Home » Why Buy A Slow Crossover When You Can Get A 577-HP Turbo Benz Wagon For The Same Price?

Why Buy A Slow Crossover When You Can Get A 577-HP Turbo Benz Wagon For The Same Price?

Gg Turbo Amg E63 Mercedes Ts
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Near the top of the terminally online automotive enthusiast’s pyramid lies the concept of a superwagon, a practical family car capable of obscene speeds, and the most historically available of these family expresses to Americans has been the AMG E-Class wagon. Can you believe that this thing’s been running with the E63 nameplate for the past 17 years. In that time, it’s gone from naturally aspirated and rear-wheel-drive to twin-turbocharged and all-wheel-drive, and now that we’re in 2024, the first examples of the turbocharged models are starting to become dangerously affordable.

We’re talking about more than 500 horsepower and an engine that’s incredibly responsive to tuning, all in a practical, unassuming wagon body. Few vehicles sold in America blend ruthless performance with serious usability this well, which is likely the reason the E63 is still the king of the wagons.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

However, the best often comes with a serious price tag, and that’s certainly true with the new Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic+. The 2023 model started at a regal $122,250, but if you’re willing to accept an older body and some mileage on the clock, you can pick up a twin-turbocharged E63 AMG for a fraction of that price.

What Are We Looking At?

2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon

Put simply, this is a German hot rod for the whole family. The recipe is simple: Take the wagon version of a German taxicab, then shove in a giant V8 with, to use a technical term, an assload of torque. From there, you’ll quickly realize that maybe 225-section tires aren’t meant to harness more grunt than a pack of wild hogs, so flare the fenders, fit wider wheels and stickier rubber and stiffer suspension, and then unleash it on unsuspecting affluent Americans just wanting the most expensive station wagon Mercedes-Benz sells. Nobody bought an E-Class wagon on accident, but it’s possible that a few people bought an E63 on accident, if you know what I mean.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 S Wagon Profile

However, the 2012 to 2016 E63 AMG was a departure for Mercedes-Benz. It marked the advent of downsizing and turbocharging, trading in a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 for a smaller twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8, all while keeping the old badge. However, that boost translated to some big gains — output of 518 to 577 horsepower and 516 to 590 lb.-ft. of torque, depending on spec. Even that low-output 2012 model was no slouch, with Car And Driver clocking a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds, and the quarter-mile in, well, I’ll let the magazine explain.

So complete is the joy of ripping off 12.1-second quarter-mile times in a wagon with room for five and the family dog that you’ll actually look forward to long excursions. It’s as if “Big Daddy” Don Garlits had a drag car purpose-built for Take Your Children to Work Day. Under hard acceleration, a short, guttural brumpffff from the exhaust accompanies upshifts, and trust us, it sounds sexier than it reads.

Yep, you’re looking at conceptually the closest thing to a Hellcat you can drive while still looking like a Greenwich, Conn. native, and because it’s a proper station wagon, you get space in the back for your kids, your dog, and all the luggage you could possibly need for a long weekend away. The 2014 to 2016 models even came with all-wheel-drive, in case you ever wanted to charge up a ski slope. The ultimate family car? Perhaps, but this spectacular wagon no longer commands a six-figure price tag.

How Expensive Are We Talking?

2014 Mercedes Benz E63 S Front Three Quarter

Thanks to the magic of depreciation, you can pick up a twin-turbocharged E63 AMG for the price of a normal family car these days. We’re talking modestly equipped new Honda CR-V money. Seriously, a new CR-V EX AWD stickers for $34,860 including freight, and you won’t have to spend that much to get a proper überwagon. Take this 2014 E63 S in the internet’s favorite Dolomite Brown Metallic. It just sold on Cars & Bids with 91,100 miles on the clock for $34,100. Sure, it might have a minor hit on its Carfax, but From the chest-thumping V8 under the hood to the Bang & Olufsen sound system, this is a hell of a lot of car for the money.

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2012 Mercedes Benz E63 Amg P30 Front Three Quarters

However, let’s say you want the purity of rear-wheel-drive. Well, this 2012 E63 wagon sold on Cars & Bids earlier this month for $27,000, and it has the coveted P30 performance package. Not only does that send horsepower up from 518 to 550, it adds a limited-slip rear differential, lifts the top speed limiter, and bolts on special sports suspension. Alright, so this E63 may have 101,000 miles on the clock, but with a clean Carfax and plenty of documented maintenance, it seems well-kept for its age.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 Wagon Doug Demuro 1

Oh, and if if you want one of these überwagons with celebrity provenance, they do pop up on occasion. This 2012 E63 AMG wagon used to be owned by Doug DeMuro and sold on Cars & Bids back in February for $28,123. With 108,500 miles on the clock, it’s clearly been enjoyed, but it looks to be in decent shape and comes with receipts.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong With A 2012-2016 E63?

2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 Wagon Engine

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It goes without saying that a heavily depreciated bootylicious Autobahn slammer won’t be in the same league as a modern mainstream crossover when it comes to maintenance, so hold onto your butts, because things are about to get pricey. The big scare factor on these E63s with the 5.5-liter bi-turbocharged M157 V8 is that in rare cases, cylinders one and five can suffer from bore scoring. At that point, your only option is a full-on engine rebuild, and from experience, that will result in a bill well into five-figure territory.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 Amg Wagon Interior 1

Another potential issue is timing chain stretch, because of course, this is a German car with a V8, why wouldn’t there be timing problems? Figure 13.3 hours of book labor to sort that issue, on top of around $1,200 in chains, tensioners, and guides. If this happens, you’re also probably past the point where the turbocharger oil return lines and thermostat housing need re-sealing, so budget for those while you’re in there.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 Amg Wagon Wheel

As the E63 wagon is a rather heavy car, it can have a voracious appetite for brakes, and those parts certainly aren’t cheap. A single new front brake disc from FCP Euro lists for $440.99, and would you believe that’s a bargain compared to the Brembo and Zimmermann equivalents? Oh, and speaking of chassis parts, it’s worth noting that a pair of rear dampers from FCP Euro lists for $1,882.30. Ouch.

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Should You Buy A Mercedes-Benz E63 Wagon?

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 Amg Rear Three Quarter

As daily transportation, it’s generally a bad idea to buy an aged German performance car with the approximate complexity of Apollo 11, and twin-turbocharged examples of the W212 Mercedes-Benz E63 Wagon aren’t an exception. The maintenance, fuel, and tire bills will eat someone on a Honda CR-V budget alive, meaning that the dream of a budget überwagon is still out of reach for most of us.

However, this isn’t the only AMG E-Class wagon Mercedes-Benz has ever made. If you can find one, an E55 AMG wagon with the supercharged M113 V8 should be a more robust choice in the long run, so maybe there’s still hope within that lineage.

(Photo credits: Cars & Bids)

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PeriSoft
PeriSoft
2 months ago

I like the concept, but I also like my time and solvency, which is why I bought a new XC60 recharge with a 170,000 mile warranty. Too tall and not quite as fast, but way more than fast enough and gets 50+mpg if I feed it electrons every night. As a compromise position it’s not bad.

Bucko
Bucko
2 months ago

Honestly, the potential cost of repairs and the certain cost of tires doesn’t scare me too much. The cost of 91,000 miles worth of premium unleaded (not counting the environmental impacts) gives me more angst. I have been sorely tempted by the E63S wagon in 4.0L form many, many times. This car is on my top-10 list, but this car just whispers money to buy, money to insure, money for tires, money for fuel and (probably) money for parts.

John Metcalf
John Metcalf
2 months ago
Reply to  Bucko

Does it even get 20mpg?

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
2 months ago

The obvious reason to buy the slow crossover is costs. My comparatively dul Mazda is 7 years old and has had no repairs, just tires and a battery. Imagine how many thousands an E63 AMG will chew through in 7 years, and what it’s insurance premium is.
I understand the attraction of the German uberwagen, but like an RV I’d rather rent than own

Wolfpack57
Wolfpack57
2 months ago

Usually I skip this series but this one drew me in. These cars were very well executed, almost the default choice according to some magazines, and the AMG is just icing. Additionally, the repairs don’t seem as crazy as some.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
2 months ago

Brown turbocharged AWD wagon? If only it had a manual transmission…

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago

It’s so BROWN. I love the BROWN.

BROOOOOOOOWN.

Nothing could go wrong with this plan (in metallic brown). Not a single thing. I’m for it.

(Probably more reliable than a Subaru, too.)

TheWombatQueen
TheWombatQueen
2 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

How dare you.

*Cries in Subaru lover*

James Carson
James Carson
2 months ago

Buy a good 90’s caprice wagon, get it painted brown. Throw some nice wheels and tires, suspension and brake kit, build a solid small block add a 5 spd. Upgrade the interior. Profit and be able to sleep at night.

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
2 months ago

I have an S213 AMG, best daily I’ve ever owned

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago

Or a cadilac CTS Wagon for $5,000!

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
2 months ago

This just makes me sadder about the Caddy CTS-V 6MT wagon

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
2 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

For what you save in repairs you pay upfront in the initial price.

John Burkhart
John Burkhart
2 months ago

I will probably never stop pricing these things on the used market, but if I think about it too long, it occurs to me I could buy a lightly used Cayman S AND a used F150 for the price of one.

Bob Terwilliger
Bob Terwilliger
2 months ago

I have wanted one of these forever, its a bucket list car and Im looking for a blue or black one (really anything but white) to trade my GT350 in on at some point, but they are rare as hens teeth. I have owned Mercedes and Porsche and BMW so the maintenance isnt that scary, better then taking my GT350 to the small town Ford dealer I hate, I love the Merc dealer near me.

Sam I am
Sam I am
2 months ago

if you’re willing to accept an older body and some mileage on the clock

Pretty much what my dating profile would say..

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago
Reply to  Sam I am

So are you offering a car or your body? Either way need Pics

MikeF
MikeF
2 months ago

The Dolomite car in the article is my friend’s (until the check clears, I guess). Very cool car and the color is awesome.

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
2 months ago

Why Buy A Slow Crossover When You Can Get A 577-HP Turbo Benz Wagon For The Same Price?

  • Insurance costs
  • Repairability
  • Peace of mind

Not that I care for any of them and would buy one if I have the opportunity to.

Car Guy
Car Guy
2 months ago

The common theme of all these “bargain” exciting cars is my old motto, “you can pay now or you can pay later.”

It’s going to cost you either way, whether you buy a new car before inevitable expensive depreciation or an old car before inevitable expensive repairs.

Car Guy
Car Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  Car Guy

See also: “It only costs a little more to fix it yourself.”

JKcycletramp
JKcycletramp
2 months ago

It’s less bonkers, but the E350 wagon is a fantastic car. I bought a used one and my dog immediately claimed it as his favorite vehicle.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
2 months ago
Reply to  JKcycletramp

The current E450 All Terrain isn’t too shabby either. The inline 6 is very smooth and makes 368 HP. I bought a wagon to be a wagon, not a hoonmobile (I have those already). But if you can only get one car and want both, the AMGs aren’t a bad choice. Just be prepared to pay for the extra maintenance costs.

Tim Connors
Tim Connors
2 months ago
Reply to  JKcycletramp

I’m curious how reliable those E350 wagons are. A 2014 popped up for sale near me for about $14,000. It does have higher miles, but it is also pretty clean.

JKcycletramp
JKcycletramp
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Connors

They put that motor in a million things, and from what I’ve seen all applications are pretty good. I’ve put 60K on mine with just regular maintenance.

Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  JKcycletramp

If he can write like the staff here, you should help him start Dogtopian.ccom

JKcycletramp
JKcycletramp
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jones

Now accepting start-up capital!

Mick Molte
Mick Molte
2 months ago
Reply to  JKcycletramp

The E350s really are nice. And if you want moar powa, the 211 E500 and E550 are right at the bottom of their depreciation curves right now. That V8 is a hell of an engine, and no AMG tax.

JDS
JDS
2 months ago
Reply to  JKcycletramp

Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been DD’Ing a 2013 E350 for the last five years, and I love it. I’m the 2nd owner. The original buyer spec’ed out the “sport” package that includes the AMG body kit and wheels, but not the go-fast bits. It’s hands-down the best road trip car I’ve ever owned. In fact, I just drove it from Tucson to Denver via I-10 and I-25 yesterday. 13 hours driving, and when I got home I wasn’t completely shagged.

The 3.5l V6 in the E350 is a capable engine, plenty of torque and passing power, even over the high passes in CO. I have to pay attention when passing on the highways and freeways, because it’s so easy to mash the accelerator, pass, and end up at 100+ MPH. I just don’t feel the speed in the Benz the way I used to in my old bugeye-era WRX. I’m not surprised given that the BenzWagen is built for high-speed cruising on the few remaining unrestricted parts of the Autobahn. That also makes it useful for driving in the Western states. Those long empty stretches of Western freeways are conducive to extra legal speeds, and even with the cruise set at 90, I’ll still get passed by other drivers.

Also, the gas mileage on the V6 isn’t bad. I just got 24 MPG on premium during my long Highway drive on a windy day in the Benz, which is about the same or even a little better than the old WRX got.

JKcycletramp
JKcycletramp
2 months ago
Reply to  JDS

Same! My wagon replaced a beloved 2nd gen Forester XT and my wife drives it more than I do. She will often execute a very German highway overtake and then look over to me and say, “Benzi’s got the moves.”

Greg
Greg
2 months ago

I searched for a normal one for a bit last year. They go fast when they are listed, and since they sell very few, there are very few listed.

Normal ones, with 30-60k miles on them in good shape were going for 30-40k. Trying to get a good shape E63 without a ton of miles under 50-60k wasn’t happening. This would be a third car for me, and that’s outside of the budget.

I still would like a normal one though, but as inflation keeps up I am getting more and more angry about prices and have realized alot of things I used to be able to afford ain’t in my future anymore.

So I’ll continue to look at the nice old folks in theirs as they drive by my house, everyonce and a while someone brings one to events when I am doing the parking and its nice to chat and get the owners perspective. Funnily enough, I had some lady think I was going to tease her when I asked her about hers and she was very confident that it was actually a suv now with the plastic trim bits added and not really a wagon. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I like the models from before the extra trim and half inch lift better.

Last edited 2 months ago by Greg
Parsko
Parsko
2 months ago

I’m sorry, but Project Ski-Klasse closed the book on any Mercedes ownership for me. Watching Bill go through the upgrades, and his comparison to the BMW’s, and all the extra tools and bullshit one would have to go through just to DIY own one of these is a clear and obvious NOPE from me.

I’m already in the BMW wagon ownership family. I’ve got a V6 CTS too. I want either one to get equal to or more cylinders than they already have. As such, if I’m going to drop $10k for an LS swap, why wouldn’t I just attempt the same equivalent to drop an S85 into the E61??? I just realized this over the past week of my life.

At the end of the day, this whole post and comment are just dreams I will never achieve due to being poor, and I’m not poor.

Greg
Greg
2 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

I feel that last sentence! You aren’t alone friend. Dreams are being crushed all over at a quick pace.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago

When you absolutely, positively have to leave the longest burnout tracks in the pickup line at Todd and Buffy’s private school…

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
2 months ago

Want a mid-2010s sleeper wagon without dealing with the complete fuckshamblery of a modern Mercedes-Benz? Waltz your way to your local IKEA and pick up a 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar. Heck, they’re rare enough that they’d make a good Holy Grails Entry.

No no, pay no mind to the cost and availability of parts. You’re too busy having fun and being practical.

Goffo Sprezzatura
Goffo Sprezzatura
2 months ago

Why not 2016?

Jacob Rippey
Jacob Rippey
2 months ago

***2015-2016. Those were the only years you could get the 3.0 turbo 6.

An even better sleeper is the almost as rare 2015-2016 T6 R-Design. Wheels were 18 or 19 instead of those huge 20’s and it had comfy and cheap suspension instead of the 5K worth of Olins and normal brakes instead of the 3K worth of Brembos. Those made 325hp and also had the AWD.

Both of these cars are reliable to boot! The 3.0 is, ironically, much more reliable than the turbo-4 or turbo-5’s that were also offered at the same time.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jacob Rippey
Greg
Greg
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

Never looked into the volvo wagons much, know in general they are reliable. How much do these holy grails you speak of run?

Jacob Rippey
Jacob Rippey
2 months ago
Reply to  Greg

I’ve been following the pricing on the V60 T6 R-D for a while now. They made roughly 250 of them in 2015 for the states (I keep track of as many vins as I can find on Vinwiki https://web.vinwiki.com/#/lists/5999f4d3-aabd-4a5b-a50f-878545cd9f07). Generally, prices range from 15-20K for an example with 75-100K miles on them. Add 10K premium for a Polestar.

There are 7 of the RD’s on Autotrader right now. My favorite is the Electric Silver one with the suede interior (Nubuck in Volvo speak). There are maybe 3 of them optioned like that, which makes it rare as heck. There’s also a tired Rebel Blue (aka Polestar Blue aka Swedish Racing Green) one for 15K, but she’ll need some major reconditioning to make her pretty again.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jacob Rippey
Greg
Greg
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacob Rippey

going to check them out, thanks for the info!

Luxrage
Luxrage
2 months ago

I’d own it for the sweet few months where everything worked on it brilliantly before being faced with a scary repair bill when something does go out on it. But it’s the price of looking good!

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago

“celebrity provenance”

“owned by Doug Demuro”

LMAO

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

You know, you *know* there’s Oreo crumbs all up in seats.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
2 months ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Would those be “quirks” or “features”?

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
2 months ago

Benzo? I thought we covered the Lexus RX last week?

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago

While German Luxury Depreciation is a thing – German Performance Maintenance is catastrophic.

Despite this – a German wagon is always the correct answer.

Last edited 2 months ago by Urban Runabout
Musicman27
Musicman27
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

No no no… you got it all wrong. It’s “A 2nd gen Subaru Outback is always the correct answer”…

Last edited 2 months ago by Musicman27
Greg
Greg
2 months ago
Reply to  Musicman27

neighbors literally got towed away in front of me this morning as I was redoing my gravel driveway.

Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  Greg

in a Subaru, or a Benz?

Greg
Greg
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jones

the Subaru! I was honestly surprised, it looks to be in good shape.

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