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Video | The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon Is a $120,000 Family Wagon

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Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class S 4MATIC Wagon
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author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2018

I recently had the opportunity to drive a 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63S Wagon, which is a really long way of saying: the most insane station wagon ever. I base this on the fact that the station wagon in question has 603 horsepower and costs $120,000. It's also quicker than a Porsche Carrera GT.

Yes, there's a station wagon that fits that description, and it's truly amazing. It's the latest AMG E63 wagon, and it's basically my personal car, except six years newer. It's also much, much better. I borrowed this one from a viewer in Maryland to find out exactly how much better, and I was shocked at what I discovered.

Shocked in part because, well, it's just so much fun to drive. In today's world of adaptive everything and sport-tuned whatever, automakers have been able to engineer practical 4-door vehicles, such as this one, that truly feel every bit as sporty and exciting as actual sports cars. After spending some time behind the wheel of the AMG E63S Wagon, I honestly think it's the best luxury performance car I've ever driven; it's truly closing in on Porsche 911 levels of excitement and thrill. The handling is amazing and precise, the steering feel is excellent, and the car feels so stable even in hard cornering that you truly could forget you're driving a station wagon.

And then there's the acceleration. Put the thing in one of the umpteen sport modes whose differences are only known to Mercedes-Benz engineers and stomp the pedal and you'll be truly catapulted forward at a rate once only thought possible in the supercar realm. The fact that all this is happening in a station wagon is almost unimaginable.

But imagine it, you will -- because, well, it's real. And it's great fun. But the E63 isn't all about fun: It's also shockingly comfortable when it needs to be. In low-speed, around-town driving I found it to be quiet and forgiving, especially on harsh roads where my own 2012 version is rougher and a bit tiresome. The latest one uses all that adaptability to, well, adapt -- and it turns back into a luxury car when you want it to be. I was especially impressed with the 9-speed automatic transmission, which is considerably smoother than the jerky 7-speed in my car; it can knock off quick shifts just like a dual clutch (it isn't) while simultaneously providing the smoothness of a traditional torque converter (it isn't that, either). My wagon's jerky transmission seems like it takes the worst things from a dual clutch and a torque converter; the transmission in the 2018 model seems like it takes the best things.

And then there's everything else. The level of technology in the new AMG Wagon is truly amazing, as it boasts some of the best automated driving features in any modern car -- part of an extra package, yes, but one worth springing for. It also provides all the traditional luxuries you'd want, like automatic forward-collision braking, heated and ventilated seats, a panoramic sunroof and two fully configurable display screens -- one for the infotainment system in the middle of the car, and one for the gauge cluster. Those gigantic screens offer everything from a larger, electronic version of the clock in the center control stack all the way to color-changing interior lighting that gives you the option to choose between 64 different shades of every color imaginable.

In the end, the E63S Wagon can be summed up pretty simply. It's not as good on the road as a true sports car, like a Porsche 911 -- but it's close. It's not as luxurious as an ultra-upscale full-size sedan like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class -- but it's close. It's not as practical as a 3-row SUV, like a Mercedes-Benz GLS -- but it's close. And as for technology, it really is as good as just about anything on the market. Combine it all and you have basically the best all-around car imaginable -- a vehicle that's just as appropriate on the race track as it is doing the school carpool run. It's amazing. If only I could afford it.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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