Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

If you’re familiar with the regular Mercedes C-Class interior, then the cabin of this AMG C63 model is going to prove instantly recognisable – in reality not much has changed over the C200d. And that means for some, it’s going to be something of a disappointment.

There’s little problem with the quality on offer, but it’s lacking the required touches to ensure it feels as special as its price tag decrees. Retaining the column stalk, rather that fitting the traditional AMG shifter on the centre console, feels odd while the replacement of the metal rotary controls for specific AMG settings with standard C-Class push buttons smacks of cost-cutting.

At least there’s a set of bespoke instruments, AMG badging to the centre console and a C63 specific IWC-branded clock. You’ll need to select from one of the more outlandish leather colours or even the excellent AMG Performance Seats, with their heavy bolstering, to make it stand out against a top-spec C-Class diesel. We’d add the Alcantara trimmed steering wheel too, in a bid to emphasise this car’s quasi-racer status.

Regardless of trim, finding a decent driving position is made easy thanks to electric adjustment for the seat and wheel, the Performance Seats even allowing you to change the aggression with which the side bolsters ‘hug’ you. We’re still not fully sold on the firm’s Comand Online Navigation controller; the swipe and pinch functionality may work for a smartphone, but on the move it proves more difficult than some rival’s systems.

Fundamentally this is a firm car, but overall Mercedes-AMG comfort is surprisingly good, and actually ride quality is rather impressive. Certainly the damping of the suspension seems to deal with road imperfections in one quick hit rather than taking an age to settle down after initially dealing with a bump in the road.

It doesn’t matter which C63 you choose, all come with the firm’s AMG Ride Control as standard, so you can vary the level of comfort through three pre-defined modes at the touch of a button- sharpening up responses for more challenging sections or road, or even for those wishing to venture onto the race track.

Left in its default mode the seven-speed automatic transmission further heightens the feeling of refinement and comfort on the move with quick but smooth shifts between ratios. We rarely managed to confuse it, either around town or out of it, with last minute throttle or braking applications and 99 percent of the time it selected the ratio you’d expect for any given situation.

On our Portuguese test-route there was noticeable tyre roar as well as some wind noise from the door seals, though we haven’t noticed the latter with a regular C-Class and wouldn’t expect this to remain present on UK production examples.

Neither of the seats offer quite enough side support; you feel like you sit on top rather than in them, and we’d prefer them to adjust a fraction lower. That said we never suffered any aches or pains from them during the test.