2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63

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$111,041 — $214,684 NEW and USED Shop local deals
(5.0) 4 reviews
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Key Specs
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2017 Mercedes‑Benz AMG S 63. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    17-18 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    577-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    7-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Massive acceleration from big V-8
  • Seats comfortable for everyone
  • Tons of high-tech equipment
  • Gorgeous styling
  • Luxurious interior materials
  • Not much wind buffeting with top down

The Bad

  • Acceleration lag betrays quickness
  • Feels heavy and ponderous — not AMG-like
  • Ridiculously thick steering wheel
  • Inconveniently located power-top button
  • Extremely expensive
  • Doesn't feel much different from lesser S550 cabriolet

Notable Features of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63

  • Two-door convertible body style
  • Twin-turbocharged eight-cylinder engine
  • Seven-speed automatic transmission
  • All-wheel drive and adaptive suspension standard
  • Standard Airscarf heated neck vents in seats
  • Available night vision

2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63 Road Test

Aaron Bragman
Versus The Competition:

Personal luxury coupes of this size are rare, and convertibles even more so. There are competitors that start off more expensive than the S63 Cabrio, like the Bentley Continental GTC, and ones less expensive, like the BMW 650i, but few exist in the S63's price bracket. 

Super-luxurious convertibles make fantastic statements. They're better than hardtop coupes, because they let everyone see you — you, who's driving this phenomenally expensive, rolling, rumbling display of beautifully styled automotive hedonism. This is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG S63 Cabriolet, and while it's not the top-of-the-line four-seat convertible from Mercedes-Benz (there's still the S65 above it and the Maybach S600 above that), it's dang close to it. It has a monstrous twin-turbo V-8 engine, a sport-tuned air suspension, enormous wheels and a hand-crafted feel that make it truly special. But is it really necessary? Is it $45,000 better than the already incredible S550 Cabrio?

Exterior & Styling

The transformation from big S-Class sedan to S-Class Coupe to S-Class Cabriolet doesn't lose anything along the way in terms of style, presence or sheer visual impact. The S63 Cabrio looks and feels enormous; it's a long, imposing design that somehow manages to be sleek and powerful. It's somewhat akin to a killer whale — bulky but streamlined, able to move more quickly than expected.

The S63 gets a slightly different lower bumper with wider air scoops, different wheels, an AMG-signature "A-wing" three-dimensional grille, more chrome all around, and a black air diffuser under the rear bumper. There are also more AMG badges plastered to the car than is really necessary (all four exhaust tips?). Without them, though...

Super-luxurious convertibles make fantastic statements. They're better than hardtop coupes, because they let everyone see you — you, who's driving this phenomenally expensive, rolling, rumbling display of beautifully styled automotive hedonism. This is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG S63 Cabriolet, and while it's not the top-of-the-line four-seat convertible from Mercedes-Benz (there's still the S65 above it and the Maybach S600 above that), it's dang close to it. It has a monstrous twin-turbo V-8 engine, a sport-tuned air suspension, enormous wheels and a hand-crafted feel that make it truly special. But is it really necessary? Is it $45,000 better than the already incredible S550 Cabrio?

Exterior & Styling

The transformation from big S-Class sedan to S-Class Coupe to S-Class Cabriolet doesn't lose anything along the way in terms of style, presence or sheer visual impact. The S63 Cabrio looks and feels enormous; it's a long, imposing design that somehow manages to be sleek and powerful. It's somewhat akin to a killer whale — bulky but streamlined, able to move more quickly than expected.

The S63 gets a slightly different lower bumper with wider air scoops, different wheels, an AMG-signature "A-wing" three-dimensional grille, more chrome all around, and a black air diffuser under the rear bumper. There are also more AMG badges plastered to the car than is really necessary (all four exhaust tips?). Without them, though, the changes from the S550 are so subtle you might not recognize this as an AMG-specific model.

The S63 Cabrio is one of those rare convertibles that looks good with the top up or down. The long Mercedes roof is quite high toward the rear, giving backseat occupants decent headroom but maintaining an elegant Mercedes profile. Top-down, the car looks fantastic with the top stored beneath a hard tonneau cover.

The top can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 31 mph, and it takes less than 20 seconds to do so. You can also raise or lower the top using the key fob from outside the car.

How It Drives

You might also have a problem noticing this is an AMG model when you're behind the wheel and moving. The S63 AMG coupe comes with a twin-turbocharged, 5.5-liter V-8 making 577 horsepower and 664 pounds-feet of torque. It's good for a zero-to-60-mph sprint of 3.9 seconds, Mercedes-Benz says, but the S550 and its twin-turbo, 4.7-liter V-8 can do it in 4.5 seconds.

Once you get the car moving acceleration is brisk, but the seven-speed automatic transmission in the S63 is slow to engage. There's always a brief hesitation between a stab of the accelerator and forward motion, as if the transmission and throttle computers need a moment to think about what they've been asked to do and how best to respond. As a result, the S63 does not feel as quick as it could; it doesn't have the lightning-quick responses some AMG-tuned cars do. There's just no hiding the fact that it's a big grand-touring coupe, not an actual sports car.

Handling also suffers due to the car's bulk and weight. If you expect it to be a floaty, luxurious, insulated boulevardier, you'll be supremely pleased with it. If you look at the AMG badges and think it's going to be a taut muscle car with amazing steering feel, tight responses, an excellent suspension and dynamic feedback, you're going to be rather disappointed. This is not some kind of larger AMG-GT with a backseat, it's a more powerful, more aggressive-looking S550 Cabrio. It's posh and cushy like the S550. Even the exhaust, which is supposed to have special flaps that open for better breathing and rorty noises, is remarkably quiet for an AMG vehicle.

This is not a car that likes to be driven aggressively, and after trying to do so for a while you won't want to anymore. It might be marginally quicker, it might be slightly more firm in the suspension department, but the driving differences between the S550 and S63 are not that great.

Fuel economy is about what you'd expect in a car this heavy and equipped with a monster V-8 engine. It's rated by the EPA at 14/22/17 mpg, and my week of testing netted an observed 18 mpg.

Interior

The S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet have a different interior than the S-Class sedan; it feels lower, with a distinctive floating dashboard. Everything in the S63 Cabrio is top-notch, swathed in premium leather, piano-black lacquer with special inlays, and knurled metal for the knobs and buttons.

The front seats aren't so much seats as they are thrones, two massive chairs with incredible adjustability. Longer, taller, shorter, softer, wider — you name it, you can adjust it. There's even a massage function and an active bolstering feature that helps keep you in place as you corner. The backseat has plenty of width for two, but legroom is surprisingly tight given the length of the car. Much of the space back there is taken up by the seat-folding mechanism and a storage bay for the convertible top, which pushes the backseat forward into the cabin. You can fit adults back there, but despite the tony surroundings they won't be happy for very long.

Quiet isolation is still the name of the game for the S63 Cabrio, at least with the top up. The triple-layered fabric top is extremely well-insulated against outside conditions; more noise comes through the side windows than the top itself. Drop the top and activate the AirCap function, and a bar rises from the top of the very low windshield header to help deflect airflow over the cabin. Press another button, and an integrated rear wind screen rises behind the backseat. These elements look odd, but when you raise the windows and activate the heater blowers in the front seatbacks (the AirScarf function), you'll feel like you just have a big sunroof panel open instead of a full convertible top. In my opinion, it somewhat defeats the purpose of having a convertible top, but it does allow a modicum of protection from the elements if the temperature should drop but you still want that wind-in-your-hair experience.

Ergonomics & Electronics

The control arrangement is less than perfect in the S63's dash layout, which has been rearranged from the sedan's. Some buttons are obscured by the ridiculously thick steering wheel, which features a rim I have a hard time getting my entire hand around.

That super-thick wheel also obscured a good portion of the top of the gauge cluster, which isn't actually a cluster but rather a 10-inch digital screen with limited configurability. There's an AMG screen that adds a couple of gauges, but I still find a digital gauge cluster that you can't change much to be a waste of equipment. My car was equipped with a night vision system that was useful on super-dark roads but could be a distraction, as well. Someone really needs to figure out how to project the night vision onto the windshield to make it truly useful and less of a gimmick.

The S63's premium audio system is impressive, controlled via a rotary knob and several dedicated buttons on the center console. Like all premium multimedia systems packed with menus and features, it takes a little getting used to in order to find what you want, but with practice it becomes second nature. Sound quality is excellent with the top up but of course suffers a bit with the top down.

Cargo & Storage

The odd thing about the S-Class in general is that it doesn't have a big trunk. Even the sedan has a surprisingly small boot, and the coupe has even less room. The space gets curtailed even more in the Cabriolet, which has just 12.4 cubic feet $mdash; and that gets chopped a bit more if you want to lower the top, thanks to a special protective well that must be electrically lowered into the trunk in advance of it. Still, you'll be able to fit your golf clubs back there and maybe even a set for a friend, as well.

Safety

The S-Class Cabriolet has not been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

As expected in a top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz, the safety technology in the S63 is astounding — and comes almost entirely at additional cost. All that's standard is the Collision Prevention Assist Plus system, which can perform autonomous emergency braking at speeds up to 65 mph and can completely prevent a collision with a stationary object at speeds up to 25 mph. The system even uses its advanced radar to detect if the car is about to be rear-ended and can lock the brakes, activate the seat belt pretensioners and rapidly flash the rear hazard lights to warn the oncoming car.

Optional are systems like pedestrian detection, adaptive high beams, active lane-keeping assist, a full 360-degree camera and radar system, a night vision camera and more. On a dark road, the pedestrian detection system will notice people walking along the road and can selectively flash them (and only them) with a focused high-beam light from the headlights. I tried it myself; it works as promised and is quite something to witness.

Value in Its Class

It's difficult to use the word "value" to describe a $200,000 car; it's not an object where value really comes into play. The S63 is meant to appeal to emotion and desire, not rationality. And for buyers well-off enough to afford one, the S63 Cabriolet has this appeal. It starts at $177,325 including destination fee. My test car had a number of designo custom trim options, such as Mocha Black Metallic paint and a "flowing lines" piano black interior for $6,850 in added cost. The night vision camera added another $2,260, while Swarovski crystal headlamps added another $1,750. The fancy 20-inch wheels were $1,700, while a Warmth & Comfort Package that added heated rear seats as well as heated panels through the interior armrests, steering wheel and door panels was $1,990. All the extra safety features came in the Driver Assistance Package for $2,250, and the premium Burmester audio system added a whopping $6,400. Throw in a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax, and you come to $201,525 as-tested.

Based on price and exclusivity, there are really only two competitors for the S63 Cabriolet. The first is the Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible, which starts at $221,125 — quite a bit higher than the base price of the S63 but not that much higher than our as-tested price. It also has seats for four, all-wheel drive and a bi-turbo V-8 engine and is more engaging to drive and feels more aggressively sporty.

A much sportier alternative is the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, which starts at $201,450 — less than $100 away from our as-tested price of the S63. It's a much smaller car, however, with only a vestigial backseat suitable for children, but it weighs a staggering 1,200 pounds less than the S63 Cabrio. Compare these three competitors here.


Latest 2017 AMG S 63 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(5.0)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Best Car That I have driven.

by Marlene Alcaraz from Corona,CA on September 18, 2017

I feel comfortable and secure when driving it . Better car than Maserati. Comes with everything you would of dream of that would come in a Car. Read full review

(5.0)

Most excellent car i've test drove.

by Timothy from 90003 on September 18, 2017

This is a car that allows for massage. Test drive this car and it's an excellent Ride. It's very clean. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63 currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63 has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The AMG S 63 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker