz. Thx. :)

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    I had a pristine 2006 E55 wagon for a few years….black on black, every option other than parktronic and distronic, which my local German tuner specialist was able to add on….along with Euro only folding mirrors, etc…..it was a hoot, but ultimately, my blown Navigator just fit the bill much better….hauls slightly less ass, but much more cargo. Oh, and way cheaper to fix.

  • avatar
    nguyenhm16

    I have a 2007 E350 sedan. I have the cream colored interior and dark gray wood, which I find less objectionable than that cheap and drab gray Mercedes loves for some reason, but otherwise everything you say is true, albeit on a slightly lesser scale.

    That said, an E63 wagon would be awesome. I have always loved Mercedes wagons for some strange reason.

    • 0 avatar
      CV Neuves

      Comes to mind, Doug DeMuro’s turn of phrase that “‘Mercedes wood,’ which starts its life as real wood but then, after weeks of hard work at the Mercedes factory, ends up looking like plastic.” is the best description of it I have ever heard. I remember myself an early contact with a 500 SL in the mid 1980s, asking some guy, why the Benzers foisted “wood imitation” to this really decent car. I took some time for me to believe, that it was real wood.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        BMW has the same problem. I had a friend ask if I liked all the fake wood in the cabin.

        Problem is, so many cars use fake wood (plood as I call it) people figure it is all fake. This same friend had a Corolla filled with plood.

        I know on the E39 the wood was real, since I have seen pics of it broken. I wonder if luxury brands still use the real stuff today. Why bother if everyone thinks it is fake anyway?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Yes, they do still use the real stuff. Sometimes depending on trim level.

          For example, only the highest trim of the new XTS has real wood. The 6-cylinder GS had plood, and the 8-cylinder had real wood.

          VW uses real wood in the Touareg, and big Audis have real wood as well. You’ll see lots of old LR products with cracked wood, same goes for Jags.

          Though now it’s often substituted with aluminum or carbon fiber – IMO not as good/warm/luxurious/stately.

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    Great Q car, nice to see someone actually “DRIVE” one of these as AMG intended. Hauls groceries and a**! Nicely written article, did you really quit Porsche to become a writer?

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    I also had an AMG a few years older. It would be too expensive to own outside of warranty if you didn’t know someone who could has access to discounted parts and service.

    My current 9-5 is slightly smaller cargo area than the E-class wagon. The almost 40 mpg and ECU tuned to 300 horsepower/300+ lb-ft torque is enough to keep the BMW 335i’s at bay.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That mileage number goes up every time you mention it.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        I’ve noticed that number creeping up again as well. The other thing that’s ridiculous is the claim that the mileage is that high with the ECU being tuned to that horsepower and torque. Yes, I’d love these magical vehicles that are not modern diesels (where you actually might be able to increase mpg while increasing hp/tq because you can cut out certain eco-cycles) where you can increase horsepower and torque well beyond factory rating and still get implausible mpg figures based on EPA rating.

        Maybe his neighbor is slipping in a gallon every night without him knowing…

  • avatar
    1000songs

    YES! One of these days I’ll get to asking Piston Slap about what to buy to complement (but not replace) my 2006 9114S. I now have a 70lb dog and a girlfriend (weight undisclosed) and am having a tough time justifying not being able to bring anything larger than a lunchbox on road trips. Plus, going to hockey can be a pain in the ass. The “next” car is definitely going to be a wagon.

    Love your write-up – it definitely has me thinking, although I think I am going for a 5 door that is either diesel or a hybrid as opposed to another fuel guzzler.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    Although not in quite same league, but i used to own Mazda CX-5 which was fast and handled very nicely for a CUV. However the rock hard seats were killing the enjoyment of long drives and I sold it and purchased a Volvo V70(with 3rd seat), which is miles more comfortable than Mazda but I don’t think its engineers quite grasped the concept of what handling is. But for some reason I enjoy the comfort of that Volvo more than used to enjoy mountain roads in CX-5… My only regret is not splurging on V70R….

    • 0 avatar

      I was recently at the press launch for the ’13 CX-5 with the larger engine. What a great car! Handles well, handsome, loaded. Still needs more power, though. The turbo four from the MazdaSpeed3 would be perfect.

      As for the V70R, it’s only worth it if you get Flash Green. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Ltd783

        But Flash Green was only offered on the more troublesome 2004′s in the US… That’s why I went with a Passion Red V70R with the Atacama (orange) leather. It would definitely cure your pewter over dove grey doldrums. Even in the retina searing colors, my favorite part is just like you said with the E63, the only people who ever talk to me about it really know their stuff, and I always leave more in love with my car than I started.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Gotta tell you, nothing classier than a Benz wagon. Especially if it runs.

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      But the Benz never offered a Vista Cruiser option.
      http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2007/01/31/breaking-vista-cruiser-pace-car/

      1964 Buick:
      http://www.stationwagonforums.com/forums/gallery/files/8/1/1964_buick_skylark_custom_wagon_04.jpg

      The best looking 57 Buick wagon:
      http://bringatrailer.com/2008/05/01/nailhead-family-hauler-57-buick-estate-sled/

      The sory of Paul Newman’s wagon:
      http://www.swedespeed.com/news/publish/Features/printer_33.html

      Porsche 928 wagon:
      http://jalopnik.com/5716952/the-very-first-porsche-wagon

      • 0 avatar
        packard

        Vista Cruiser was a great wagon- my family had a 1967 and 1971. 1971 had the 455 ci. Vista Cruiser had the advantage of forward facing 3rd row seats. Those rear facing seats are nausea inducing- GM used them in their wagons from 56 to 60 then phased them out.

        • 0 avatar
          nikita

          Except for the Vista Cruiser and Sport Wagon sister ships, the rest of the GM wagons kept rear facing 3rd rows into the 1970s. Mopar did also. Ford went to side facing ones in the 1960′s, along with the dual action tailgate that made getting in and out a lot easier.

  • avatar
    James2

    At 507 horsepower and 465 pound-feet, it had more of each than the Ferrari F430 or Lamborghini Gallardo of its day.

    I hate these kinds of comparisons, especially when the F430 or Gallardo is at least 1000 pounds lighter than the Benz. Not just you, Doug, but I see it a lot in news articles and such where X has more power than a Formula One car or other such nonsense.

    • 0 avatar

      Not a comparison! Just context. For comparison, my E63 weighed in around 4,500 pounds. Gallardo is about 3,300; F430 is about 3,190. Your sentiment is appreciated though, particularly in regards to race cars. I never even understood how that provides context.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I must have done something horribly wrong growing up, as when I hit 23 I was in no position to own anything remotely resembling either of these cars! Eh…I had my 2002 back then, and thought I was king of the world…

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    Doug, what replaced the E63?

    • 0 avatar

      Embarrassingly, a 2006 Range Rover. With a verrrrrrrry long warranty.

      The E63 came at the end of a long streak of really cool cars I had that each cost me lots of money. I miss having a fast car, but I don’t miss paying the bills to keep one running.

      When something breaks now, I get a two-door Evoque. Sometimes, they give me a two-door Evoque when stuff ISN’T broken. They’ll just call and say “Please! Drive this for the weekend! We have so many Range Rovers with broken air suspension in back that we have nowhere to put this!”

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        What kind of stuff has broken?

        • 0 avatar

          I bought the Range Rover in early December. On my first oil change ($117.13), the dealer informed me I needed a new side marker bulb ($65.30). They also found the radiator was leaking, so I needed a new one ($846.71). And the lower control arm bushings were worn ($581.76 including alignment). Now one of the taillights has condensation. All of these prices are before tax, by the way.

          Before you think I’m too crazy, I should say the warranty covered nearly all of this, save for the oil change and the bulb.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            LED sidemarker? There’s no way those are $65 online, I’d guess, because those are probably stealership-ripoff prices, but point taken.

            Also, they must have done the whole control arm on each side, not just the bushing. You can buy an OEM bushing for $39 online, and it looks like the entire control arm including ball joint is around $115 each, so it sounds like typical dealer markup. I’ve heard that the dealers often refuse to do only the bushing, and sometimes that’s legitimate because sometimes the arm itself is worn out.

            You must have a good warranty for an ’06 to be still under it. Hell, some of the warranty companies exclude certain vehicles, and I thought Land Rover/Range Rovers were generally on these lists.

          • 0 avatar

            Even at my dealer, the bulb wasn’t the bulk of that cost. Actually, it was $5.80. The rest was “glass and trim repair,” which I assume meant unscrewing the lens, replacing the light bulb, and screwing the lens back in. Even Johnnie Cochran didn’t charge that much per hour.

            The problem is, my warranty is good but I always worry if I do repairs at an indie, they’ll stop covering stuff. Thus, I pay for the $65 light bulbs so they’ll cover the $900 radiator. As for the warranty itself – a subject for a future TTAC story!

            Do you have a Rover?

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            I don’t have one, but I looked at a Discovery (well, LR3) of same vintage as your Rover last year and considered it for a very short period of time.

            The dealership had just gotten it in, it hadn’t been reconditioned yet (CEL was still on!), and the sales guys at the front desk didn’t even know it was in their inventory until I told them it was. I knew because it was on their website.

            Because it hadn’t been reconditioned yet, I wasn’t even able to drive it. I wonder if they were never able to get it up to snuff and just decided to wholesale it, and that’s why I never heard back from the sales guy. They usually hound me.

            I would love to hear about your warranty story, among other things that you’ve mentioned — e.g. working for Porsche Cars NA.

  • avatar
    Digdug

    Dude! You took my car to the DRAG STRIP?!

    Seriously, I do love the car and if I sell it, will certainly give Doug the first chance to get it back. At the last Lemons race in TX, Jay Lamm himself complimented the car. People who know, know.

    On the other hand, a guy at work who crashed his 2008 M5 (not relevant to the story, but it helps draw a picture) recently told me I needed to turn in my Man Card because I bought a wagon. I started to explain how wrong he was, but then gave up. If you have to explain…

    • 0 avatar

      Hah!!! I had the car at the Porsche Sport Driving School in Birmingham and the instructors were going nuts over it. Sadly, I wasn’t able to convince them to let me drive it on the track itself (Barber). That’s a good thing because then there would’ve been no car left for you.

      Glad you’re enjoying it. Whenever you want to regain your man card, I would be happy to surrender mine for that car!

  • avatar
    akitadog

    It sounds like a CTS-V wagon is in order here for Doug.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed! I was looking for one, too, until I decided to become a writer. Now I hang around Einstein’s until they give me day-old bagels.

      • 0 avatar
        AFX

        “I was looking for one, too, until I decided to become a writer. Now I hang around Einstein’s until they give me day-old bagels.”

        BELL BOY ! BELL BOY !. (Quadrophenia reference)

        “In the end, I loved my E63 wagon, but my mechanic loved it more. That’s because I spent several thousand dollars keeping it in perfect condition during my tenure as its owner, from suspension work to a new differential. (Yes, a new differential. Your guess is as good as mine.) When I discovered that brake rotors cost something like two grand in parts alone, I had reached the final straw.”

        Your story reminds me of the time I was in a tire store and a guy was getting an estimate for tires for his C-4 Corvette. They quted him the price and he went “Two hunert dollers A PIECE, haven’t ya got anything cheaper ?!”. I just had to sit there and keep from laughing because the guy wanted everyone to thing he was a big hotshot for owning a Corvette, but he couldn’t afford the actual cost of owning a car like that. Obviously the guy was trying too hard to pretend to be someone he wasn’t, and it was annoying to listen to him piss and moan about not being able to afford replacement tires for the car.

        I’ve noticed alot of people will try to live the lie by pretending to have more mone than they really do by leasing fancy cars, or racking up big debts for nicer houses than they really can afford. Then when the economy strarts to go to crap the reality of not living within your means sets in, and they have to unload all the narcissistic crap they bought. People just can’t stand to admit to being broke-asses, and they have some weird need for attention by trying to getting others to envy them.

        The best “broke-ass cars” are either used Mercedes, BMWs, Corvettes, or Porsches (especially 944′s or 928′s). People without the money to be able to buy these types of cars when they were new will go out and buy them as used cars without researching the actual cost of long-term ownership. They start out as nice looking cars until the broke-ass people buy them used, then the cars start getting nastier and nastier through neglect and lack of maintenance. First thing to look for on a car like that to see if it’s owned by a broke-ass is to look at what brand of tires are on the car. People with money will buy the good quality replacement tires, while the broke-asses will buy the generic off-brands or whatever Pep Boys has on sale. If I see a fancy car and look down at the tires and they say something like Dayton or Mastercraft first thing I think of is “BROKE-ASS” !.

        The idea of owning a Mercedes is nice if you can afford the long-term cost of ownership. Mercedes would probably have you think through their ads and marketing that you’ll be storming down the autobahn at high speeds with your family in the car loaded up for a weekend skiing trip in the Alps, or taking the kids for riding lessons at the stables of some luxury resort. OTOH, your girlfriend is probably eyeing up all that room in the back and thinking of how much crap and shopping bags she can stuff in there from the outlet mall. The reality of owning a car like that is after the costs of maintenance hit you’ll you’ll probably only be using that luggage space for boxes of wine from Costco and cases of Milwaukee’s Best Light.

        Mercedes wagons are only owned by gray-hairs anyways, the type of people who’d buy a Buick if they had less money. The interior of that thing even looks like a Buick’s too. Nobody except the hardcore purists are going to be impressed by any Mercedes wagon, AMG or not. The only time I see Mercedes wagons locally is in the Sam’s Club parking lot. Wagons have been uncool since National Lampoon’s Vacation came out with the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. If you want to impress the average person you’d be better off doing it with a Porsche Cayenne, or for an American car a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          +100. Best comments of the day! How true also. The thing with Motorcraft tires on a Mercedes is a dead giveaway that you’re broke. You got Chinese tires on a luxury car…you’re a pretender.

        • 0 avatar

          I agree with your sentiment. But it sounds like you’re saying I bought a gold station wagon with three-row seating to earn respect, which is among the strangest accusations I’ve ever heard.

          The financial aspect is certainly not for public discussion, except to say that I maintained the car meticulously. (:

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            I share the opinion on cheap tires and high end cars (or classics), but I don’t think Doug was trying to impress people. He bought the car he wanted, enjoyed it and sent it down the road when he was tired of paying for it.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          The tire thing isn’t just for luxury and older performance cars. I consider cheap tires on ANY car a sign of a cheapskate who has neglected maintenance. I think Steve Lang mentions this in the How to Buy a Used Car series. If he didn’t, I think he should add it.

          It doesn’t matter if it is an AMG wagon, Corvette, or a Versa; anyone running super cheap tires is only fixing problems so severe they disable the car.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            I think the problem lies with people not understanding how critical the tire is to the vehicle’s performance. But this also goes back to the idea that 90% of the car buying public thinks of their car as another appliance. When it needs maintenance or repairs,just do the minimum that you can to get it working again.

            It would also seem that the E63 needed the costly rotors at nearly the same time Doug was changing careers. Money to be better spent elsewhere.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          I like the story of the guy buying tires for the C4 ‘Vette a lot more than picking on Doug for selling after learning rotors cost $2k in parts.

          I’m sure he knew that car wouldn’t be cheap to run, but I doubt anyone considers the possibility of rotors that expensive unless the car needs carbon ceramic rotors for track use.

          Not everything is whether you can afford it or not. It’s about value and whether it is worth it. I bet there are many wealthy people that would say $2k for brake rotors (parts only) crosses the line.

          It reminds me of the last time I cancelled satellite radio. The guy tried to keep me with bs like “well if you can’t afford it we have a promotion.” I couldn’t make the guy understand that cancelling had nothing to do with being able to afford it, I just thought satellite radio was too expensive for what it brought to the table.

          I bet many people with means reach the same conclusion with high-performance cars and dump them because they don’t think it is worth it anymore, not because they are broke pretenders.

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    Cool, yes.

    But cooler if it has been a R63.

    Yeah, that’s got to be the stupidest. Ride. Ever.

    • 0 avatar

      I looked. And looked, and looked, and looked. Then I saw one and threw up in my mouth.

      No, but really. Supposedly only 84 of those running around. Purple unicorn.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      G65 must come close. This is why I respect Mercedes. They make a ridiculous over the top performance version of absolutely everything they make.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Usually something like the R63 can be created with very little development. The engines bolt right in. The G65 is insane, because of all the modification that had to be done to get that huge engine in there. I would like to see one to see how they did it.

      • 0 avatar

        Sadly, except for the GLK, which I actually would love. Compact size, fast – that would be cool. Instead, they do a GL63, which is useful for literally no one. Naturally, I love it too.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s at least 2 of them in CT One up the street from my house (well until last year at least) and another in Fairfield county a coworker (adjuster ) worked a claim on..

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Simply fabulous car! Why NOT get the wagon over the sedan when possible? There is just no downside. Grace, space and pace as Jaguar used to say.

    I also have a pretty rare sporting wagon, an ’11 BMW 3-series that is RWD with a manual transmission. BMW sold maybe 50/yr in that combo. While having less than 1/2 the power of the monster Benz, it does have the advantages of being a whole bunch lighter on its feet (1000lbs lighter), that aforementioned manny-tranny, and being a WHOLE bunch cheaper to fix. A rapier to the AMGs battle ax.

    I gave up on finding a used one and sucked it up and bought new. No regrets at all, and European Delivery is the only way to go. Nice discount, and you get to drive your new car on the Autobahn at the speeds it was meant for.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I got REALLY lucky finding my E91. I literally had 2 weeks to find one. As luck had it, 2 were available with a stick! Purple squirrel indeed.

      Almost pulled the trigger and went for the awd one in Texas, but living in So Cal, awd would mean added weight, complexity and possibly repairs for no gain. Went with the local rwd version, stick, sport package, no iDrive, but unfortunately it had the stock stereo. (Also no heated seats that I hear about from my wife when the temp drops below 70).

      Still toying with the idea of putting in Dynaudios or Morels. The stock stereo is very average.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        You roped a unicorn! I suppose if you are going to actually find one for sale, So Cal is the likely place. Is it a ’10? That was the year of the truly bogus stock stereo. Much improved for ’11, but I went for the H/K speaker upgrade and Sat radio in mine. No sport package, my fat @ss does not fit in the seats, and the road conditions in Maine are not conducive to a stiffer suspension and even more rubberbandy tires. I live in Maine and I can’t justify AWD…

        I found one or two for sale, but they all had more equipment than I wanted (iDrive in particular) and the price was just too close to what I could order a new one for Euro Delivery. And I was going to Europe anyway, so it saved me big money on a car rental besides.

        That AMG wagon someone posted about on eBay is dead sexy, but the price is nearly up to what I paid for my BMW new, and the reserve isn’t met yet…

      • 0 avatar
        W.Minter

        Cheap Plug & Play: Audio System CO 100 BMW!

      • 0 avatar

        They did AWD with a stick?!

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          You bet. Most of the wagons are of the AWD flavor regardless of transmission. Breakdown is supposedly 80% AWD, 10% manual. So non-AWD manuals are RARE. Especially when you are talking ~500 cars a year total. It is a wonder we are even GETTING the F31, even in AWD-only, automatic-only form.

      • 0 avatar
        Compaq Deskpro

        Below 70? In New England, when the temp goes above 32 I’ve got all 4 windows wide open and I’m enjoying the nice day.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    so what was the real 1320 ft time? 13 or 12?
    1 sec means a lot of differences.

  • avatar
    OliverTwist

    Perhaps the timing was bad for you, Doug!

    Here’s this pristine black-on-black E63 wagon for sale…

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2007-Mercedes-E63-AMG-WAGON-Uber-Rare-only-37k-miles-Black-Black-STUNNING-/160992606980?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item257be83b04

    Oh, yeah, you have two days to make your mind up.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Love that photo in front of the garage door with the graffito. Seems like the right neighborhood for wagon-buying hipsters, although most of them don’t buy E63s.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t tempt me! That is, admittedly, the exact car I wanted. The seller must want big money though – I think it’s been on eBay a while, never meeting reserve.

      Also, no Keyless Go or cooled seats on this one. I had both…

      …ahh, I’m already going through the options!

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Now seems like a good time to bring back a classic comment from European:

    american shallowness strikes again.

    this guys main life accomplishments are … what?
    he OWNED an AMG Mercedes. Uh-oh!
    roadtripped in a lotus without a/c. Uh-oh!

    now he thinks he is relevant to write about stuff. any stuff!

    and maybe, just maybe, were you fired rather than you “quit”?

    not that i really care to know…

    Now that we know a little more, what do you think?

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      His qualification is that he writes interesting pieces. Which is why most of us come here, to be entertained.

    • 0 avatar
      highrpm

      @ Compag Deskpro,

      This guy owned a 911 turbo and a Benz e63 AMG before most of us finished college.

      For a lot of us, the AMG wagon is on the short list of attainable dream cars. It’s interesting to hear Doug’s ownership experience.

      To me at least, it was the most exciting story that day.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks for the kind words! I think that Compaq’s comment was positive – he was quoting a user called “european” who got hilariously mad at me and Derek for making fun of the Lamborghini Veneno. Sadly, it doesn’t look like ‘european’ will post his opinion here!

  • avatar
    ajla

    This story is useless without sound clips.

  • avatar
    Gannet

    I don’t get the comments about the looks. I think it’s gorgeous. Not a wrong line on it. Better looking than 90% of the 2013 class, across the board.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Great read. Exterior color isn’t bad, but gray interiors are awful.

    Reviews of older cars are something I hope returns to TTAC.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I actually like the Pewter color and I’m 35. I prefer dark interiors though. Silver is one of the easier colors to care for. Unfortunately, like other light colors, it shows your or you significant others momentary lapses of judgement. Our Mazda bears a giant and very noticeable scar on its nose from the wife hitting something. So does my Altima from a very high curb that I scraped.

    One of my companies clients has a E63 wagon. In pewter. She’s probably in her early 50′s. I love these cars and screaming people haulers in general. Space and performance? Yes, please.

    No will suspect the wagon..

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    you guys are making me regret my decision. Not that I don’t love my 330i sedan (which would have been a wagon had one been available), but I still feel pangs of regret over not holding out for an e46 325i wagon (with a manual) to pop up or a Volvo V50 T5 AWD stick…I had my eye on one of the latter (also an extremely rare car) but it sold before I was actually ready to buy. In the end, the magic and relative rarity of the zhp package and M54b30 power won me over. That being said, me and my best friend have unofficially agreed that if BMW does offer the F30 (F31?) wagon with a diesel, manual, and rwd (yeah we can dream) we are each ordering one together and burning our airline miles to go take European delivery.

  • avatar
    phreshone

    As someone with two Saab 9-5 Sportcombi Aero’s, I fully appreciate the disease. Only wish is that one of them had the stick. But at the fully depreciated prices post bankruptcies, I didn’t quibble about it as much as I would have. Inexpensive to serve as my “truck” (gf has the lower-mileage one as a dd now). Maybe not an AMG, but an awesome long-distance cruiser.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Well, as the owner of a Monaro-based GTO and a fast wagon (though not quiiiiiite as fast as the AMG) I can say without hesitation that if someone put the Porsche and the AMG wagon in front of me and said to pick either one to take home, I would not even give it a second’s thought before I was doing burnouts in my new AMG wagon.

  • avatar
    AFX

    What you need to get is a 5.0 Must-mont/Fair-stang GT, pop some Ice Ice Baby into the CD player, and you’ll be the coolest white boy on the block.

    http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/i-love-me-some-converted-fairmont-mustangs/46030/page1/

  • avatar
    GOBBGO

    I had a 2008 E63 wagon until last Friday when it caught fire and is now totaled. Mine was silver with a grey interior, P2 and third seat, which was a must for me because I have three children. It was ideal. It was my wife’s daily driver and my toy all in one. I have the daunting task of trying to find another one. Anyone looking to sell theirs?

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Sure an AMG wagen is nice but why no love for a Dodge Magnum SRT or even the RT Hemi. The only drawback is the lack of a 3rd seat.

  • avatar
    RRocket

    While not in the same league as the mighty Merc AMG, the Audi S4 Avant with the 4.2L V8 is a great wagon. Can even get it in 6 speed manual if you want. I think it hits a sweet spot in performance wagons. At least for me.

  • avatar
    BourbonBob

    My wife drives Darth Vader, a black E39 (528iT) wagon with a manual. We looked at a 540 wagon, but it had a slushy tranny and a ugly, already dated monitor on the dash. Our previous 5 wagon (93) had the double sunroof. Unfortunately it had an auomatic. Nice but no fun.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Very nice car! I actually saw a newer blue E series wagon parked at BJ’s over the weekend. I couldn’t stop staring at it. The owners looked to be in their 50s. Not an AMG, but still a nice Mercedes wagon from recent times.

    I have a wife and a smaller dog but I love European wagons due to their design and usefulness, which is why I bought a Jetta Sportwagen after owning a Jetta sedan and a Golf. The TDI Jetta wagon can hold a ton of crap, and it’s fun to drive (although I’m sure no where close to the fun factor of an AMG wagon). Since it’s fridge white, most people think it’s going to be slow but 95% of the time I’m passing people in their sleepy-time appliances. I think someone needs to tell Americans that wagons are what they need, not CUVs and SUVs. A CUV is basically a taller wagon anyway with worse fuel economy.

  • avatar
    mvoss

    Pewter isn’t a horrible color; it just looks plain on an E63 wagon.

  • avatar
    fasn8n

    I had the pleasure of meeting Doug and his “sleeper” wagon at the GA 1/2 mile airport run last year. He is a class guy with a passion for cars. We had the opportunity to have a head to head battle of grocery getters and piqued the interest of more than a few onlookers.
    Fast forward to around 2min 20sec mark to watch the fun :)

  • avatar
    alko

    Excellent thread. There was a terrific Top Gear film from 2007 when Clarkson did a wonderful comparo between the M5 and E63 wagons at Manchester airport. He found them both better values than any high end SUVs with the M5 more fun to drive and the Merc more comfy and practical.


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