Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG First Drive Review, Price

By   |   19 April,2014

This seems unreal. I am in a 2.5 tonne 7-seater SUV yet I am travelling at a pace more akin to supercars on full chat but then thats what the boffins at AMG seem to do very well and they have again sprinkled their magic on the GL. The Mercedes GL as we all know is a capable SUV which has done well in India but this GL63 is a different beast altogether.

As is the case with every Mercedes fettled by AMG the talking point is the engine and what an engine! 5.5-litre V8 biturbo 550 bhp and max torque 760 Nm are the numbers but nothing prepares you for the shock when you give it the full beans.

First of all the exhaust note is fantastic and goads you on plus the sheer speed with which you end up travelling means that sooner or later you have to give up your license. For the numbers sake the 0-100 km/h time is just 4.9 seconds and the top speed is 250 km/h electronically limited. While I did not go as fast wanting to avoid jail time lets just say that 250 km/h is just a formality...

The GL63 has a 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission three modes and an automatic double-declutching function for downshifting. It performs the best in Sport and Manual modes where the SUV really comes alive.

However its not just fast in a straight-line either as show it a corner and believe it or not the GL63 does not disappoint. Yes there is a smidgen of roll but only when you push really hard otherwise the GL63 handles superbly for a big luxury SUV.

There is a specially designed transfer case for the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive, which distributes the drive power to the front and rear axle at a ratio of 40:60. There is lot of tech behind this like AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with AIRMATIC package plus combined with the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM for active roll stabilisation.

What this means is that the GL63 AMG has active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axles to reduce the body's roll angle during cornering. It works. The other thing that I need to tell you are the phenomenal brakes which are ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round in size 390 x 36 millimetres (front) and 345 x 26 millimetres (rear).

Of course it features the usual pumped up AMG bodywork which makes the GL63 quite cool and give it a lot of presence. The massive airdams, LED DRLs and huge 21-inch AMG alloys means that it is mean enough to scare other SUVs away.

Inside its quite luxurious with seven seats drenched in acres of high quality leather and you get electrically adjustable AMG sports seats which feature double topstitching in a contrasting colour and AMG badges. The AMG instrument cluster is quite neat too!

Priced at Rs 1.66 crore the GL63 AMG is not exactly cheap but when you factor in the fact that some other 'performance SUVs' cost half a crore more the GL63 does seem like value. I was a bit sceptical before driving the GL63 but after driving it I was blown away by its sheer ability to plaster a grin on your face. To be honest thats what you really look for in a car...