My previous car ownership consisted of mainly Japanese performance vehicles - WRX; Evo; s2000; Civic B Series. So, as I got older I wanted something nicer, something less Spartan. I then spent a few years in a Volkswagen Golf GTi MK6. Nicely built car but had some reliability issues. But that's another story.
So when it came time to look for a new car, I decided on a C63 estate. The main reason for going with an estate was purely for practicality. My main use was as a daily driver and I needed the space to carry goods around in between my businesses. And being a motoring enthusiast, a van wasn't going to cut it.
I started off trying to track down a C63 507 estate, but in my almost 12 months of looking, I came across two examples. But none of them had any decent options. The car I settled on is a 2012 MY13 estate, it has the performance pack option (+22kW; Alcantara trim; red callipers; 19" multispokes), tech pack (radar cruise, collision assist, blind spot assist) and key less go.
The only option that it doesn't have that I would have liked is the dab+, digital radio
So, how is it? Well, I've put about 3,5000km on the car, and haven't had a single issue. It's been extremely reliable, I've serviced it twice and the costs have been no more expensive than owning a Japanese vehicle. As long as you stay away from the dealer network. Find a good Mercedes independent and it'll makes running costs extremely liveable.
I'm not going to offer a biased review, as I change cars every few years, and rarely become attached to a car, so I'll point out the main gripes. Firstly, AMG transmissions suck. They are slow, but do the job. Don't expect lightning quick gear changes. I don't even bother with the paddle shifters anymore.
Fuel economy, depending on expectations is average. I've been averaging mid 16L/100km driving in Sydney traffic. Just normal driving. But if you were to drive in an anti social manner, then it can blow out easily to over 20.
The propensity to lunch on rear tyres is also an issue. I'm pretty reserved with how I drive, yet the rear tyres easily lose traction when taking off. This can be mitigated by better tyres, and I've swapped to michelin pilot sports which has reduced a lot of the slippage.
The ride is also a little stiff, not Evo or Integra Type R teeth chattering stiff, but it's firm. Some might not like it, but for me the ride and handling is fine.
So, besides those points, the C63 estate really doesn't have many faults. Most buyers obviously buy the car for the engine. But I've been pleasantly surprised by the low maintenance and running costs. Perhaps talk to me when I need to replace brakes and rotors.....
So what else would I recommend if you are looking at a C63 estate. Obviously an Audi RS4. My brother owns one. Again, a nice car, not as harsh, a little boring though. HSV tourer? I've heard they are great value, perhaps I need to take a look at one, someday.