2020 Mercedes-AMG G63 review: Power and style above all

No SUV has the inherent cool issue of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

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The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a paradox. It is utilitarian, rugged and boxy. However on the identical time, it is coveted by the wealthy, fashionable and well-known, and Mercedes retains arising with ever extra luxurious and highly effective variants to fulfill these patrons, the most recent of which is the 2020 AMG G63.


Table of Contents

  • Epic engine
  • Timeless model
  • Heroic construct high quality
  • Luxurious inside appointments

Do not Like

  • Horrible trip
  • Heinously costly
  • Terrible ergonomics

This ubertractor has a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 that produces 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque — figures befitting a supercar — and routes that energy by means of a chassis that, whereas extra refined than ever, nonetheless feels higher suited to guarding a Slavic border checkpoint than driving on something resembling a twisty street. It is all very foolish and austere and purposeful. And therein lies the allure of the G-Wagen: well-dressed lunacy.

The always-lovely 4.0-liter V8 is paired with Mercedes’ nine-speed computerized transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. Being a G-Class, it additionally has three locking differentials, do you have to ever resolve to enterprise into the tough stuff. (And even then, the G550 is better.)

Given the tall, slim form of the G63 and the glut of energy and torque that it produces, the driving dynamics are finest described as superb round city however harrowing at pace. The electro-mechanical rack-and-pinion steering may be very a lot improved over the earlier G’s recirculating-ball setup, however the turning circle, at 44.Three ft, is finest in comparison with giant boats reasonably than different vehicles.

The trip on the G63 ranges from bouncy and wallowy in consolation to “name my dentist, I’m going to want some fillings changed,” stiff in Sport Plus, although I believe that a few of this comes right down to the colossal 22-inch non-obligatory wheels fitted to my tester. Surprisingly, I discover the candy spot to be in Sport mode reasonably than Regular. It is nonetheless stiff, however comparatively livable and the roads’ sharpest bumps get a few of their edges smoothed out. Braking comes courtesy of some massive ol’ 14.8-inch rotors up entrance and 13-inch rotors within the rear, with six-piston and single-piston calipers to grip them, respectively.

The inside is superbly appointed, however nonetheless considerably cramped.

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Inside, the G-Class is upright, with straight-ish glass and slab-like sprint panels, but it is all coated within the best leather-based and Alcantara. The whole lot is completely stitched and neatly trimmed. You are cosseted in consolation; the cabin is beautiful and executed in a method that completely justifies the G63’s six-figure asking worth.

The ergonomics are a bit of bizarre, although, as a result of they’ve to evolve to a really previous model of SUV with a comparatively small footprint. For instance, the seating place is tremendous excessive. Usually, on an SUV, I would name this a optimistic, however I discover myself unable to regulate the seat right down to a place the place my head is not touching the suede headliner. At 6 ft, Four inches, I am fairly tall, however I am not that tall.

Legroom can be a priority, because of the supply of simply 38.7 inches within the entrance and 39.5 inches within the rear. Regardless of showing large when seen by itself, the G63 is just not that massive of an SUV. The inside borders on cramped at instances, regardless of providing extra cabin area than its predecessor, but it surely’s only a sacrifice you make should you merely should be seen in used-to-be-military {hardware}. Arguably the perfect elements of the inside are the sound the doorways make if you shut them and particularly the sound the door locks make if you arm or disarm the car — it is like an enormous rifle being cocked.

US-spec G63s come normal with the decrease bumper guard.

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I like the side-hinged rear door and it is helpful in parking garages the place the G’s top would possibly make an everyday top-hinged hatch lower than very best. However this additionally means you may’t again in too near a wall or one other automobile, for the reason that door wants additional area to swing open. The cargo space is trimmed in tender, luxurious carpet and quilted leather-based, too, so it undoubtedly retains up the phantasm of luxurious, so long as you need not haul something particularly sensible (or soiled). There’s 38.1 cubic ft of area again right here and you may fold the seats down, as effectively.

Sadly, this technology of G-Class launched simply earlier than the arrival of Mercedes’ new MBUX tech, so it nonetheless depends on the older COMAND infotainment system on a pair of 12.3-inch shows. In all probability probably the most disappointing factor in regards to the system is the shortage of a touchscreen, particularly given how shut you sit to the sprint. Nonetheless, Apple CarPlay is alongside for the trip, as is Android Auto, and the voice instructions work effectively sufficient. I do love the superb Burmester sound system, which is normal on the G63.

The G-Class has all the time been costly and the AMG G63 is tremendous expensive, at about $153,000 to start out. My G63, as examined, retails for $182,445 together with $995 for vacation spot. That is a ton of cash for what I’d think about a novelty, except you are actually counting on the G for its unmatched off-road functionality and even then, you are most likely higher off with the less-expensive G550.

This matte olive paint is a $6,500 choice.

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A good chunk of that as-tested worth comes from the inclusion of the $8,050 G Manufaktur inside bundle, the $6,500 matte olive inexperienced paint, the $4,550 22-inch solid wheels and the $2,200 prime pace limiter elimination (which is totally pointless, by the way in which). Nonetheless, I believe that should you’re the form of purchaser who desires a G63, you most likely do not care about penny-pinching all that a lot.

Different high-dollar, high-speed opponents embrace the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid and Mercedes’ personal AMG GLS63, which gives a a lot nicer driving expertise however lacks the G’s inherent cool issue. You could possibly go for a Range Rover SV Autobiography and get comparable off-road chops, however once more, a Land Rover simply is not as superior.

I like the G-Wagen, however truthfully, the ostentatious AMG model strays too removed from the bottom mannequin’s off-roady allure. I would reasonably get a G550 with the smallest wheels attainable and begin including aftermarket equipment till it appeared like I used to be prepared for the Paris-Dakar. The G63 gives loads of thrills, however $153,000 is simply an excessive amount of to pay for a novelty expertise. It appears to be like cool, sounds cool and is opulent as hell, however on the finish of the day, I might say the identical a couple of G550.

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Kyle Hyatt