Originally conceived as a military off-road vehicle in the ’70s, the original G-Class’ iconic profile endeared it to the public in a way the Humvee did and kept it going well past its sell-by date. Unlike the Defender, Mercedes didn’t modernize the shape when it redesigned the SUV for a second generation. In fact, it looks so much like the old one that nobody except Anoraks even noticed. It’s still a box on wheels but thoroughly overhauled under the skin and is now fit for daily duty, with a level of usability and comfort the old one lacked. In the USA, only two gas trims are sold, and the G63 is the high-performance AMG-fettled version loved by pop stars and celebrities that never put a wheel off the tarmac, so the car’s amazing off-road ability is lost on them. The twin-turbo V8 packs a hefty 577 horsepower, though, so it’s certainly a very quick box on wheels. What alternatives do you even have to such a performance-focused off-road SUV? The aforementioned Land Rover Defender in V8 guise, perhaps, and maybe even the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 or the Ford Bronco Raptor. The AMG G63 costs way more than these rivals, though, so is it worth all that money?
2024 Mercedes-AMG G63 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 AMG G63?
The only big news for the 2024 AMG G63 range is the introduction of the $350k AMG 4×4 Squared model with its vast ground clearance and portal axles, following up on the old G500 4×4 Squared, but we review that car separately. As for the normal Mercedes-AMG G63 we review here, it’s business as usual for the new model year, with no changes whatsoever except for some minor tweaks to the G Manufaktur and Night packages, and the availability of a new G Manufaktur Logo package, which projects a “G” AMG logo onto the ground from underneath the side sills. A few paint colors disappear from the palette this year too. Something that’s quite unexpected nowadays in a world of inflation is that the starting price of the new Mercedes-AMG G63 SUV has not increased at all for the new model year.
What’s The Price Of The 2024 Mercedes-AMG G63?
The price of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG G63 is still $179,000 – exactly the same as it was last year. You can add thousands of dollars of extras to the cost of the G63 and before you know it, the total can approach $200k, so beware of which boxes you tick. Keep in mind that this quoted price is the Mercedes-AMG G63’s MSRP and doesn’t include the $1,150 destination charge.
2024 Mercedes-AMG G63 Handling And Driving Impressions
The G63 isn’t made for taking corners at speed. It’s high, feels top-heavy, leans, and squirms when thrown at a bend. It simply cannot hide its substantial weight when trying to change direction quickly. So it’s rather sobering to note that it’s way better in this regard than its truly agricultural forebear and will at least keep you sunny side up when you need to swerve in an emergency, but it’s clearly been designed with off-roading in mind, which it does superbly, thanks to the ample ground clearance and no fewer than three lockable diffs. It’s just those road tires and the clearance of the side-exit exhausts that might hamper your progress. Performance is impressive, and the G63 will squat and lift its nose skyward like a powerboat when launched, storming off into the distance at an alarming rate of knots thanks to that twin-turbo V8 and quick-shifting nine-speed automatic. It’s always great fun to drive and decently comfortable and practical around town, too, if you can live with the wind noise and the gas-mileage penalty imposed by its weight and aerodynamics.
Verdict: Is The 2024 Mercedes-AMG G63 A Good SUV?
This is impossible to quantify, and if you are going to judge the G63 by traditional SUV virtues, there are more efficient alternatives out there that can hold more luggage and cruise more quietly on the highway. But the biggest obstacle must surely be that preposterous price tag. It’s more than double the price of a Bronco Raptor and roughly $60k more expensive than the top-of-the-range Defender Carpathian edition. It’s a lot of money to pay for an iconic profile, burly V8, and broad-chested charisma by the bucketload. So no, it’s not for everyone, and it’s way too expensive for normal people to afford, but it’s a hoot to drive, and it’s a superb reboot that brings an old car right up to modern safety and luxury standards while losing none of the original’s magic.
What 2024 Mercedes-AMG G63 Model Should I Buy?
There is only one G63 trim, so it depends on how you want to personalize it. There are many interior and exterior appearance packages and trim options to choose from that will quickly inflate that high price tag, but we’ll leave that up to you. A few options worth considering might be the Seat Comfort package that adds massaging, ventilation, and rapid heating to the front seats, and perhaps a heated steering wheel if you live in a cold-weather state. Of course, if you’re going to risk scratching your expensive purchase off-road, the AMG Trail package costs only $3k and adds off-road-optimized AMG Ride Control suspension and special 20-inch wheels.