This week I bring you one of the most powerful SUVs on the planet, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63. The GLS was redone in 2017 and is largely unchanged for 2018.
2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63
Although there are a diesel and three V8 engines offered, the AMG comes with a 5.5-liter Bi-turbo V8 that is kicking out 577-horses and a very strong 561-pound feet of torque. The big V8 is mated to a shiftable 7-speed automatic.
The massive engine is hand-built by an AMG craftsman. In fact, each engine has the signature of the person who assembled it.
All GLS 63 models have all-wheel drive which helps with the incredible acceleration and takeoff power of this 5700-pound SUV. The quad exhaust emits a deep, throaty sound that is addictive.
Besides performance, the GLS has an exceptional interior with Nappa leather seating for 7 people. Legroom and headroom are really good and access to the third-row seat is as easy as a push of a button. The third-row seat folds completely flat, also with the push of a button.
From behind the heated, multi-function steering wheel, you see bright, colorful gauges with a driver information center in the middle.
The center console is where you operate the terrain management system dial, the ride height, damping system, and you can turn off the traction control. Also, there are the heated and cooled cup holders.
There is a 12.3” screen in the middle of the dash that controls the Comand system which is the navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Burmeister sound system, 360-degree camera, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi system.
Comand is controlled from the center console where a touchpad and rotary knob team up to get you through all the functions of the system. The touchpad will allow you to swipe, pinch, and even write on it. You can also control the massaging seats from there.
Below the radio screen is a row of buttons to operate the cooled and heated seats, and where you will immediately want to turn the start/stop system off.
The interior features a lot of stitching, the power seats are handily operated from the door panels, and the interior features a nice mix of carbon fiber and black piano lacquer time. Cargo area is good even with the third-row seat up and with all seats down, you have 93.8 cubic-feet of cargo area.
As expected, the GLS is extremely well-equipped. At no charge, you get a power panoramic roof, 3-zone climate control, parking pilot, and ambient lighting.
On the safety front, you get active brake assist, steering pilot if you veer out of your lane, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, LED headlights, and attention assist. If the SUV senses you are getting drowsy, it gives you an alarm and tells you on screen to take a break.
Other neat features are brake hold, which allows you take your foot off the brake at any stop and the puddle lamps on the bottom of the mirrors that illuminates the Mercedes-Benz logo on the ground.
My tester has $11,600 in options, including the $5400 Bang & Olufsen sound system, air ionization filter, 22” wheels, the carbon fiber on the interior, and the Night Styling package which is blacked out parts all around the exterior.
Fuel Economy and Pricing
This SUV is a blast to drive, its handling is amazing, and it is able to tow a 7500-pound trailer. Gas mileage, of course, isn’t great at 13 in town and 18 on the highway. Also, as you could guess, this SUV is quite expensive with an MSRP just shy of $138,000.
If you are looking at SUVs that are north of $100,000, this Alabama-built Benz is amazing.