The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E-Class brings the tech, style and safety of its luxury sedan and wagon siblings, and adds a whole lot of performance. Available as a sedan with a V6 or V8, or a V8 station wagon, these models boast remarkable performance and standard all-wheel drive to easily keep rivals like the Audi S6 and BMW M5 on notice.
You'll Like The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class If...
If you want your next Mercedes E-Class to pack a wallop of power and exclusivity, turn to these models developed by AMG, Mercedes’ in-house performance division. For the pinnacle of practicality and exclusivity, there’s the E63 S Wagon -- a 603-horsepower station wagon.
You May Not Like The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class If...
Mercedes-AMG power comes at a price. The E43 sedan will set you back over $70,000, and the E63 S sedan and wagon start over $105,000. Though the E63 S has the new BMW M5 beat in horsepower, the BMW edges it acceleration.
The E63 S sedan and wagon models join the 2018 roster, capping the recently revamped E-Class lineup. With 603 horsepower, they are the most powerful E-Class variants of all time.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the 5-passenger interiors of the AMG E-Class variants closely match those of the standard models. Still, AMG-specific details help these Mercedes performance models stand out even on the inside. Red trim throughout the cabin, for instance, more than hints at the flashes of anger under the hood. Being higher-priced models, these AMG-specific E-Class variants are filled with more creature comforts. You’ll still have to pay for real leather in an E43 model, however. The 2018 E63 Wagon offers SUV-like cargo capacity that maxes out at 64 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Unlike the standard E-Class wagon, there is no rear-facing 3rd-row seat. With its ability to go 180 mph, that’s probably a good thing for the carsick-prone among us.
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E-Class sedan and wagon retain the same crisp lines as the standard models, but are emboldened with aggressive cues. The AMG sedans sit slightly lower, and all models have AMG body styling with unique fascias. One of the beautiful things about these high-powered AMG models is their ability to blend in with their counterparts, until they leave them in the dust. From that vantage, look for the telltale quad-tailpipe exhaust outlets.
If your notion of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a midsize-luxury sedan that is first and foremost pleasant and comfortable, you haven’t been in an AMG-tuned model. While they feature the looks and creature comforts of Mercedes’ stalwart sedan and wagon, these models bring a gun to a knife fight with high-powered engines and performance tuning that enable them to make the most out of their potency. In reality, the Mercedes-AMG E43 sedan is more than most drivers will ever need. It can do 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and costs some $30,000 less than an E63 S model. But it’s only money, and if your wallet is willing, know there’s nothing quite like the throbbing of the hand-built German V8 that powers the E63 S sedan and wagon. They’ll tear to 60 mph in 3.3 and 3.4 seconds, respectively, all while serving commuter duty with grace and refinement thanks to a smooth 9-speed automatic transmission and easy steering. If grace and refinement are the last things you want, they even have a “drift mode” (see below).
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E-Class has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting over $72,500 for an E43 Sedan. That’s a roughly $20,000 walk from a base Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The gap between the E43 and top-line E63 S, however, is even larger. The 2018 E63 S Sedan will set you back over $105,000, while the E63 S Wagon is closer to $108,000. Add options, and you can mount thousands more to these tabs. These prices are certainly eye-popping to most everyday car shoppers, but they’re actually about the norm for luxury cars with this caliber of performance. The Audi S6, which competes with the E43, for example, starts around $73,000, while the all-new 2018 BMW M5, the foe of the E63 S, starts over $103,000. You can, however, get V8 power for less in the Lexus GS F (around $85,000) and Cadillac CTS-V (around $87,000), both of which are rear-wheel drive. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase price to see what others in your area are paying for the AMG E-Class models. Resale value is predicted to only be fair, and given these models’ high starting prices, be ready for an appreciable drop in a few years’ time.
Starting with the least expensive 2018 AMG E-Class model, the E43 sedan, you can expect a strong roster of standard features. In addition to its powertrain enhancements, you’ll get power-operated and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, a foot-activated hands-free trunk, sunroof, and LED headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The standard infotainment system bundles the twin 12.3-inch instrument cluster and center display, navigation, wireless phone charging and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, parallel/perpendicular parking assist, and crosswind assist to stabilize the car in high winds.
In addition to the even higher-powered engines, the 2018 E63 S models include Race and Drift modes, leather interior, and front seats with heat and ventilation, Burmester premium audio system and power rear-window sunshade (sedan only). As with the standard E-Class, myriad options can add to the E-Class’ essence and capability. Among them are among the best massaging front seats to be found in an automobile and a roster of active driving features such as active blind-spot monitoring that can guide you away from a crash, evasive steering assist to prevent hitting a pedestrian and active lane-keeping assist. On the deceleration front, the E63 S can be had with carbon-ceramic brakes that will set you back nearly $9,000.
Yes, we now live in a world where Mercedes-Benz intentionally allows/encourages experienced drivers to drift their E-Class sedan or wagon. Exclusive to the E63 S, it defeats the all-wheel-drive system by sending 100 percent of power to the rear wheels, allowing you to do your best Tanner Foust impersonation.
TONS OF TECH
While it’s the horsepower figures that get the headlines for these AMG E-Class models, they also offer a ton of driver-assistance, safety and tech features. From various ways to prevent or lessen an accident to future-ready Car-to-X communication, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E-Class is a tech powerhouse.
Under the Hood
Two different AMG-performance engines can be had in the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E-Class. The E43 Sedan uses what Mercedes calls an “AMG-enhanced” twin-turbo V6 that makes nearly 400 horsepower. Under the hood of the E63 S Sedan and Wagon is a hand-built twin-turbo V8 that makes over 600 horsepower. All models use a 9-speed automatic transmission optimized for performance, and all models have all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard. In addition to its better capability in cold-weather states, all-wheel drive is key to putting the power in these high-power Mercedes to the ground. Perhaps ironically, these models have an automatic start/stop system that cuts engine power at idle to save fuel. If you don’t like constant restarts of the engine, the system can be defeated.
3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (E43)
396 horsepower @ 6,100 rpm
384 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (E63 S)
603 horsepower @ 5,750-6,500 rpm
627 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg (sedan), 16/22 mpg (wagon)
The Mercedes-AMG E-Class is the evil twin of the German brand’s well-regarded midsize-luxury cars. While the standard E-Class is available in four body styles -- sedan, coupe, cabriolet and wagon -- the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E-Class is solely offered as a sedan or wagon. From there, you have the choice of the high-performance E43 (sedan only) or bonkers E63 S (sedan and wagon). The epitome of “sleepers,” these twin-turbo V8 models can launch the E63 S from 0-60 mph in under 3.5 seconds. Have you ever seen a station wagon do that? Far more than just covert performers, these Mercedes-AMG models boast the technology and amenities of the standard E-Class (reviewed separately), plus all-wheel drive to keep rivals like the Audi S6 and BMW M5 on notice.