Typical of Zee Germans, Mercedes-AMG wasn’t going to let the BMW M5 LCI have its time in the spotlight before bursting in and ruining its moment. Just a two days following the release of the M5’s new LCI facelift, the facelifted Mercedes-AMG E63 made its debut as well, bringing its own updated styling to the segment.
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As with the BMW M5 LCI, the Mercedes-AMG E63 facelift isn’t drastically different than before. The face has been tweaked a bit, with new headlights, a new grille and more space in between the two. However, its rear end does get entirely new taillights, rather than just slightly revised ones, like on the M5. Inside, the new AMG also gets Mercedes-Benz’s newest MBUX infotainment system, which is now on par with BMW’s iDrive, if not even a bit better.
However, without actually getting inside, using one and comparing it all, we can’t really comment. Admittedly, AMG hasn’t really touched the performance bits of the E63, so it probably drives exactly the same as the old car but we won’t compare how the two cars drive. What we can compare, however, is how they look now that they’ve both been updated.
Up front, the BMW M5 is the sharper, edgier, more aggressive looking car of the two. It’s sharper body lines, more rectangular headlights and big, bold kidney grilles make it seem like the sportier car. The Mercedes-AMG E63 is a bit prettier, a bit more elegant and a bit more rounded. It’s the softer looking car. That massive difference makes it hard to choose a better looking mug. They both look good, probably equally so, but just different. If you prefer a louder, more aggressive front end, the M5 is the one for you. If you want something a bit more elegant, go for the AMG.
In profile, they’re also very different. The BMW M5 is a bit more muscular and looks more rear-driven, despite both cars being rear-wheel drive-based. The front end of the AMG is a bit more upright than the M5’s giving it a more truck-like appearance. As a whole, the AMG seems more butch, while the M5 seems more athletic. From the side, I think the M5 is the better car. Though, the AMG’s wheels are much better looking.
Out back, the AMG is the more updated of the two, so it seems a bit fresher than the M5. However, the Bimmer is still the more handsome of the two. To these eyes, the rear end of all Mercedes’ sedans look as if they’re melting. Admittedly, AMG fixed this a bit on the new E63 with a small lip spoiler, which breaks up the smooth downward slope. However, it’s still the M5 that looks better from the rear. Also, the square exhausts of the AMG aren’t as cool as the M5’s round ones.
As for the inside, it’s all AMG, all day. The cabin of the BMW M5 is a very nice place to be, with an ergonomic layout and outstanding materials. However, it’s boring to look at, especially the center stack up buttons surrounded by cheap-looking glossy black plastic. While I’m not a fan of carbon fiber inside cars (it’s basically just fancy plastic and should be replaced with either metal or wood), the AMG’s cabin looks far more special. The metal buttons, aluminum speaker grilles and metal-look vent surrounds all add more theater to the cockpit. Also, its two massive screens that seem to blend together look better than the M5’s tacked-on iDrive screen.
A further note on the cabin of the M5. BMW used to keep things incredible driver-focused, with the main infotainment screen in line with the gauges so that the driver barely had to avert their eyes to use it. Now, the iDrive screen is a few inches taller than the gauge cluster. However, the AMG’s screens are exactly the same size and height, as they’re essentially one unit, making it far more cohesive and easier to see and use while driving.
This is a close call, to be honest. Both cars look great and they’re both sensational machines underneath their designs. Choosing between the two is really choosing between a sportier, more aggressive design or a more premium, more elegant design. For the former, go with the BMW M5 and the AMG for the latter.