Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 2021 Review


Well its big, its bold and its a beautiful looking powerhouse to boot. And aptly nicknamed too.

And it also looks like Mercedes have fitted out this hefty machine with just about every bit of tech imaginable. So good!

Check out this in-depth review of the Mercedes AMG GLE 63 S from CarSales.


This is the all new Mercedes AMG GLE63 S 4matic+ coupe, but I reckon it’s a lot simpler and more appropriate to simply call it ‘The Beast’.

Powered by a blistering 450-kilowatt twin turbo V8, this is a genuine brute in a suit that puts the sport in SUV like few other high-riding, crossover wagons. But surely this lavish five-seat colossus has an Achilles heel.

Let’s find out.

Priced from an eye-watering $225,500, the new Mercedes GLE flagship is more expensive than before, but it brings more technology, more luxury and of course a lot more power into play. The headline act of this mega Mercedes is undoubtedly this 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine, which belts out around 600 horse power. And like all good AMGs the bloke who single-handedly built it, signs his name on it too.

But when you are not blasting down to the shops at warp speed, new fuel saving features such as a 48 volt mild hybrid system and engine cylinder deactivation can reduce fuel consumption.

Intensity and intelligence, I like that.

Exterior AMG upgrades include big black 22-inch alloy wheels shod with super sporty Yokohama ADVAN tyres, and there’s also a re-sculpted front fascia.

I like that Mercedes has included this Pan Americana Grill, which is a nod to some of the most iconic Mercedes’ ever built.

You’ve got twin power domes on the bonnet and a new rear bumper up with diffuser, integrated quad exhaust system and even a little lip spoiler.

Completely reworked suspension with adaptive shock absorbers underpin the vehicle, along with active body roll compensation. High-performance composite brakes are added, and there is active engine mounts as well. What does that mean? Well, under here, there’s a dynamic support structure that firms up for better handling in track mode and loosens for more refinement when you’re on the road.

Simple, really.

Okay, this is really, really nice. And I’m gonna start with the new AMG multi-contour seats. They’re finished in a unique Nappa leather and microfibre finish, and they have next level adjustability. And I gotta say they’re super comfortable, whether you’re going hardcore on twisty roads or you’re just cruising.

Oh, and they’ve also got a massage function, naturally.

I love the race track-inspired 12 o’clock marker on the flat-bottom steering wheel, and while the infotainment carries over from regular GLE models, it’s pretty damn good to start with and gets new data logging and AMG functions.

There’s all the usual mod cons like wireless phone charging, AI-driven voice controls, quad-zone climate control, heated and cooled seats, a premium Burmester stereo and a gargantuan panoramic glass sunroof.

Mercedes has outdone itself in terms of amenities.

There’s loads of storage options including massive door pockets, and you’ve got two large cup holders here, heated and cooled, I will add, and a larger central bin USB port phone holder. It’s impressive.

Backseat room is impressive with good legroom, but so so headroom. You get a fold-out arm rest, climate control, twin USB ports. There’s even air vents and the coolest coat hook ever.

Boot space is remarkably generous and versatile. There’s enough room here for all your gear, and you can even lower the rear end via the air suspension, and I love the fact that there’s a space saver spare.

All right, time to cue the music.

If there is a downside to driving this car so far, I’m yet to find it. And I gotta say that rhythmic, gravely V8 makes the whole experience seriously special. The twin turbo V8 with its selectable performance exhaust gives you push button access to one of the best of V8 war cries this side of an HQ Monaro.

And for a vehicle that weighs just over 2.6 tons when empty, it is brutally rapid. The official 0 to 100-kilometers-an-hour sprint is claimed to take less than four seconds with a top speed of 280 kilometres an hour, and it certainly feels capable of such insane velocities.

While there’s no denying the AMG straight line speed, the overweight SUV actually has good driving dynamics too. The upgraded suspension and all the electronic gizmos help reduce body roll in corners and make it very quick point to point.

Okay, so it’s no hot hatch, but it comes damn close. This car is hugely satisfying to throw into corners and then blast out, V8 guns blazing. This is epic. The nine-speed auto does a great job under duress and is also very smooth and refined at pedestrian speeds.

In fact, the whole package is still relatively compliant when plodding around. Just slot it into the Comfort setting and Bob’s your uncle. You’ll still feel bumps and lumps in the road, but the way this overpriced, overpowered SUV defies physics in corners makes it a remarkable feat of engineering.

And with such a huge breadth of capability, there’s not a lot to complain about here. Its arch rival, the BMW X5 M, is a hugely competent machine that’s just as quick, slightly cheaper and has even more power. But the Mercedes AMG offers more torque and a longer five-year warranty.

So, does Mercedes’ beefed-up AMG SUV have an Achilles heel?

Extravagant pricing and fuel consumption perhaps, and that plastic gear lever, I do not like.

And I gotta say the mild hybrid tech, it doesn’t have much of an effect on such a big, heavy machine, but that won’t stop AMG fans from snapping up the finest high-performance SUV ever produced by Mercedes.


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