2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 quick spin review


Fun fact: the G 63 AMG actually outsells the G 550 in the U.S. It’s the only Mercedes-Benz model where the AMG outsells the standard variant. That just about sums up the G-Wagen. It’s the most powerful, most capable and most expensive SUV Mercedes-Benz offers, and for a lot of people, that’s enough reason to head to a dealer. It’s a hand-built masterpiece, and, until this new model debuted last year, one that was sold generally unchanged for more than 40 years.

The G 63 starts at just under $150,000, though options can quickly send the final MSRP even higher. Our tester came with just two options, though one is rather extensive. The Night Black Magno matte paint (see the photos and video below) costs $3,950. The other option is the $23,500 Edition 1 package. What do you get for the price of a Honda Civic Si? The mirrors, spare tire ring and trim are all painted Obsidian Black. The brush guard, too, is black. There are red accents on the mirrors and an Edition 1 graphic along the side. All the lighting gets a dark grey tint. You also get black 22-inch AMG wheels and AMG side-exit exhaust. Inside, the Edition 1 model comes with heated, ventilated and massaging leather seats, an AMG steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and Edition 1 badging on the floor mats.

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The G 63 is awesome. It’s excessive, decadent and rolling brute force. After driving the G 550 a couple of weeks back, I can say the AMG model is worth the price as a status symbol and for its raw power. I did feel a difference in the output between the two potent V8s. The G 63 has iconic, in-your-face design, plenty of capability and a rich interior. The driving character is refined enough to make this a more palatable daily driver, but it remains true to the G-Class‘ rugged feel. In short, the G 63 gives you celebrity status. It’s not everyone’s thing, but I like it.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I drove this home on an icy winter night. The snow had begun to melt and then refroze into a crunchy mess. I met my wife for dinner, and passed her in this overdone G-Wagen on the way back to our house. With her trailing behind me, I passed the first entrance into our horseshoe-shaped driveway, then turned before the second entrance and drove this beast of a vehicle between the trees, bouncing across my snowy lawn, and parked in front of the house. My wife, who used the driveway like a normal person, shouted at me when she got out of her own Mercedes, an aging and comparably humble turbodiesel GLK.

“Completely unnecessary!” she hollered. She was referring to my lawn job, but she could have just as easily been giving the G 63 an accurate two-word .

Nobody needs this car. It’s expensive and flashy, with far more power and off-road capability than its suburban duties require. It’s a status symbol, though, and one that no longer sacrifices comfort and drivability. Unlike the previous generation, the G-Class is now easy to steer, feels stable going down the road, and offers more room and a comfortable driving position. Yes, it’s completely unnecessary, but it sure is fun.

Road Test Editor Reese Counts: This thing absolutely oozes cool. Everything, from the styling to locking differentials to the noise the doors make when you pull them close (slam, really, as it takes more effort than you really think it requires), is all part of the G-Wagen’s charm. You either get it or you don’t, and I’m not sure I want to be friends with the latter. You can harp on about the price or the comically bad fuel economy or the fact that other Mercedes SUVs offer more for far less, but you’re totally missing the point. My only complaint is that the G-Class doesn’t come with keyless entry. I asked Mercedes why and was told that the new G-Class uses the exact same locking mechanism as the old model because the “team working on the G-class wanted to maintain that iconic sound and feel of opening/closing the door and hearing that “click” and locking noise. Cool, but could you at least add a proximity sensor?

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