2020 Mercedes-AMG G63 evaluate: Energy and magnificence above all

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

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a paradox. It is utilitarian, rugged and boxy. However on the similar time, it is coveted by the wealthy, trendy and well-known, and Mercedes retains developing with ever extra luxurious and highly effective variants to fulfill these consumers, the newest of which is the 2020 AMG G63.

LikeEpic engineTimeless styleHeroic construct qualityLuxurious inside appointments

Do not LikeTerrible rideHeinously expensiveAwful 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 via 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 highway. It is all very foolish and austere and purposeful. And therein lies the appeal of the G-Wagen: well-dressed lunacy.

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

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 positive 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 toes, is finest in comparison with massive boats somewhat than different automobiles.

The journey 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 all the way down to the colossal 22-inch non-compulsory wheels fitted to my tester. Surprisingly, I discover the candy spot to be in Sport mode somewhat 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 fantastically appointed, however nonetheless considerably cramped.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Inside, the G-Class is upright, with straight-ish glass and slab-like sprint panels, but it is all coated within the most interesting leather-based and Alcantara. All the pieces is completely stitched and neatly trimmed. You are cosseted in consolation; the cabin is attractive and executed in a manner that completely justifies the G63’s six-figure asking value.

The ergonomics are a bit bizarre, although, as a result of they’ve to adapt to a really outdated model of SUV with a comparatively small footprint.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

Legroom can also be a priority, due to the provision of simply 38.7 inches within the entrance and 39.5 inches within the rear. Regardless of showing huge when seen by itself, the G63 shouldn’t be that massive of an SUV. The inside borders on cramped at instances, regardless of providing extra cabin area than its predecessor, however it’s only a sacrifice you make in case you merely should be seen in used-to-be-military {hardware}. Arguably one of the best elements of the inside are the sound the doorways make whenever you shut them and particularly the sound the door locks make whenever you arm or disarm the automobile — it is like a large rifle being cocked.

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

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

I really like the side-hinged rear door and it is useful in parking garages the place the G’s top may make an everyday top-hinged hatch lower than superb. However this additionally means you may’t again in too near a wall or one other automobile, because the door wants additional area to swing open. The cargo space is trimmed in smooth, luxurious carpet and quilted leather-based, too, so it positively retains up the phantasm of luxurious, so long as you need not haul something particularly sensible (or soiled). There’s 38.1 cubic toes of area again right here and you’ll fold the seats down, as properly.

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 concerning the system is the shortage of a touchscreen, particularly given how shut you sit to the sprint. Nonetheless, Apple CarPlay is alongside for the journey, as is Android Auto, and the voice instructions work properly sufficient. I do love the superb Burmester sound system, which is commonplace on the G63.

The G-Class has at all times been costly and the AMG G63 is tremendous dear, at about $153,000 to begin. My G63, as examined, retails for $182,445 together with $995 for vacation spot. That is a ton of cash for what I might take into account 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.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

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

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

I really like the G-Wagen, however actually, the ostentatious AMG model strays too removed from the bottom mannequin’s off-roady appeal. I might somewhat 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 affords 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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