2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 review: Family hauler, emphasis on hauler

This substantial lad makes 603 horsepower. Mercedes-Benz The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Course is the S-Course of SUVs, and this AMG GLS63 is the scorching-headed overall performance variant. With 3 rows of seats, a V8 motor, delicate-hybrid help and tech for days, this major brute can do it all. Like Ridiculously effective A […]

This substantial lad makes 603 horsepower.


The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Course is the S-Course of SUVs, and this AMG GLS63 is the scorching-headed overall performance variant. With 3 rows of seats, a V8 motor, delicate-hybrid help and tech for days, this major brute can do it all.


  • Ridiculously effective
  • A lot of driver-guidance functions
  • Strong infotainment tech

Will not Like

  • Very spendy
  • Unbelievably thirsty

Redesigned for the 2021 model year, the AMG GLS is extended and broader than its predecessor, and the in general end result is an imposing-hunting SUV. AMG-certain style elements include things like the vertical-slat grille, massive air intakes and 21-inch wheels — until you choose for the outrageous 23s, as viewed on my tester. You can even get the 23s in Mercedes’ traditional Monoblock style, which I detest, but my coworkers like. All-around back again, the search is finished off with a major diffuser and quad tailpipes.

The AMG GLS63 receives Mercedes’ 4.-liter twin-turbo V8, pushing out 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Floor it though going up an on-ramp and this leviathan will strike eighty mph perfectly before the merge issue. Mercedes-Benz claims the GLS63 goes from to sixty mph in 4.one seconds, and I have no cause to question that assert. The V8’s 48-volt delicate hybrid program will help listed here, adding an more 21 hp and 184 lb-ft into the blend, which not only provides acceleration increase but smooths out the action of the halt/get started program, as perfectly.

Potent as it may be, this major gal is all about ease and comfort. The AMG GLS soaks up any imperfections, the air suspension offering a serene journey high-quality. There is a lot of driver-guidance tech to help with highway commutes, far too. I like the way Mercedes-Benz does adaptive cruise control and fingers-on steering help. The speed limit help automatically decelerates if I cross into a slower speed zone, and the route-based speed adaption can alter my speed for approaching curves, toll booths or roundabouts. Absolutely sure, sometimes it slows down a bit far too a great deal, but I might instead have it err on the side of protection. The steering help responds to bends in the highway a great deal as I would, trying to keep the GLS in the heart of the lane without the need of ping-ponging back again and forth. The lane-change help moves the motor vehicle above when it truly is very clear, as long as I signal correctly.

Once off the highway and on my favorite twisty streets, I change off the driver-guidance controls and strike that Activity Plus button. Quickly I have superior throttle response, a lot quicker shifts from the 9-speed automated transmission, enhanced steering response and firmer damping options in the air suspension.

I shouldn’t be equipped to push a motor vehicle this major this rapid, but it truly is all easy. In Activity Plus the transmission downshifts on braking, upshifts quickly and the V8 emits a burble you wouldn’t assume from a 3-row luxurious SUV. The all-wheel-push program can throw one hundred{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} of the torque to the rear wheels and the large 285/40/ZR23 entrance, 325/35/ZR23 rear Michelin Pilot Activity 4S tires supply grip for days.

The substantial 15.7-inch entrance and fourteen.6-inch rear disc brakes are effective, but the GLS receives a bit squirrley below challenging braking. That is not entirely inappropriate, although, thinking of this issue weighs approximately 6,000 lbs ..

And therein lies the rub. Fantastic as the GLS63 is on a winding highway, the sheer dimensions will not compel me to carve canyons on the daily. Even so, I get lots of joy from the effective highway prowess and the way it stays flat on lazy curves. The GLS63 is even now fulfilling to push.

I want to chat about configurability for a 2nd, mainly because there are a good deal of strategies to alter this motor vehicle, and frankly, it truly is a bit mind-boggling. Unbiased of the primary driving modes, there are dials on the steering wheel the place I can alter the air suspension to Convenience, Activity or Activity Plus. I can also put the motor vehicle into manual-shifting manner and alter the exhaust manner. I can also alter all 3 of these features from the heart console.

These 23-inch wheels are large.


As for these driving modes, there are the ubiquitous Convenience, Activity, Activity Plus and Unique, but the AMG GLS provides Trail for mud or slippery circumstances and Sand for when you want to acquire your $one hundred thirty,000 SUV to the dunes. Both of those off-highway modes raise the suspension above 2 inches and give drivers the option to find their most popular stages of traction. Though the AMG GLS arrives with an electronic rear locker and the aforementioned off-highway push modes, these who usually go away paved paradise will probable want to choose for just one of the considerably less-aggressive GLS-Course models. Or just get a G-Wagen.

Within, the AMG GLS is dominated by its pair of 12.3-inch screens, just one exhibiting the reconfigurable gauge cluster, the other exhibiting infotainment. The MBUX program is pretty effortless to use, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are common. I like the augmented reality navigation program that utilizes the ahead-experiencing digicam to present specifically the place to change, and it can also show addresses so I you should not have to squint at the numbers on a suppress. The nav program also incorporates What3words technologies, which assigns a 3-meter square a exceptional 3-term address. It is really truly beneficial if you might be hoping to uncover an individual at a carpool region or spot without the need of a certain address. Also, it truly is type of great to see what 3 words and phrases have been assigned to locations you recurrent. For case in point, just one of my favorite off-roading spots is “upstage, stumbling, sticks.” Absolutely sure, you could use a regular latitude and longitude, but the words and phrases are often easier to keep in mind than the numbers.

MBUX also has an AMG-certain page the place drivers can record motor knowledge, obtain all varieties of graphical details, spit out drag race stats, or heck, it will even navigate to the closest race monitor. Similarly, an AMG overall performance page has details on acceleration, braking, pitch, roll and steering angle as perfectly as an motor page with fluid temperatures and your common consumption. (I bought sixteen.6 mpg, by the way.)

MBUX’s voice recognition software is quite good, far too, understanding pure language and entirely equipped to decipher my odd-sounding road name. The program can tune your radio station, change on the massaging seats, even explain to you a joke. A funny just one, far too.

The GLS’ inside is just one of the best in the 3-row SUV area.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Charging is plentiful in the AMG GLS, with wireless charging, two USB-C ports in entrance, just one in the heart console, two for the 2nd row and then two for each and every seat in the 3rd row. The cargo region has a 12-volt outlet and the 2nd row also receives a two-prong, a hundred and fifteen-volt outlet. No cellphone must ever go useless in this SUV.

In addition to getting techy, the inside is very seriously magnificent. There are the ubiquitous heated seats, but how do heated doorway heart panels, arm rests and heart console seem? I can dig it. I’m also a enthusiast of the heated and cooled cup holders, considering the fact that I’m constantly down for a cold soda. The Energizing Convenience application is a bit wackadoo, altering the lights, climate control and massaging seats to align with Mercedes-programmed Refresh, Warmth, Vitality, Satisfaction, Education or Effectively-Remaining applications. I have in no way arrive absent from employing this tech-for-the-sake-of-tech imagining everything but, “Effectively, that was odd,” but it truly is intriguing nonetheless.

I have constantly most popular Mercedes’ interiors above its German rivals, and the GLS is no exception. There is lots of Nappa leather, open up-pore wooden and I’m entirely listed here for the heart get handles. I can do without the need of the bogus vent on the right hand side of the infotainment monitor, but it truly is a modest quibble in an or else superb cabin. It is really amazingly spacious, far too, with 17.4 cubic feet of area driving the 3rd row, 48.7 cubes driving the 2nd row and 84.7 cubes when both rows are folded.

Huge and in demand.


The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 starts at $134,090 like $995 for shipping, but my tester has all varieties of alternatives and arrives out to $149,a hundred and fifteen. Personally, I you should not will need a $one,500 carbon-fiber motor cover and I can preserve $4,450 by opting for the common 21-inch wheels alternatively of these 23-inch monsters. I might most likely go away the $4,550 Burmeister seem program on the table, far too.

Though a 3-row SUV with above 600 hp may be a hard market to us regular folk, for these that have the coin there is just not truly that a great deal in the way of competition. Both of those the BMW X5 M and X6 M are two-row only, as is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid (while that final just one makes 670 horsepower — yowza). You can get a supercharged V8 in a Land Rover Range Rover, but once more, no 3rd row. You can uncover 3 rows in a Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade, but both these are limited to the mid-400s in ability. Truly, the closest competitor in this opulent established is the approaching BMW Alpina XB7.

There is of program the concern of why a 600-hp, 3-row SUV even exists. It is really not like you might be going to go to the monitor with your young children strapped into their Recaro motor vehicle seats in the back again, right? Nonetheless, the AMG GLS63 is a hoot, and it exists mainly because, perfectly, it can. And for these who can afford it, there are numerous rewards to be found in just.

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