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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

This week, we are reviewing the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63. Our vehicle was assembled at the Vance plant in the USA with an MSRP of CAD 203,500.00.

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

Fun Factor: 10           

The Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 is not your average family SUV; it is designed for enthusiasts and can accommodate your entire family. The heart of the GLS is its majestic sounding & handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 Bi-Turbo engine, which is a delight to hear and rewarding to push to its limits. If the power from the V8 wasn't enough, it also comes with a hybrid electric motor that provides 184 lb-ft of torque to boost it and help with fuel economy. This mammoth packs 603 hp and 627 lb/ft of torque. All this power transfers to the 9-speed transmission, which delivers almost imperceptible gear changes to give us a 0-100km in just 4.2 seconds. Naturally, this power comes with a hefty price tag, with the base price starting at $188,000.00. Our test model had over $15,000 in additional options, bringing the total to $203,000.00.

Can it Family: 9  

The GLS can seat 7; we could easily fit four adults and three teenagers without complaints. The co-pilot will be happy thanks to the comfortable, relaxing, and massaging seats. An uncommon feature in 7-seaters is the second row's 40/20/40 folding capability, which means that when transporting longer items, you can fold the middle seat and maintain access to both sides of the second row. The third-row seat is comfortable, but since the legroom is limited, it's best for kids up to a teenager.

Fuel-Friendly: 5

The actual fuel economy in the city was 20.9L/100km, and on the Highway, it was 15.2L/100km, finishing our week with an average of 18.6L/100km. The average exterior temperature during our test was -5c. Mercedes-AMG announces 16.8L/100km in the city, 13.2L/100km on the Highway, and a combined fuel economy of 15.2L/100km. 


HWY-warrior: 10

If you're planning a road trip, the place to be is inside the GLS, the AMG ride control+, which has an air suspension that can adjust the driving dynamics with a turn of a knob. Giving it a sumptuous experience, most will want to sit in the second row, where they can be chauffeured around and control many of the functions, such as climate controls, using the tablet hidden in the armrest.

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 cluster
Photo by Efthimios Geros

Karaoke Friendly: 9

The Burmester surround sound system has 13 speakers for a fulfilling experience inside the cabin. As for the infotainment, what stands out are the dual 12.3-inch screens, with one being a touch screen. The left one is an instrument cluster that you can customize to your driving mood. It requires a slight learning curve since most controls are directly on the screening wheel as haptic buttons. On the right, almost central, you have the main infotainment that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The integrated navigation from Mercedes also offers something unique; it will give you directions by activating the front camera to guide you in the direction you need to go. This can be extremely useful when driving through complex intersections. The vehicle offers both wireless charging and wireless connectivity for your smartphone. Another luxurious feature is the 64 different colours you can choose from to light up the interior cabin at night. 

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 2nd row
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

Kids-friendly: 9 

The GLS was designed with families in mind. The doors open wide, making getting the car seats in and out of the vehicle easy. Installation and space for car seats in the second row are accessible for various car seats, including infant seats. We did not have to adjust the front passenger seat for adequate space. The 3rd row offers fairly good access thanks to the mechanism of the 2nd row. The 3rd row provides lower anchors on both seats that are easily accessible—even making installation easy. We saw more difficulty with the fit of the car seats in the 3rd row. The headrest is often in the way, making it hard to get a perfect fit and legroom for the kids in their seats is very minimal unless you have no choice. It's better to have kids sitting in the 3rd row and have the car seats installed in the 3rd. If you're used to dual-zone or tri-zone climate control, be prepared for the GLS 5-zone climate control. This gives your passengers the option for everyone to feel as comfortable as they want to be.

Mercedes AMG GLS 63
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

City Cruising: 7

While the GLS 63 has a hybrid assist system, don't expect a hybrid fuel economy, as we saw 20.9L/100km in a winter setting. Mercedes-AMG announces 16.8L/100km, the same fuel economy as the GLS 580, which has almost 100 ponies less. The acceleration at a stop light is lively, while the breaking shifts the vehicle's weight forward. At the end of the day, a hybrid system does help with fuel economy, but we would love to see it do more leg work, especially in traffic. An E-Performance AMG version would be welcome for city dwellers, especially since we know how good Mercedes plugin hybrids are; the GLE 450e even beat its BMW competitor here.

Why would we buy the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63, or what did we like about it?

Performance makes the GLS 63 a bomb to drive and gives the whole family an unparalleled driving experience. 

Mercedes AMG GLS 63
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

Why would we not buy the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63, or what did we not like about it?

Some of the buttons on the steering wheel are tactile and can be pressed unintentionally, and using the infotainment's touchpad is a strange experience. We would love a hybrid plugin version, especially for urban drives.

Mercedes AMG GLS 63
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

Mercedes-AMG has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Mercedes-AMG Canada. The above reflects our personal opinion of the car referred to above.

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