Sprint Review: Mercedes-AMG GLS63 4Matic+

Welcome to automotive First Class. This GLS63 AMG is top drawer stuff, an exuberant show of wealth peppered with every imaginable gadget and unimaginable levels of power.

You should know: The GLS is Mercedes’ largest range of SUV’s. It started life as just the “GL” but when the German brand renamed all its off-roaders a few years ago, they added the letter “S” to signify that it’s the S-Class of their SUV range. The biggest one, the fanciest one, the most brazen of the lot.

More info: That means it has seven seats and sufficient room for most of their occupants. The far rear pair of chairs may just be suitable for smaller (or younger) individuals but they offer more space and comfort than those in other three-row automobiles. You also get sumptuous leather, plenty of storage and charging capabilities.

Our test vehicle had optional rear entertainment, an amazing audio system and enough frontal display area to satisfy a teenager. The ventilation system, gearbox, seats, headlights, media system, parking, suspension, steering and countless driving assistants are all adaptive; in most cases with well-defined modes or user-adaptable settings.

Why you shouldn’t: Let’s not beat around the bush and start with its asking price of at least 3.3 million smackaroos. At popular lending rates with a 10% deposit, that equates to at least 60k per month. Which you may want to double up as the vehicle gets older because that’s what a premium set of tyres will cost…

Why you should: Those high-performance tyres come in 21, 22 or 23 inch diameters on hardware like these brash black AMG “Monoblock” nostalgia alloys. Despite my personal opinion about dragging dead cows out of automotive mud, they perfectly finish off this massive SUV’s aggressive and supercilious presence.

What else? The final and most impressive argument for (or against?) this T-Rex of a car is its power. AMG claims 612hp from this version of their venerable 3,982cc Bi-Turbo-Petrol V8, which ignores a kerb weight of 2,630kg to slingshot this behemoth to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds. Our best attempt was 4.49 seconds.

I could also caution you about this beast’s fuel consumption or size, but you probably don’t care. If it weren’t for things like a Bentley Bentayga or Rolls Royce Cullinan, this Mercedes-AMG GLS63 would be the top dog in a wonderfully ostentatious segment of our market.


Engine:4L V8 Turbo-petrol
Transmission:9-speed DCT, AWD
Max. Power:450kW
Max. Torque:850Nm
Avg. cons.:Claimed 13L/100km
0-100km/h:4.49 seconds (claimed 4.2)
Top Speed:Claimed 250km/h
List Price:From R3,269,738  

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