Mercedes-AMG has upgraded its three-row GLS 63 SUV for those who need to get seven occupants from point A to point B in as little time as possible, and hopefully without anyone succumbing to car sickness as the 603-horsepower V8 catapults this brute down the road with more urgency than is really necessary. While not dramatically different from the pre-facelift model, the new Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 SUV benefits from new styling features, an expanded roster of standard equipment, and a software update for the air suspension. These changes keep the GLS 63 competitive against rivals like the BMW Alpina XB7, and serve to remind us that the big AMG is one of the best at combining the seemingly conflicting ideals of practicality and speed into a single package.
When Is The Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Coming Out?
Without mentioning a specific day or month, the release date for the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 has been confirmed for later in 2023. We expect it to be available in the USA by the middle of the year.
2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Price And Competition
The price of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 will only be confirmed closer to its launch, but we expect it to begin somewhere between $143,000 and $146,000. The older 2023 model has a starting MSRP of $139,000, but the cost will very likely rise in light of the upgraded list of standard features.
If BMW sold an X7 M, that would be the GLS 63’s chief rival, but the closest thing BMW has is the Alpina XB7 which starts at $145,000 for the 2023 model. The XB7 has a bit more power at 631 hp, along with the many exclusive Alpina touches, but the two SUVs are otherwise closely matched. For much less money ($90,200), there is the 2023 Audi SQ7 which is a subtler option and down on power with ‘just’ 500 horses, but it nearly matches the GLS 63 up to 60 mph.
If you don’t need three rows, the AMG GLE 63 – which has also received a facelift for 2024 – has just as much power and will cost less.
New Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Exterior And Colors
The sheer size of the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63’s exterior would be enough to draw envious glances from the neighbors, but the manufacturer has managed to design a long three-row SUV that doesn’t look ungainly.
In front, the GLS 63 mirrors other new AMG models with the placement of the AMG emblem on the hood. Other than this, the face remains as imposing as ever, with LED headlights on either side of the Panamericana grille with an especially large interpretation of the Three-pointed star in the middle. The neat side view is embellished with standard 21-inch alloy wheels with ten spokes, but 22- and 23-inch wheels are available, and some of these are forged. A new logo projector shines an AMG-specific light animation on the ground when the front doors are opened.
At the back, there is a new light signature for the LED taillights, but again, this is a change that won’t be immediately obvious to many. As this is a full-fat 63 model, there are quad tailpipes with a slanted square design.
Not all the colors for the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 are known at this stage, but we do know that Twilight Blue Metallic and Manufaktur Alpine Grey Non-Metallic are new additions. If the 2023 model’s palette carries over, customers will also be able to choose from shades like Polar White, Black, Cirrus Silver, and Manufaktur Cardinal Red.
Red brake calipers and “V8 BITURBO” script on the front fenders hint at the greater performance of this range-topping GLS.
Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Dimensions
No changes to the dimensions of the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 were highlighted by the manufacturer, so these are expected to remain the same. That equates to a length of 206.4 inches and a width of 84.9 inches with the mirrors, so as you can imagine, parking this beast will require caution. It stands 70.2 inches in height, and the wheelbase is 123.4 inches.
The latest available curb weight for the GLS 63 was 6,019 pounds, a number that we don’t anticipate will change much for the 2024 version.
Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Engine And Performance
There haven’t been any changes to the engine specs in the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63, and that’s something that will delight AMG fans. The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with hybrid assistance delivers 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, with a further 21 hp and 184 lb-ft coming from the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG). As in other mild-hybrid setups, the 48-volt auxiliary on-board electrical system and ISG includes an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission. This system also helps with a boost of power, energy recuperation, and more refined operation of the start/stop system.
The handcrafted V8 engine delivers power to the AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system with fully variable torque distribution. An AMG Speedshift TCT nine-speed automatic transmission carries over, and this powertrain delivers a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds. The top speed is pegged at 174 mph. We expect the towing capacity of 7,700 lbs to be retained for the 2024 model.
The straight-line performance of the GLS 63 has never been in question, but Mercedes-AMG has seen fit to further enhance its suspension. A software update for the roll stabilization and air suspension have widened the range between sharp handling and comfort, while the ESP, electronically controlled rear-axle locking differential, and AWD system have all been tweaked.
This is another area where no changes are expected, so the same gas mileage figures of 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined are likely. With its 23.8-gallon gas tank, the range should be in the region of 380 miles.
Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 Interior And Cargo
Three leather-lined seating rows and a plethora of high-tech gadgets welcome you to the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63’s ritzy interior. Mercedes knows how to make a good first impression, and the swoopy dashboard and dazzling ambient lighting of this interior do just that.
As good as the inside of the big Merc was before, it’s now even better. The MBUX infotainment runs the very latest software, with AMG-specific graphics, the standard MBUX Interior Assistant, and available MBUX Augmented Video. Mercedes has expanded the list of standard equipment and now includes heated and ventilated front seats, a panoramic sliding sunroof, adaptive high beam assist, wireless smartphone integration, a Burmester surround sound system, blind-spot assist, and a 360-degree surround-view system.
The beautiful seats in the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 are upholstered in Exclusive Nappa leather, with color choices including new Bahia Brown/Black and Macchiato Beige/Black. High-gloss Brown Linden Wood is a new trim option, and Manufaktur Piano Lacquer Flowing Lines is on the list too. For the driver, there is a new AMG Performance steering wheel with AMG Drive Unit buttons having their own small displays. The steering wheel is heated as standard, and a carbon fiber steering wheel is available.
Cargo space in the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 measures 17.4 cubic feet behind the third row, or up to 42.7 cubic feet behind the second row. With both the second and third rows folded, cargo capacity rises to 84.7 cubes.