The AMG G 63 from Mercedes is a modern icon, already a status symbol but will it stand the test of time to reach classic status?

No matter where you are, jump in the high Driver’s seat to test the SUV with us.


I should be heading to the Alps on a ski trip to benefit from having the Mercedes AMG G 63 SUV for a couple of weeks, as this would be the ideal scenario for a luxury vehicle. Instead, I am driving it around the beautiful Surrey Hills countryside, where you will probably see more G 63s than in the Alps. The iconic SUV is the choice of many wealthy people living in the Surrey commuter belt and most large cities around the world.



Prices start at $235000, so you need a pretty penny to purchase one and then run it with its 4.0 litre V8 petrol engine. The voluminous power plant produces 585 hp and 850 Nm of torque and can push you to a controlled top speed of 219 Km/H, although if you should want more top end for when you visit the German Autobahns, you can purchase an AMG package increasing top speed to 23 Km/H. You won’t get many Kilometres at those speeds, but you will get approximately 29 Km/L from everyday driving.


The AMG G 63 has shed some weight, yet it is longer and wider than previous models. It gained 53 mm in length and 121 mm in width and has lost 170 kg, benefiting the car considerably. All occupants notice the increases in space with Front legroom +38 mm; rear legroom +150 mm; front shoulder room +38 mm; rear shoulder room +27 mm; front elbow room +68mm, and rear elbow room + 56 mm.


Driving has also improved with vibration reduction, and the SUV is better balanced. Electromechanical rack and pinion steering is standard, replacing the previous recirculating ball system. Driving assistance systems such as Parking Assist are now included, improving the driving experience. At the front is a new independent suspension with a double wishbone mounted directly to the ladder-type frame. The lower wishbone’s attachment points are positioned as high as possible to ensure that off-road abilities are maintained and enhanced. At the rear, in contrast to the predecessor, the new rigid axle is controlled by four trailing arms on each side and a Panhard rod, making driving on the road more comfortable.




If you want to venture off the black stuff and challenge the AMG G 63, you will not be disappointed with its performance in all types of terrain. It has slope climbing ability of up to 100% on suitable surfaces; ground clearance between the axles is 6mm more at 241 mm (front axle ground clearance of 270 mm, 241mm at the rear); maximum fording depth now 70cm (+10cm); tilt angles of 35° (plus 7°); angle of departure: 30°; angle of approach: 31° (plus 1°) and break-over angle: 26° (plus 1°).


You can fully lock three differentials (centre, rear, front) activated by switches on the dashboard, and you have a superb 9G-TRONIC auto transmission making the vehicle a breeze to drive. Shift and response times have been reduced, making driving quieter and more comfortable, especially at low engine speeds. You get Dynamic Select with up to five driving modes Comfort, Sport, Eco, Individual and the new off-road G-Mode.



The AMG G 63 keeps iconic features such as the grab handle in front of the front passenger, the chrome-highlighted switches for the differential locks, the exterior hinges for the doors, the rear-mounted spare wheel and the prominent wing-mounted indicators. You now have, alongside these classics, Touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel, allowing you to control the infotainment system without looking away from the road due to haptic impulses and additional acoustic feedback from the speakers.


A 30 cm cockpit display and 30 cm infotainment display; 64-colour ambient lighting; Thermotronic three-zone automatic climate control; Burmester surround sound system; Parktronic with 360° camera; Multibeam LED headlights with adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus; electric sunroof; AMG sports exhaust; 50 cm alloy wheels finished in titanium grey; AMG Ride Control suspension; AMG high-performance brakes; permanent four-wheel drive with three 100% locking differentials; and smartphone integration. You now get cupholders and a surround-view camera system which the previous models never had. How did the wealthy cope with ordering their skinny lattes on the go?




There are plenty of luxury SUVs around, as about five years ago, all marques wanted a slice of the action, and the top-end market became saturated. Bentley designed their Bentayga, Land Rover has always had the reliable Range Rover, and there is the Cayenne from Porsche who nobody thought would move away from sports cars.



The Mercedes AMG G 63 is undoubtedly a luxury SUV, but it is also practical and can be used for off-roading, cargo carrying, school runs and more. Fun to drive, and you get the excitement from the powerful V8 engine. I appreciate why it is so popular; if you can drive one, jump at it.




The Driving Assistance package is standard and features Blind Spot Assist and Active Distance Assist Distronic


$4300 AMG Night package includes 52.5 cm alloys (55 cmas a cost option) and exterior details in obsidian black.


The winter package costs $2800 and adds a heated windscreen and an auxiliary heater (including remote control).


A tow bar comes as standard with trailer coupling with ESP trailer stabilization.


As before, every G-Class is hand-built in Graz, Austria.



Thank you to Mile’s End Motors for the loan of the vehicle.

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