This is a great time for American car enthusiasts, as there are finally a few great performance wagons to choose from. So long as you have deep enough pockets, you can choose from the Audi RS6 Avant, Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon and the Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo. All three cars are absolutely brilliant in their own ways and, best of all, they all sport long roof body styles for added practicality. The only question is: which to buy?
In this new comparison test from Motor Trend, we take a look at those three aforementioned performance wagons to see which one is the king wagon.
All three cars have similar formulas. They all use 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8s (the Audi’s and Porsche’s are closely related), they all have automatic gearboxes, they’re all all-wheel drive and they all hail from Germany. So it seems that zee Germans have a type. However, when it comes to their behavior on the road, they’re all actually quite different.
Unfortunately for the Audi RS6 Avant, it was deemed the worst, despite the MT staff wanting to like it so much more. Its brakes couldn’t hold up to hard driving, its suspension felt a bit soggy and it lacked the steering and body control of the other cars. Admittedly, MT noted that their test car was equipped with air suspension, rather than the optional DRC (Dynamic Ride Control) coil springs with hydraulically-linked dampers. MT’s Jonny Lieberman noted that the latter suspension felt much better on previous drives. Would that have made a difference in this test? Maybe, maybe not. But it is worth noting.
Shockingly, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon was significantly better to drive hard than the RS6. Typically, AMGs are big bruisers; great in a straight line, not so great in the twisty bits. But kudos to the folks in Affalterbach, as the E63 seems to be the true modern interpretation of the “Hammer” AMG from the ’80s.
Predictably, the Porsche Panamera won the test. There are few guarantees in life; death, taxes, Tom Brady being frustratingly good/lucky and Porsche winning every comparison test it’s in.
Would the Audi RS6 Avant fared better had it been equipped with the sharper suspension. It likely would have done better but the results would probably be the same. Still, as Lieberman points out, all three cars are incredible and all three cars are worthy of your well-earned money.