“The Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate offers the same muscular appeal as the saloon, but with more flexibility and, arguably, better looks”
The Mercedes-AMG C63 saloon needs little introduction as the most muscular member of its family and the C63 Estate packs the same tyre-shredding power into a more family-friendly shape. The longer roof makes it a close rival to the Audi RS4 Avant (which only comes as an estate) while the saloon battles the BMW M3, which is only available as a four-door saloon.
If you fear the Estate’s sensible shape tones down the C63’s wild tendencies, you can rest easy. The same 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine is under the bonnet, sending 469bhp to the rear wheels, or a jaw-dropping 503bhp if you go for the C63 S model.
Do this and your ‘sensible’ estate car will reach 62mph from rest in four seconds flat – fast enough to catch several supercars napping. It only just matches the Audi RS4 here, though – despite having more power, it lacks its rival’s four-wheel-drive system, which makes a big difference to how it feels in corners.
Where the Audi is planted and secure above everything else, the Mercedes has a savage side that adds to its ability to excite – lurid powerslides are easily provoked. Not that it’s a hard car to control; it’s actually fairly docile when kept on a tight leash and is far from intimidating.
Inevitably, the C63 costs a small fortune to buy and run, although it narrowly beats the RS4 on fuel economy. Actually, given its performance, 34.5mpg isn’t as disastrous as you might expect, but insurance, maintenance and road tax mount up. The same is true of the saloon, but the bigger boot and greater rear headroom of the Estate make it easier to live with.
We reckon its gracefully swooping roofline makes it better looking, too, and the thought of an estate car that can readily smoke its tyres at traffic lights is a pleasingly mischievous one. Perhaps this is one reason that there’s always a steady secondhand demand.
Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate