This week I bring you the most powerful 3-row SUV on the planet, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63. The GLS is all-new for 2021 after debuting in 2018.
The AMG comes with a 4.0-liter Bi-turbo V8 that is kicking out 603-horses, aided by a 48-watt electric motor that assists in acceleration. The big V8 is mated to a shiftable 9-speed automatic transmission that will take you to 174-miles per hour top speed. It will also carry you to 60-miles per hour in an amazing 3.6 seconds.
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 almost 6000-pound SUV. The quad exhaust emits a deep, throaty sound that is addictive. I was in awe of the $5450 23” wheels and red brake calipers.
Besides performance, the GLS has a truly luxurious 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 flat, also with the push of a button.
From behind the heated, flat-bottomed, multi-function steering wheel, you see bright colorful gauges with a driver information center in the middle that is highly configurable.
The center console is where you operate the terrain management system, the ride height, damping system, and you can turn off the traction control. Also, there are heated and cooled cup holders.
The GLS63 comes standard with a dual-screen infotainment setup. Two 12.3-inch screens, nestled next to each other in a shared bezel, form the digital gauge display and center infotainment display. Mercedes-Benz's MBUX interface can be controlled via voice or touchscreen or touchpad mounted on the center console. The touchpad that will allow you to swipe, pinch, and even write on it. You can also control the massaging seats from there.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard, as is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
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. Cargo area is good even with the 3rd row seat up.
Standard Equipment and Options
My favorite feature is the Energizing package which includes the in-cabin fragrance diffuser and the Acoustic Comfort package, and also adds increased cabin insulation for a quieter interior.
The Energizing Comfort system combines the climate control, air fragrance, ambient lighting, audio, and massaging driver seat and heated armrests. You can select from 10-minute programs and enjoy physical benefits accompanied by cabin lighting and music. If you have your own music loaded, it will choose one of your songs if the beat matches. Pretty amazing.
As expected, the GLS is extremely well-equipped. At no charge, you get a power panoramic roof, 3-zone climate control, parking pilot, ambient lighting, and so much more.
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 to take your foot off the brake at any stop, and it has puddle lamps on the bottom of the mirrors that illuminate the Mercedes-Benz logo on the ground.
Ride and Drive
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 14 in town and 18 on the highway. Also, as you could guess, this SUV is quite expensive with an MSRP of $150,445.
If you are looking at SUVs that are north of $100,000, this Alabama-built Benz is amazing.
2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63
- What I liked most: Performance, acceleration, truly amazing interior.
- What I would change: HA! Why change a thing!
- MSRP: Base price $132,100 as equipped $150,445.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 14 in town/18 highway/16 overall.
- Official Color: Diamond White Metallic.
- Odometer reading when tested: 4,800 miles.
- Weight: 5,927 pounds
- Spare Tire: Full-sized spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 206.4”long/79.9”wide/70.2” tall.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 23.8 gallons with the filler on the passenger side.
- Towing Capacity: 7,500 pounds.
- 2020 GLS 63 in a few words: What do you say about an SUV, this big, with this much power? SUV HEAVEN!
- Final Assembly Location: Vance, Alabama.
- Manufacturers website: www.MBUSA.com
- Warranty: 4-year/48,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance.
Credit: Mercedes-Benz AMG