AMG GLS63 4Matic — Too much of a good thing is sensational

By Jim Prueter

(January 21, 2019) As it is, midwinters are pretty easy in Arizona, with balmy temperatures and roads free of snow, ice and salt. Making it even sweeter is spending a week test driving the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 flagship SUV, with a massive masterpiece of a handcrafted 5.5-liter bi-turbo direct-injection engine producing 577 horsepower and 561 lb-ft torque of V-8 performance under the hood.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, SUVs — regardless of brand, size or price — are red hot, as throngs of car buyers forego traditional sedans for roomier, higher-sitting utility vehicles. And Mercedes isn’t shy about being fearlessly audacious with its crazy fast, ludicrously expensive AMG GLS63 luxury dreamliner.

It isn’t just fast, it’s viciously fast, reaching 60 mph from a dead stop in just 4.3 seconds and continuing through the quarter-mile in 12.7 seconds at 110 mph. With the center-console-mounted Dynamic Select control, drivers can choose various ride and suspension options, varying from Comfort, Individual, Sport and Sport+, which lowers the overall height of the vehicle, stiffens the dampers and adds a quicker throttle response.

Bringing all this power and performance to a halt are massive 15.4-inch front and 14.2-inch rear brakes. This is simply one of the fastest seven-passenger SUVs in the world.

But like any AMG Mercedes, the considerable expressive absurdities aren’t purely found in its brute force performance or gravity-defying handling with dynamic purity, it continues inside with luxurious, cosseting rich leathers and materials, advanced technology and precision craftsmanship fit and finish. Whether one chooses leather-upholstered instrument panel and center stack plied with glossy carbon fiber, or exotic open-pore timbers, thick deep-pile carpets, and fine crafted jewelry-like metal switchgear, it’s a vehicle that leaves no occupant wanting for more.

To be sure, other vehicles may be the more practical and a “responsible” choice, with better gas mileage, and a “value” proposition, but if you have the financial means, and want to be rewarded with performance, speed, style, opulent luxury, and status, choosing the AMG GLS63 is an easy and requisite decision.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $126,150
Price as Tested: $137,435
Engine: 5.5-liter 577-horsepower biturbo V8 connected to an AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic transmission
Fuel Economy: 13-mpg City – 18mpg Highway
Seating: 7

Crash Test Safety Ratings: It has not been crash test rated by either the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Where Built: Tuscaloosa County, Alabama

Competes With:
Land Rover Range Rover
Lexus LX
Lincoln Navigator
Mercedes AMG G63
Tesla Model X

Fab Features
Massive power, acceleration and performance
Opulent interior
Exceptionally smooth, quiet ride