Mercedes-AMG GLS63

MIAMI — Though its roots go back to the late 1990s when Mercedes-Benz introduced its first SUV, dubbed the M and later adjusted to ML to alleviate a conflict with BMW’s M line, the GLS came into being as a 2017 model when it replaced the GL-Class that had served as Mercedes’ flagship SUV since its introduction in 2006.

In the alphabet soup that fills the Mercedes-Benz automotive nomenclature chart, the “G” designates the GLS as an SUV, G coming from the German word gelandewagen for “off-road vehicle.” The “S” makes it equivalent to the flagship “S-Class” sedan in company hierarchy, thus assuming the role as the German automaker’s flagship.SUV just a notch above the GLE (which is equivalent to the E-Class sedan).

As for the “L,” it basically serves as window dressing..

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS is part of the third generation of the model and comes in three trims. The GLS450 is equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine while the GLS580 gets a 4.0-liter turbo V8.

This review based on the beast of the lineup, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 with a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 under the hood that boosts horsepower and torque to 603 and 627 pound-feet, respectively, over the 580’s 510/538, respectively. A 9-speed automatic transmission,, air suspension,, and 4MATIC all-wheel drive are standard.

It is a thirsty beast drinking premium-grade fuel at the rate of 14 miles-per-gallon city, 18 highway, and 16 com. The government says you will spend $10,500 more in fuel costs over the average new vehicle in a span of five years. We can always trust the the government, right?

Packed with all of the latest tech features and with beau-coup room for up to seven riders as well as their stuff, the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 satiates the power-hungry and family needs in one slick-looking vehicle.

New for this year are a new front bumper, grille, and taillights and new 21-, 22-, and 23-inch wheel designs. Instead of the usual Mercedes logo above the grille the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 gets one recognizing its AMG status.

Mercedes upgraded tech features that operate either by the “Hey, Mercedes” voice-activated system (well, at least most of them do) or by swiping the 12.3-inch touchscreen display or the laptop-like pad on the center console.

All GLS trims get a surround-view camera as standard and especially considering the vehicle’s size, this is a welcome addition.

The list of standard features including in the hefty MSRP for the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 include navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a panoramic sunroof, 64-color ambient lightning, heated and ventilated front seats with massage function, 5-zone climate control, self-close doors, and a Burmester surround-sound system.

Standard safety features include active brake assist, blind-spot  and lane-keeping assist, and attention assist.

My test 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 came with 23-inch multi-spoke AMG wheels, carbon-fiber trim, and a dash cam that ran the final total up to $153,000, including the $1,150 destination and delivery fee. Base MSRP is $145,580.

What I liked about the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63: There is plenty of room and plenty of power. Even third-row riders get comfort. Cargo capacity is good even with third-row seats in place. Its performance is more like you would expect from a midsize or even a compact SUV instead of a full-size model (except when it comes to tight parking lots). The surround-view camera system is an invaluable asset, particularly in tight conditions.

What I didn’t like about the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63: The six-figure price tag is to be expected with the “S” and “AMG” designations, but is still daunting. Infotainment features are plentiful but come with a fairly steep learning curve. I don’t care for the “swiping” technique for manually selecting functions on the touchscreen or console pad. Steering wheel buttons are tiny and seem to be designed with the fingers of a 5-year-old in mind.

Would I buy the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63? Too big for my taste, and the operation of the infotainment system can be maddening. Do you really need a six-figure SUV with 0-to-60 mph capability of around four seconds?

— Paul Borden