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2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S vs. Audi RS6 Avant — Only 1 Luxury Wagon Can Stand

Station wagons are making a comeback. They offer SUV-like utility but with better handling. And luxury wagons kick things up a notch. MotorTrend recently compared two wagon versions of popular midsize luxury sedans. The 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S, based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant are elegant cars offering tantalizing blends of extravagance and performance. 

These German rivals are alike in some ways yet very different in others. So, which wagon boasts the better performance?

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S and Audi RS6 Avant

Under the Audi RS6 Avant‘s hood rests a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing 591 hp with 590 lb-ft of torque. But the Mercedes-AMG E63 S packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 harnessing 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, MotorTrend reports. 

Both wagons are all-wheel drive. The E63 S offers a drift mode that lets you cut off power to the front axle. Throwing everything at the rear wheels makes for an exciting ride.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S has a slightly longer wheelbase than the RS6 Avant’s wider, taller one.

The Audi wears larger wheels and massive brakes, particularly in the front. Considering this wagon’s weight, that’s a good thing. Though the E63 S’s brakes aren’t as large, they’re equally effective at stopping. The Mercedes can stop from 60 mph in just 104 feet, MT explains. The RS6 needs 113 feet, quite a bit more, to do the same.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S vs. Audi RS6 Avant: Straight-line performance

RELATED: The 2020 Mercedes-Amg E63 S Wagon Is Muscle Car in Disguise

Despite their beefy stature, both wagons can move. The RS6 Avant can achieve 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, and the E63 S can hit it in 3.0 seconds, MotorTrend notes. In a straight line, the two wagons hustle, showing little difference between them. The RS6 can run a quarter-mile at 120.2 mph in 11.5 seconds. The AMG at 124.0 mph can make it in 11.2 seconds.

The MT team points out the E63 S wagon matches its sedan sibling in both the quarter-mile and in the 0-to-60 trial. It’s exactly 0.2 mph slower when it reaches the end of 1,320 feet. The MT folks think the RS6 Avant is more of a wagon version of the RS7, but they haven’t had a chance to evaluate the 2021 model of that one just yet.

Both the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant and 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S are luxurious, loaded with tech, and offer top-quality rides. For what it’s worth, the E63 S offers a bit more cargo space in the back, with 35 cubic feet.

But which luxury wagon delivers the better performance?

The verdict

MotorTrend’s reviewers deem the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S the stronger performer in this comparison. They say it simply offers a better driving experience. That’s not to say the Audi RS6 Avant is abysmal. But the E63 S was a bit better at stopping, body control, and power.

Both wagons scored the same in their figure-eight trials. So, how can one be a better performer than the other? The MT team thinks it comes down to body control. 

The E63 S’s setup is also superior to that of the RS6 Avant. MT’s drivers could push the AMG more in testing than they could the Audi. Plus, the team thought the RS6 Avant’s mid-corner understeer, along with the “weird-feeling” brake pedal, detracted from its overall performance.

MotorTrend’s reviewers even proclaim the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S a “stonking, snarling, fuming, bloodthirsty animal of a car.” They also say it inspires driver confidence. While they drove, their emotions ran the gamut. They finally reached the conclusion that the wagon is simply “staggering in magnitude.”