2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63

When you’ve got six figures to drop on a luxury item, it can be difficult to choose precisely which extravagance you’d most like to lay the money down for. A small plot of land in the wilderness, or perhaps a used yacht? Allow us to suggest instead Mercedes-AMG’s hulking GLS63, an SUV with seats for seven and a 577-hp twin-turbocharged V-8 to chase away the Sunday scaries. Yes, it looks almost exactly like the 10Best Trucks and SUVs­–winning Mercedes-Benz GLS-class on which it is based, but one stomp on the accelerator will drive that other SUV from your mind. The GLS63’s performance comes without sacrifice; its cabin is lined in leather and equipped with amenities ranging from massaging front seats to an optional rear entertainment system. It’s the perfect chariot for turning daily errands into joy rides.

Mercedes renamed the GLS-class for 2017 (it was previously called the GL-class) to better reflect the naming conventions of its sedan lineup. Along with the name change came some exterior revisions, including a widened chrome grille, new LED taillights, and a revised rear bumper. The GLS63’s 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 powertrain was a holdover from the GL63 but was updated to add 27 horsepower for a total of 577. Inside, Benz’s updated COMAND system added a touchpad as an alternative to the rotary knob. Other revisions included new ambient lighting and trim colors, a three-spoke steering wheel, and an available Designo nappa leather interior.

Options We’d Choose As the absolute top-of-the-line GLS, the 63 comes standard with nearly every option that Mercedes offers in its big SUV. None of the available extras are crucial, but some of them are so affordable (relative to the $126,295 base price, anyway) that we’d have a hard time saying no. The GLS63’s robust offering of standard features includes:

• Adaptive air suspension with selectable drive modes
• Heated, ventilated, and massaging driver and front-passenger seats
• Panoramic sunroof

The list of options is relatively short, but we’d be tempted to add red brake calipers (especially since they’re a no-cost option), the $400 power-operated easy-entry system for the second-row seats, and the $300 AMG Night package, which adds gloss-black trim to the grille, window surrounds, roof rails, and exhaust pipes. Those extras would bring the total cost of our GLS63 to $126,995.

The GLS63’s sole powertrain consists of an AMG-built 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Its quick-thinking automatic and throaty V-8 make a truly enjoyable pair.

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