Toronto Downtown Mercedes: 2014 Mercedes Benz E63S Full Review
The Mercedes Benz marquee was always a car make I thought I would NEVER get. They were for old people I thought. Clunky, heavy and with zero personality. Funny enough, I was a BMW guy - although I had never owned one personally (my Father had a 1990 325i Vert, which I was allowed to drive; once). BMW was for the sporty driver, the racer, the cool, younger hip guy...And being honest up until about 2010 or so, that was indeed the case.
Then BMW lost its way. Its cars started having the same adjectives thrown at it that Mercedes had years before. The cars were robotic, numb, and lacked any "edge". Bloated, heavy and oversized.
Like a universal law where any void must be filled, Mercedes Benz came in to solve that emptiness, with cars that were both brutal and - somewhat shockingly - visceral. They still did not have the track capabilities that BMW was known for, but they were leaps and bounds better than what they were - and they were FAST.
I had not even test driven the car as the 2014 E63S was a brand new model year, there were none available, and this Dealership really didn't know what to make of me...I actually came in to look at a 2013 C63 (pre-V8 turbo, NA model) but found it too small for my young family and I didn't like the seats (although I loved the sound).
When I picked up the car and took my first ride, I was blown away. More impressively, I didn't even use first gear - only second - and even then thought it was fast. When I had the appropriate break-in KM's on the car and launched it for the first time, I knew I had to take it to the track and see what it could do. And I was not disappointed; 11.8's at 121-123 MPH on average. I beat most cars at the track - including drag specific cars. It was a strong performing car - especially for a luxury car with a baby seat.
My 60' being the weakness as Mercedes did not allow the reducing of tire pressure beyond 40 PSI (yes 40) from its nearly 50 PSI stock levels, without disabling the Racestart system(launch control). And speaking of that system, it tested my racing ability almost as much as a 1600 AWHP car - in its complexity: with traction control off and in Sport+, come to an abrupt stop (had to be abrupt), switch the trans button to "RS", click one of the steering wheel shift paddles, keep the intense pressure on the brake with your left foot and then mash your right foot on the gas...all whilst the dragway tree lights were falling. If I wasn't racing someone I thought was a good race - I didn't even bother trying to get a solid RT (reaction time). My best ET was an 11.7, but the car was easily capable of an 11.5 or quicker with a tire and solid 60' (from my high 1.8x to 2.0 and higher despite the "AWD"). On that note, I found the permanent 33/67 front to rear split to be somewhat useless. The AWD system was suboptimal - especially in the winter - and although it provided some hooning capabilities with traction control off to let the back end come around, it was limited. I wasn't a fan.
It was still a luxury car - smooth, but somewhat rough around the edges as AMG and M cars tend to be. It was still Mercedes flat in regards to steering feel, but most of the newer cars with non-analog steering were similar. Handling was good, but as with my GTR, I didn't like taking it around a road course. The weight - nearly 4700 lbs, was FELT. Everywhere. I believed I could hear the car crying at every corner under hard braking, and the tires DID cry - quite loudly. That was a one and done experience that I had no desire to repeat. The interior quality was solid, nothing looked or felt cheap, beautiful pieces of metal, with high-quality leather throughout. Stereo was okay, and it was an amazing long distance cruiser. And I liked the way it looked. Clean, classy and sleek - with only a hint of mean - as the body itself was almost identical to a Bluetec version of the E class.
Overall, at that time, it was the best all-round car I had ever owned. I started to believe that I had become a Mercedes guy now and forever.
That was until BMW got some of its mojo back...and I got behind the new G30...but that is another story.
Stay Tuned for my 2018 BMW M550ix review to find out more.