New 2018 Mercedes‑Benz Mercedes‑AMG GLS SUV
Mercedes‑Benz Mercedes‑AMG GLS SUV
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 boasts a 577-horsepower V8, surprisingly good handling, and all the luxury you could want.
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2018 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG GLS KBB Expert Review
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 is the top-level of the GLS-Class lineup. With its hand-built twin-turbocharged V8 engine, it's one of the most powerful SUVs you can buy. AMG has also worked its magic on the suspension and chassis, making the GLS63 surprisingly nimble, considering its size. Yet when you're not lead-footing it around, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 is just as comfortable, quiet and refined as its non-AMG stablemates. There's all the luxury you could hope for, plenty of room for seven passengers, and if you want, you can even tow up to 7,500 pounds. Granted, none of this comes cheaply, but the GLS63 is also unique among its luxury competitors. Few other manufacturers offer a 7-passenger version of their high-performance SUVs, and those that do aren't any less expensive.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you need to carry yourself and six others to point B quickly, this may be the perfect ride. Beyond that, the GLS63 offers excellent luxury, premium standard features, and a price tag high enough to keep you from seeing yourself coming and going everywhere.
You May Not Like This Car If...
There are other considerations, such as the Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, with its supercharged V8. The BMW X5 M gives the GLS63 a solid run for its money. And for thousands less, there's the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, with a 707-horsepower supercharged V8 that puts this AMG to shame.
What's New for 2018
The entire GLS-Class got a makeover last year, so there are basically zero changes to the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 this year.
The V8 engine in the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 offers up 577 horsepower, which gets routed to all four wheels through a quick-shifting 7-speed automatic transmission. The suspension provides this big beast with the kind of handling that no 5,700-pound vehicle should have. The steering is sharp and nicely weighted, the throttle response is spot-on, and the engine itself roars like a sports car. It's ridiculous that something this big is so powerful, but that's what makes it so much fun. Of course, there's a dose of reality: This is still a big, heavy, 7-passenger SUV, so if you're expecting it to handle like an AMG GT, you'll be disappointed. AMG's engineers are good at what they do, but even they have to obey the laws of physics. The good news is that when you're not foot-to-the-floor, the GLS63 is just as comfortable, quiet, refined and luxurious as the rest of the GLS lineup.
AMG prides itself on its "One man, one engine" heritage, where each engine is hand-built by a single person from start to finish. They're signed by the technician, who has to already be one of the best technicians at Mercedes before even being allowed to be an AMG engine apprentice.
It would've been easy for Mercedes-AMG to simply make the GLS63 fast; the engine does that. What makes it stand out is that it's still as practical a way to carry seven people around as the base GLS450, and is as luxurious as you could hope for.
There's enough room in the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 for up to seven passengers, and nobody is going to suffer. There's good legroom for everyone, which isn't as common as you'd think, even for big SUVs like this. Best of all, since it's the top of the line, the accouterments are first-rate. There's standard Nappa leather on all the seats; the trim, fit, and finish are all first-rate, and the GLS63 comes standard with most of the things that are optional on the rest of the GLS-Class lineup. Dedicated audiophiles won't hesitate to spring for the $5,400 Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system.
Differences between the AMG GLS63 and the rest of the GLS-Class lineup are more subtle than in some other AMG models. The front bumper is reshaped, with bigger air vents, a unique grille, and a bigger emphasis on sport than utility. In back, the GLS63 gets four squared-off tailpipes and a more purposeful bumper above them. Of course, the wheels and tires are also unique to the AMG version, and there are the requisite AMG badges here and there. But even with that list, the changes are subtle, giving the AMG a more reserved appearance than you may expect.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 comes basically loaded from the factory, with most of the features optional on the rest of the GLS lineup standard. That means premium features like active cruise control, an around-view camera, active lane-keeping assist, push-button start and keyless entry are all standard. Beyond that, each GLS63 gets premium Nappa leather upholstery, COMAND with navigation and an 8-inch color display, a harman/kardon sound system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and heated and ventilated front seats that feature a massage function. Also standard: The wonderful V8, and the sport suspension with its AMG Dynamic Select adjustable drive modes.
Notable Optional Equipment
Very little is left on the cutting-room floor on the GLS63. You can opt for more expensive paint jobs, including Designo Diamond White Metallic. A carbon-fiber interior kit adds to the price as well. There's the Bang & Olufsen audio system, which is a must-have for us, and things like a rear-seat entertainment system. Accessories abound, and border from practical needs like a towing package or iPad docking stations for the rear-seat passengers, to the downright silly, like the $1,500 carbon-fiber engine cover.
Under the Hood
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 features a hand-built 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine putting out 577 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque. It is, to put it simply, a beast. Connected to the engine is a quick-shifting AMG-calibrated 7-speed automatic transmission, which sends that power and torque to all four wheels through a similarly AMG-calibrated 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. The engine requires premium fuel, obviously, and you'll need quite a bit of it, with highway mileage at only 18 mpg, and city a lowly 13 mpg.
5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8
577 horsepower @ 5,250-5,750 rpm
561 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 mpg
If you're shopping for the best-of-the-best GLS-Class, you'll need to bring about $126,300 to cover the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLS63. Options are few, but they can drive the price up to about $140,000, especially if you start getting crazy with the accessories. That's not cheap, and the GLS63 actually overshoots its primary competitors, the BMW X5 M and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR. Neither of those is as roomy as the AMG, though. And, keep in mind that the AMG GLS63 isn't the most powerful SUV on the block: that honor goes to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which costs about $87,000. Whatever you decide, check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their GLS63. Resale value should be relatively good, too.
OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in the newest version of this car. What's for sale near me?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.
Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.
Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG GLS Consumer Reviews
January 05, 2019
Best SUV ever made
Really good vehicle. Truly the S class of SUVs. Solid, reliable and fun to drive. Would definitely consider getting another one in the...
May 04, 2017
The complete ride - cruising comfort with power
This vehicle is simply the best I have owned. Lots of room and comfort for the whole family. Highway cruiser with plenty of power to...
Just Plain Superb......Phenomenal SUV
February 08, 2017
Just Plain Superb......Phenomenal SUV
Former QX60 owner traded up to GLS 450 last year and have nothing but praise for this vehicle. I love it - driving dynamics, quality,...
November 02, 2016
I drove BMW X5's for nine years, but really wanted something a little more plush. The GL certainly met that criteria. In fact I'm...
August 22, 2016
Blows Cadillac Escalade away
Owner of two Escalades, ESV since 2007. The first, a 2007 which I loved, and a new body 2015 which I hated. I hated it so much I traded...
April 07, 2016
Really really nice suv
Iridium Silver, light grey MB tex interior, with black wood trim, dark gray carpet, sunroof, running boards, changeable mood lighting,...
February 18, 2016
Great SUV! Will buy another
After owning a Caddillac, porsche, Lexus this is the best SUV I have owned. I wanted something a bit larger that the Porsche Cayenne to...
January 21, 2016
Lifetime Yukon Owner now a GL Owner for Life!
At 6'5", there are a limited number of vehicles in which I feel comfortable. I have owned mostly GM products over the years due to their...
November 10, 2015
Just another solid offering from MB.
We tow a 7500lb Airstream with this vehicle effortlessly. Wonderful and capable car. Would buy again.
August 13, 2015
Best car I have owned
Own the gl350 turbo diesel which I am very happy with that choice. the gas mileage is great, the pickup more than adequate. The GL...
2018 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG GLS Photos and Videos
2018 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG GLS Specs
2018 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG GLS Safety Ratings
How does it compare?
|#1||2019 Mercedes‑Benz Mercedes‑AMG GLS||577|
|#2||2018 Mercedes‑Benz Mercedes‑AMG GLS||577|
|#3||2019 Porsche Cayenne||550|
|#4||2019 Mercedes‑Benz G‑Class||416|
|#5||2018 Mercedes‑Benz G‑Class||416|
|#1||2019 Porsche Cayenne||17|
|#2||2019 Mercedes‑Benz Mercedes‑AMG GLS||15|
|#3||2018 Mercedes‑Benz Mercedes‑AMG GLS||15|
|#4||2019 Mercedes‑Benz G‑Class||14|
|#5||2018 Mercedes‑Benz G‑Class||13|
|#1||2019 Mercedes‑Benz Mercedes‑AMG GLS||4.6 / 5|
|#2||2018 Mercedes‑Benz Mercedes‑AMG GLS||4.6 / 5|
|#3||2018 Mercedes‑Benz G‑Class||4.5 / 5|