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Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Review

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Review

Mercedes-AMG is no stranger to combining high luxury with tremendous force.

In the past, this endeavor necessitated attaching a gigantic V8 or V12 engine to an existing massive SUV, thereby producing a jet-powered land yacht.

However, the downsizing of AMG engines across the board and the launch of the smaller 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 have drastically altered the driving characteristics and increased the output of all of their models.

But what if you want a full-size luxury SUV with seven seats and over 600 horsepower?

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 is a nearly 6,000-pound monster SUV capable of reaching 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds and 174 miles per hour at its top speed.

As the Mercedes-AMG SUV is at the top of the food chain, the GLS 63 benefits from some of the finest and most expensive materials.

The GLS 63 has a starting price of approximately $133,000, although our test vehicle cost closer to $150,000.

There is something so refreshing about an SUV that it is not an attempt to please everyone.

The GLS 63’s enormous Panamericana grille and basketball-sized three-pointed star not only provide the front end a threatening appearance but also serve to instill dread in other drivers as it approaches their rear-view mirror.

Add to that the enormous air intakes just beneath the LED headlights, and the GLS 63 is undeniably an attractive beast.

Our test vehicle was equipped with a massive pair of optional 23-inch matte black wheels, which we were happy to see because they significantly distinguish the AMG variant’s side profile from the more subdued GLS 580.

Unlike the ordinary GLS, the GLS 63 features a large emblem on the front fenders to help distinguish itself.

Four massive exhaust tips are located at the ends of the rear bumper, and a stylish diffuser is located in the middle.

Our tester’s lack of chrome highlights was a nice surprise as it veered away from its opulent heritage and toward a sports car look. However, chrome accents are available for those with a penchant for glimmering.

The new, smaller LED taillights are also advantageous since they wrap around the rear quarter panel and make the GLS appear less boxy.


If you’re looking for a three-row SUV with 600 horsepower, you’re essentially looking for a GLS 63.

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Review
Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Review

Despite its tiny size, Mercedes-AMG is the sole participant in this sub-segment of the performance SUV market.

Both the Audi RS Q8 and BMW X5 M Competition are only available with two rows of seating.

Under the hood is a Mercedes-AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.

New to the GLS 63 is a 48-volt hybrid system dubbed “EQ Boost” that may briefly produce an extra 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

The hybrid technology dramatically alters the GLS 63’s driving characteristics compared to its predecessor.

The new GLS appears eager to pounce, reducing turbo lag and delivering brutal launches from a complete stop. In addition, when charged, the EQ Boost technology enables the GLS 63 to envelop you in your seat even at highway speeds.

Although the power output is amazing, the hybrid system is responsible for all the heavy lifting.

The GLS 63 has an all-wheel drive system paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission to send all of this power to the ground.

The shifts are faultless under rapid acceleration, although the transmission’s calibration is somewhat clunky at lower speeds.

The “Comfort”, “Sport”, and “Sport Plus” driving modes let you to modify throttle response, ride stiffness, and exhaust noise levels, among other variables.

While “Comfort” is ideal for daily use, it almost eliminates exhaust noise for commuting. “Sport Plus,” on the other hand, completely reawakens the new hybrid system’s twitchy nature, causing any slight throttle input to engage warp speed immediately.

This is the GLS 63’s crowning achievement; it is frighteningly quick when you want it to be and silent and out of the way when you don’t.


The dynamic engine mounts and adjustable air suspension of the GLS 63 are nothing short of magical.

In “Comfort” mode, the throttle response is delayed and the suspension is more compliant in an effort to deliver the most comfortable ride possible, but the 23-inch wheels do not assist.

Large humps might unsettle a GLS traveling at fast speeds and induce greater body movement than anticipated.

Transitioning to Sport and Sport+ will gradually stiffen these components, with Sport+ being the most extreme.

We anticipate that Sport will be the happy option for the majority of individuals, as it maintains the GLS’s shape without being overly stiff or uncomfortable.

In Sport+ mode, the GLS 63 is surprisingly nimble and well-balanced, albeit somewhat stiff.

Active Ride Control, a 48-volt technology added to the GLS to fight excessive body roll, does an excellent job of keeping the almost 6,000-pound SUV under control even while cornering at high speeds.

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Review
Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Review

The GLS 63 does an excellent job of concealing its size with its numerous settings, shedding its cruiser-like disposition for a more aggressive, even muscle car-like personality.

Leather, Leather, and Leather Again

The GLS 63’s interior genuinely reflects its six-figure price, even though its speed and driving dynamics are the primary attention-grabbers.

Our test vehicle’s interior was upholstered in brown and black leather with a profusion of optional Alcantara details, including seat inserts and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

A black suede headliner and one of the largest sunroofs we’ve ever seen were affixed to the roof.

While only the front section of the GLS 63’s roof may be opened, nearly the whole length of the roof is constructed of glass.

The optional Burmester speaker system adds a superb surround sound system with a robust sound to the cabin and aluminum speaker covers that only enhance the interior’s elegance.

The GLS’s ambient lighting is also among the best in the industry, allowing the driver to alter the cabin’s ambiance with different lighting modes.

Extraordinary seats with optional massaging, heating and cooling capabilities were another highlight of the cabin.

As you would expect from a vehicle at this price point, the comfort was unrivaled, but the side bolstering was also adjustable and sporty enough for performance driving.

Behind the steering wheel, the GLS’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment display provide the interior’s focal point.

In contrast to some of its competitors who choose two distinct screens, Mercedes-AMG opted for a huge curved panel that connects the two screens and creates the illusion of a single display.

The MBUX infotainment system is user-friendly and intuitive, providing you with quick access to all required settings and driving modes.

Unique in its kind

The GLS 63 makes no attempt to be a sports car or a light, agile super sedan. Instead, it embraces its size and combines some of the most sumptuous amenities you’d expect from a Mercedes-AMG flagship with a powerplant from the AMG GT R Pro, the brand’s most competent vehicle.

Spending double the price of a standard model GLS 450 for the quicker AMG variant makes no sense, but that is precisely why you should.

The GLS 63 is not about frugality or conservatism; it’s about getting a massage at 174 mph while customizing the interior lighting to your own shade of blue.

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Review



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