This is the least apples-to-apples comparison for the all-new BMW M3 Touring. Despite Mercedes-Benz being BMW’s main rival, its AMG C63 Wagon is very different from BMW’s new hot-wagon. However, they’re still both high-performance wagons from rival German brands that will be priced in similar territory. So we need to look at which car has the better styling, now the BMW finally revealed its M3 Touring to the world.
Both cars are completely different, in terms of both style and layout. The Mercedes-AMG C63 Wagon is far subtler and more sophisticated than the M3 Touring, the latter of which is much more aggressive. When it comes to how they drive, though, they’re opposites again, as the M3 Touring is very serious about capability and speed, while the AMG is more concerned with tire smoke and madness, thanks to its twin-turbo V8 and rear-wheel drive. But which one is better looking?
Up front, just like with the Audi RS4 Avant—and every other M3 comparison—the M3 Touring falls down here. The AMG C63 is just better looking up front, with its simple grille, sharp hood creases, and cohesive, elegant design. The M3 Touring, on the flip side, just can’t stop shouting at everything. Its monster kidney grille, sharp headlights, and aggressive air intakes make it look so much more aggressive, but also so disjointed, that the AMG feels like a visual vacation for the eyes. So it wins up front.
In profile, it comes down to taste. The AMG C63 Wagon is far simpler and less angry. Whereas the M3 Touring is every bit as angry looking from the side, even when stationary. The M3’s aggressive wheels, flared fenders, and fake fender vent all seem a bit try-hard to the AMG’s gentler styling. So it’s a wash.
Out back, I was never a fan of Mercedes’ modern rear end design language, as most of its cars seem like they’re melting. However that didn’t happen for this new model, which has handsome looking taillights and a nicely proportioned rear end. Its quad exhausts are a bit blah, with their simple rectangular shapes, and the rear diffuser couldn’t look more fake. Whereas the M3, though, looks handsome enough, with its simple taillights and quad exhausts—the latter of which look better than Mercedes’—so it takes the win here.
Inside, I have to hand it to the AMG. I think the M3’s cabin is quite cool, with its killer seats and curved iDrive 8 screen, but the AMG’s just has so much more theater. The waterfall center console, completely trimmed in one massive piece of unbroken carbon fiber, along with its awesome steering wheel make it seem far more exciting than the M3’s cabin. I’ve heard the C63’s interior lacks the quality of the M3’s but, without being able to compare them back-to-back, I can’t apply that here. So the AMG wins inside.
That leaves this styling comparison with AMG as the winner. The BMW M3 Touring isn’t a bad looking car but its grille is always going to put it at a disadvantage. The AMG is just a better looking car overall. However, if I’m being honest, design isn’t what’s going to cause customers to buy, or not buy, either. Instead, some customers will prefer the more precise, more agile M3 Touring and some will prefer the V8, rear-wheel drive hooligan that is the AMG.
[Photos: Mercedes Media Center]