2014 Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG | Road Test

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 by
2014 Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • Very Good
AEDAED 557,000
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  • GL 63 AMG
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 11, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 70%
  • Interior
    Editor: 80%
  • Quality
    Editor: 80%
  • Features
    Editor: 75%
  • Performance
    Editor: 80%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 70%

Review Summary:

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG may not garner a lot of attention for its underplayed styling, but smash that loud pedal to the floor and people will look, for its iconic AMG cry is nearly intoxicating.

Pros

* Equipped with an Active Cross Wind system, the GL 63 AMG ensures you don't get shaken up when overtaking trucks and other larger vehicles on the highway.
* The adrenaline rush from a standing start and the iconic AMG exhaust note is simply phenomenal for a large SUV.

Cons

* Boot space is appalling for a vehicle that measures 5,146mm in length.
* Technologically advanced for the most part, it's a bit shocking to discover the GL 63 AMG still requires driver's to insert a key into the ignition to switch the engine on.

Introduction & Summary

The world’s fastest seven seater SUV; sounds tempting, doesn’t it? That was precisely our thought process here at AME when we went ahead and confirmed the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG for an entire weekend in the blistering heat of August. For an SUV of gargantuan proportions, the GL 63 AMG isn’t very practical, but of course, not like that really matters to us because it is reality-warpingly quick and ferociously loud!

2014 Mercedes-Benz Gl 63 AMG front

Styling & Design

It’s an odd one this; according to some it’s a stylistic masterpiece, while for others, it barely manages to scrape through the borderlines of acceptableness. We’re kind of in the middle of that spectrum, for we like certain aspects and simply cannot appreciate others.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Gl 63 AMG side

It starts off wonderfully with the protruding centre section of the hood funnelling down to a large twin blade grille, the taut headlamps incorporating slithering LED’s, and the generous use of black mesh grille confirming the GL 63 into the beefcake club of the automotive world. The flared wheel arches and prominent creases along the length of the vehicle look brilliant too, but arrive at the C-Pillars and it almost feels like the designers’ were informed about the firm’s intentions to downsize, as from there on, it’s a hurried job with the GL bearing greater similarity to a minivan, than an SUV.

Inside, superior materials are expected and on that count, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG delivers. With leather as soft as the skin of your high school girlfriend, suede along the roof liner, and piano black trim along the dashboard, it is undoubtedly extravagant.

Features

Mercedes-Benz has earned its reputation for being a pioneer in the automotive realm. Borrowing features from other models in its line-up, the 2014 GL 63 AMG could quite easily qualify as being one of the safest SUV’s on the road with an array of features that intend to keep the driver and passengers’ safe at all times. Equipped with proximity sensors and a camera up front, the German SUV packs in an adaptive cruise control system, active brake assist which intervenes to minimize collisions, an active blind spot monitoring system, and a lane keeping assist that corrects the vehicle’s path should it detect it drifting out of the lane unintentionally.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Gl 63 AMG rear

To enhance safety further, the GL 63 AMG is also fitted with Crosswind Assist and an Active Curve System. While the former utilises course-correcting brake actuations on the side of the vehicle facing the wind, the latter works in a slightly different manner. Making use of active stabilisers, the Active Curve System reduces the roll angle of the vehicle when cornering to enhance passenger comfort and also allows for more traction at greater degrees of articulation.

Performance, Ride & Handling

Park your rear into the supremely supportive leather seats, switch the ignition on, and grab a hold of the Alcantara / leather flat bottomed steering wheel; from that very moment on, you know the GL 63 isn’t your typical SUV.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Gl 63 AMG speedometre

Sending 557 horsepower and a dizzying 760 Nm of torque at 5,000 RPM to an all-wheel drive layout, the 5.5 litre Biturbo V8 engine propels the 3,250 kg German SUV to a 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 270 km/h. But of course, you expected that kind of performance, right? After all, it is an AMG, and it enjoys giggling away as you feel less of a man when travelling at highway speeds and realize that the needle hasn’t even crossed one-third of its 320 km/h speed-o-metre reach.

Mated to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7 speed dual clutch transmission that refuses to budge into the next gear until prompted by the driver, the GL 63 AMG is an absolute brute in a straight line. Producing acoustic symphonies from its twin chrome tailpipes, the German SUV will ensure you turn a decent number of heads and surprise people you pass with an exhaust note that is generally not associated with large SUV’s.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Gl 63 AMG paddles

For times when the need to mash the brake pedal arises, the ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round (390 x 36 mm front and 345 x 26 mm rear) provide good pedal feel and ensure stopping in the shortest of distances is possible.

In spite of being equipped with three drive modes (Comfort, Sport, and Manual) and three suspension settings (Normal, Sport and Sport+) the GL 63 AMG is unable to make you forget its 5,146mm length, 1,982mm width, and 1,850mm height. Arrive at a turn too quickly and even with the Active Curve System in action, it is unable to make the gargantuan SUV feel nimble. Simply said, the GL 63 AMG is more than happy, as long as it’s going in a straight line.

Comfort & Practicality

Be it in the first, second, or third row seats, the GL 63 is exceptionally comfortable. Each row benefits from its own sunroof, A/C vents, and supple leather wrapped seats. However, as expected the features do reduce the further back you proceed. While the first row occupants receive heated and cooled seats with four different massage options, the second row passengers receive only heated seats, which is still better than the backbenchers who have to make do with cup holders for entertainment.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Gl 63 AMG interior

In terms of practicality, the GL 63 AMG doesn’t score very highly. The spare wheel located above the boot floor only allows for the German SUV to be a five seater, in actuality. Should you wish to use all seven seats, two options arise; carry the spare wheel home, or place it upright after springing the third row seats into place. The biggest drawback of doing this, however, isn’t that there is literally zero boot space remaining, but simply that rear visibility is completely blocked, leaving you with no other option but to rely only on your side mirrors as a lorry driver would.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Gl 63 AMG boot space

For the environmentally friendly types, the GL 63 AMG displays a range of 700 kilometres following a fill up of its 100 litre fuel tank. But of course, if you could even reach half of that comfortably, you deserve to have your name entered into the Guinness Book of World Records; for you’d be one of the few who haven’t been enticed into raising the RPM’s and hearing the iconic AMG exhaust pop as you navigate the ginormous SUV around town.

Price & Verdict

If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably gathered that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG isn’t very cheap. At over half a million Dirhams, it falls into the sort of territory that many of us can’t afford either way. But here’s the catch; although it may have its fair share of quirks and you may need to sell a few limbs before you can afford one, you tend to question if it is all that much for the world’s quickest seven seater. We feel we’re falling victim to the typical case of cognitive dissonance right now…

2014 Mercedes-Benz Gl 63 AMG front side

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