Thoughts on moving from a S204 C63 to facelift S212 E63?

ZeeDee

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Hi folks, I was wondering if anyone has made the switch from a 204 C63 facelift to a facelift 212 E63? The context behind this is that I'm the happy owner of a facelift C63 PPP estate - I genuinely love the car... The engine is phenomenal (mapped to 510bhp) and I just love the old school charm. Unfortunately my wife isn't quite as enamoured... it's our only car to ferry around our 2.5 yr old toddler and soon to arrive 2nd baby, and she's not happy with the crashy ride quality and slightly agricultural nature of the car. She'd much rather drive one of the nondescript SUVs that we see at nursery dropoff everyday, but she's happy to tolerate my petrolhead passion... within reason.

With the realisation that two cars just wouldn't fit our lifestyle, I've been looking in to other options. I drove a 2016 RS6 and the ride quality and general feel of the car were way more in line with what my wife would like. Unfortunately I found the steering and engine completely devoid of any life and soul, so it was a no from me. I also drove an S213 E63S. I definitely preferred it to the RS6 but a) I'd prefer not to spend so much, and b) the 4 ltr V8 is monstrously fast, but lacks any soul in my view (not a fan of fake pops and crackles).

So I've started to look at something that can still offer the older school charm I'm after but also placate my wife. Someone suggested I should look at a CLS63 shooting brake. I've looked in to them and they seem to tick many boxes on paper but I'd really want the facelift (post 2014) model and they seem to be rarer than a unicorn. Hence my interest in the S212 E63 facelift. I'm personally not a fan of the looks (fine from the front, but the rear looks bloated and I don't like the rear lights). I've never driven the M157 but I think I know what to expect - nothing will touch the M156 for me in terms of visceral thrill, but I think it will be a worthy compromise. I'm more interested in hearing about how the car rides over our potholed roads (in comparison to a S204 C63) and the general level of refinement? It looks like a huge barge from the outside - does it feel that way from behind the wheel? I quite like taking the C63 to north wales to enjoy the great roads in the area, and whilst it's no lotus elise, it's still feels fairly compact and is easy enough to place on the wider B roads. Would the E63 be completely out of place in such an environment?

Any thoughts greatly received!
 

badgx

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If it were me, I would keep it as long as the mileage isn't too high and just get a new economical car of your choice for them school rounds and local errands. That's what I did and everyone's happy. 🙂
 

Rich764089

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I can't comment on to a 204 c63, but my experience of the 212 e63:

M157: probably hard to be disappointed with >650bhp/700lbft after a map, but obviously different experience from the M156 as you know.

Ride quality: I would say very good over potholes in comfort. It's obviously not a Rolls Royce, but I only put it in comfort when roads are really bad, as otherwise it's a little soft for me. Mostly in sport suspension, and that's fine for most roads.

Size: no getting away from the size, but it handles very well for a large car, and B roads are a total blast. It doesn't feel as big as it looks! Just make sure you firm up suspension settings as it really helps with the corners, and reducing body roll.

I know what you mean about looks from the rear!

All useless as there's no comparison with a 204, but that's my tuppence worth 😁
 

st13phil

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I'm more interested in hearing about how the car rides over our potholed roads (in comparison to a S204 C63)
Ride quality of the W/S212 E63 is very good. It's not luxo-barge soft, but it's not crashy either. The steel front / air rear combination works very well.
and the general level of refinement?
Much higher than the S204. If you wish, you can waft around in it and enjoy the ride and refinement. Or you can boot it and it flies.
It looks like a huge barge from the outside - does it feel that way from behind the wheel?
No, it doesn't. They have an extraordinary ability to sort of shrink around you when you press on. The chassis is stiffer and more composed than the 204 series too.
Would the E63 be completely out of place in such an environment?
No. It will give a little away to the 204 due to the added weight and longer wheelbase on the really tight stuff, but they are still huge fun.
 

mbzclk

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A match has been lit….

M157 v M156

So

The C63 will have that exhaust note, and the bragging rights of the 6.2. The C looks better than the E (imo)

The E / CLS will have a more luxurious interior, the M157 will bring higher performance and better economy but won’t sound as thunderous.

Having had both albeit the M156 for a minimal time, the M157 is my weapon of choice.
 

mbzclk

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CLS63 SB Facelift / Non-Facelift - it’s minor. Save the money and get a pre-fl.

Front. It’s the headlamps / DRL change so you get blank grill inserts in the fog / drl position and the drl becomes part of the headlamp.

Interior: Tablet style screen for the COMAND

The rear: Bumper has some aero tweaks.

The above isn’t worth the extra for a FL.
 

jimjamiejames

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I can't compare to the c63 but I love my pre f/l s212 e63. I'm yet to find a road it can't hustle down at high speed. The m157 has lots of torque and turbo lag is none existent really. The handling is superb and I've never thought it feels big while driving, quite the opposite. I'm very rarely out of the softest suspension setting. It's fine for every day driving and I don't think there's much in the way of body roll anyway. I can't really think of anything that would disappoint. Person preference but I think the pre f/l looks better too.
 

Gavnr

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Worth thinking about changing to 18" wheels instead?
 

rOckyC63

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I've had 5 cars with the M156 engine and my wife owns the S212 with the M176. The S212 is the school-run car etc and the kids love it and are great for space and boot space.

Also, from my point of view when I do get to drive the E63 I do think it's one refined machine. It's much more mellow (sort of like an older brother) to the more barky m156 (which is bratty younger bro).

I think the E63 has a much better interior and has much better seating and height. I think air suspension helps and the car is very rare too.

I think you should test drive one! I would say it's a must to get the contour seats as an option if you can.
 

ALFAitalia

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Don't think CLS was one of his options!
BOT
I've driven both recently trying to decide which to go for. My 2 pence worth. I've decided to go for the E63. The C is no bigger inside that my ALFA and I could use a little extra space. The E is probably slightly bigger than I need.....but no where near as big as the Audi A8 4.2 I used to run.
The E has a better ride quality, feels more modern has more power (although it's easy to derestrict the 156 to E version lower levels). Sure it's not quite as sharp handling....but that's a price worth paying for me.
So for me it would be an E63 with the M157 in FL or PFL shape....or possibly a PFL with the 156.
 

c3nturi0n

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C estate (x56): sportier ride + engine sound
E estate (x57): more space, better driving position, improved tech/cabin/finishing
CLS SB (x57): same as E plus it adds a touch of class / slightly lower driving positon and excellent road handling (albeit harsh for some)

If you could afford it, I'd suggest to opt for 'improved' M157 engine.

Good luck!
 

Bobby Dazzler

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The W/S212 E 63 really does handle sweetly for a large car, it feels much more nimble behind the wheel than it’s size and appearance would suggest.

Reading your post I think you really like the W204 and M156 and I suspect that you may never be happy with changing both the platform and the engine.

If the W/S213 with M177 engine can’t convince you to change then I can’t imagine the W/S212 with M157 putting forward a strong enough case either!

I would therefore suggest the pre facelift W/S212 with the M156 engine, as it would be less of a compromise, and therefore likely to be a better fit.

The M156 has quite a different personality - and sound - in different applications. It will still be amazing, but expect a slightly softer edge in all respects in the E 63.

Or if your wife would be happy with an SUV you could always snap up the unicorn of SUVs l, the R 63 AMG listed on Collecting Cars which ends today!
 

st13phil

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I would therefore suggest the pre facelift W/S212 with the M156 engine, as it would be less of a compromise, and therefore likely to be a better fit.
Older car (and very few to choose from vs. the Biturbo cars), older technology and significantly higher fuel consumption. All for a sonorous exhaust note and power delivery with a top-end rush that arguably doesn't really suit the bigger E-Class.

Just imo, of course.
 

Bobby Dazzler

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Older car (and very few to choose from vs. the Biturbo cars), older technology and significantly higher fuel consumption. All for a sonorous exhaust note and power delivery with a top-end rush that arguably doesn't really suit the bigger E-Class.

Just imo, of course.
I agree with all of your points: the facelift W212 with M157 is a better proposition as a road car IMHO. I love the M156 but again IMHO the M157 is “probably” “better” in almost all tangible respects.

The reason for suggesting the older car is not because it’s better but because it’s closer to what I believe the OP is looking for, it’s more similar in nature and feel to the W204/M156 than the facelift model.

But importantly the W212 has a slightly softer edge than the W204, in comfort, driving dynamics and sound (and even performance in standard trim), which is what I believe the OP’s wife is looking for.

A great choice to have to make 👍🏻
 
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ZeeDee

ZeeDee

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Thanks to all for the really useful insights! I think it's definitely worth me having a drive in an S212 E63 and then I'll be able to make a definite decision. Just to touch on some of the points raised:

@badgx - two cars just wouldn't work for us parking wise, and I'd fear that I'd spend most of my time driving the bland car!

@Rich764089 - definitely useful insights, thanks

@st13phil - again, really useful feedback, thanks

@mbzclk - I actually think the CLS63 SB is the sweet compromise - I'd definitely prefer a facelift due to the tweaks you mention as it freshens the car up quite a bit imo. I'd consider a PFL but there's nothing worth seeing on the market at the moment.

@Bobby Dazzler - you are right to say I have a real soft spot for the M156 and S204. It's a brilliant package. I've had 5 great years driving an M156 engined AMG and it might be time for a change. If I did go for an S212 then it would have to be the FL as it looks a bit more modern and I'd forever be comparing an M156 engined E63 with the C63 if I went that route.
 

st13phil

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If I did go for an S212 then it would have to be the FL
FWIW, Dynamic Multi-Contour seats and the Driving Assistance Package are great options - if you can find a car that has them.

Budget for an LSD too if the car isn't fitted with the AMG Locking Diff. Quaife or WaveTrac are both good options (and before anyone mentions it, I know they're not strictly LSD's, but are actually Torque Biasing diff's).
 
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ZeeDee

ZeeDee

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FWIW, Dynamic Multi-Contour seats and the Driving Assistance Package are great options - if you can find a car that has them.

Budget for an LSD too if the car isn't fitted with the AMG Locking Diff. Quaife or WaveTrac are both good options (and before anyone mentions it, I know they're not strictly LSD's, but are actually Torque Biasing diff's).
Do you happen to know what the Driving Assistance Package gives you? Would also ideally like one with the 360 cam but that seems very rare on the 212
 

st13phil

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Do you happen to know what the Driving Assistance Package gives you?
Active Blind Spot Assist
Active Lane Keeping Assist
BAS with Junction Assist
DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot
PRE-SAFE Brake
PRE-SAFE Plus

I had it on both my pre-facelift and my facelift E63's and it is significantly better and more functional on the facelift car.
Would also ideally like one with the 360 cam but that seems very rare on the 212
Like rocking-horse manure, I'm afraid. Note also that the reversing camera was optional equipment on all but the last year of production when it became standard, so check it's present if you want it.
 

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