2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 SUV

#62
in Midsize SUVs
2018 MODEL

$102,550

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Overview

While the world is going gaga over SUVs, all manufacturers have got it well covered with an entire range of SUVs in their lineup. Mid-size performance SUVs are selling like hot cakes and the segment is rather well contended. AMG took up the GLE class from Mercedes Benz and gave it several iterations – GLE 43, GLE 63 and the GLE 63 S. The 2018 Mercedes Benz AMG GLE 63 sits in a sweet spot in the range.

The AMG GLE 63 comes with a 5.5L, Bi-turbo, V8 engine mated to a 7-speed transmission. The engine roars like a beast and the body gets generous AMG treatment. However, in a segment so populated, it's going to be hard for even an AMG to make a mark for itself.

From its home ground itself, this Merc challenges the BMW X5M and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Up against these Germans is a Brit known only for its SUVs – the Range Rover Sport SVR. All of these cars come with growling V8 engines and each of these are synonymous with performance. It's a strange world where SUVs and performance are coming together, but for rather beautiful beasts indeed.

See detailed review »

Pros

Big Burly AMG V8 engine

Great Body control around corners for an SUV

Well-appointed interiors

Active Safety Features

Sweet engine note

Cons

Thirsty Engine

Not the best looking car

Cluttered interior switchgears

What's New?

There hasn' been any upgrades and the car is carried over unchanged from 2017.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$102550

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

333 cu. in.

horsepower

550 hp @ 5750 rpm

torque

516 lb.-ft. @ 1750 rpm

transmission

7-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

13.6 in. ventilated disc brakes/15.4 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

114.8 in.

length

191 in.

width

78.9 in.

height

69.4 in.

curb weight

5203 lbs.

ground clearance

7.2 in.

capacity

cargo volume

38.2 cu ft.

towing capacity

7200 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

4.2 sec.

standing ¼-mile

12.3 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

166 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/15/18 mpg

highway range

442.8 mi.

warranty

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 SUV in designo Diamond White Metallic color  2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 SUV in Diamond Silver Metallic color  2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 SUV in designo Cardinal Red Metallic color  2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 SUV in Dakota Brown Metallic color  2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 SUV in Black color
designo Diamond White Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.5

Engine

5.6

Fuel Economy

6.7

Interior

7.9

Exterior

5.6

Driving

8.5

7.1

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 SUV AMG GLE 63

AMG GLE 63

Fuel: Premium unleaded (required), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$102,550

Configurations
AMG GLE 63 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl Turbo 7A)
Transmission: 7A MPG: (14/15/18)

Expert Review


carhp editor October 22, 2018

7.1

Overall Rating


8.5/10
Features

 

5.6/10
Engine

 

6.7/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.9/10
Interior

 

5.6/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

Costing $102,550, the AMG GLE 63 comes with a 5.5L, Bi-turbo V8 engine mated to a 7-speed transmission. The engine roars like a beast and the body gets generous AMG treatment. However, in a segment so populated, it’s going to be hard for even an AMG to make a mark for itself.

Features

8.5/10
Trim AMG GLE 63 4MATIC SUV AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC SUV
MSRP $102,550 $109,700
Key Features
  • Handcrafted AMG V8 Engine         
  • 4Matic All-Wheel drive        
  • AMG Dynamic Select
  •  AMG Sport Suspension based on AirMatic          
  • Aluminum Shift Paddles 
  •  AMG Body Styling        
  • Sport Interior Appointments
  • Dual Chrome AMG Exhaust Tips
  • Crosswind Assist       
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • Power Liftgate 
  • All features of the AMG 63 but the engine is tuned to produce 27 more hp and 45 lb-ft of more torque. Also it gets larger 21 inch AMG wheels.

The AMG GLE 63 comes in two trims – the standard AMG GLE 63 and the AMG GLE 63 S. That’s a complex combination of numbers and letters but the basic difference between the two is that the GLE 63 S uses the same 5.5L V8 AMG engine but at a higher state of tune producing 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. The former produces 550 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Apart from that, the GLE 63 S also comes with bigger 21 inch wheels as standard.

We Recommend

The difference between the two trims is only by $7,000 but the pricier GLE 63 S gets you great value for the extra money. The standard GLE 63 already has enough power and oomph for its character but if you are the sort of person for whom numbers matter the most, the upgrade to the 63 S is certainly worth it. Still, the GLE 63 is a great buy in itself.

Engine

5.6/10

Performance, plug-in, or pedestrian: there’s a 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE for almost every luxury-SUV buyer. - thecarconnection

Engine and Transmission

The greatest talking point of this engine, being an AMG is certainly the sound of it. Put your foot down and your ears are treated with pops and crackles. It has a 5.5L, Bi-turbo V8 engine and it develops 550 hp of peak power at 5,500 rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque at 1750 rpm. The engine is very responsive and loves to rev up the tachometer. The torque is available right from 1750 rpm, a little jab at the gas pedal in any gear is enough to get this big brute moving fast and furiously.

Models Mercedes AMG GLE 63 4MATIC SUV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
MSRP $102,550 $101,700 $118,100 $113,600
Engine 5.5L, V8, Bi-turbo engine 4.4L, V8, Twin-Turbo engine 4.8L, V8, Twin Turbo Engine 5.0L, Super charged, V8 engine
Transmission 7-speed 7G-Tronic Automatic Transmission 8-speed M Sport Automatic Transmission 8-speed Tiptronic S Transmission 8-Speed Automatic Transmission
Horsepower 550 hp @ 5,500 rpm 567hp @ 6,000 rpm 550hp @ 5,750 rpm 575hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 516 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm 553 lb.-ft. @ 2,200 rpm 567 lb.-ft. @ 1,960 rpm 516 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm

It uses a 7-speed G-Tronic automatic transmission. It holds the gear for you, lets the engine rev, treats your ear with a roaring V8 and then smoothly shifts into the next year. If you want manual control, you have the paddles behind the wheel. The gear changes itself are quick and adequately responsive.

Competing in the class of mid-sized performance SUVs, the AMG GLE 63 is not going to have an easy time. The BMW X5M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Range Rover Sport SVR – all come powered by muscular V8s and are truly handsome SUVs. Power and torque figures are also very closely contested. To really differentiate between such closely specked cars, one has to delve deeper into each of their driving dynamics.

Acceleration

Accelerating from naught to 60 mph is just 4.2 seconds for a 2.3 ton SUV is an incredible achievement. It’s not the fastest in the class but quite thrilling indeed. The Range Rover Sport SVR is the slowest to 60 mph here at 4.3 seconds. The Cayenne Turbo although being the lightest and having the most torque does it in 4.1 seconds and the X5M at in an incredible 4.0 seconds. The Mercedes crosses the quarter mile mark in 12.8 seconds which is the slowest in the competition.

Models Mercedes AMG GLE 63  4MATIC SUV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
0-60 MPH 4.2 sec 4.0 sec 4.1 sec 4.3 sec
Quarter mile 12.8 sec 12.4 sec 12.4 sec 12.6 sec
Engine 5.5L 4.4L 4.8L 5.0L

Ride and Handling

Mercedes was pretty clear minded in making this a ‘performance’ SUV and the suspension has been tuned for that purpose. It’s on the firm side which means it remains well composed around corners. Throw it at any speed into a corner and you would be surprised how well the car manages to carve its way out.

There are three driving modes – Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. Dial the notch up and the ride gets stiffer, the throttle response gets sharper and gear shifts are quicker. However, even in the comfort mode, the ride remains pretty firm but one can certainly live with it and it’s not a deal breaker.

The steering is sharp and responsive. It’s a heavy SUV weighing more than two tons and it’s rather impressive to see so much mass changing directions so swiftly. There is an adequate amount of weight to the steering and feedback from the road and is certainly confidence inspiring.  The 4Matic system ensures you have enough grip at all four corners.

Braking

The brakes are adequate, to say the least. It does not have the best numbers as it brings the AMG GLE 63 from 60 mph to a standstill in 120 ft. The X5M and the Cayenne Turbo have much better braking performance and by quite a margin. Do not be misled by the numbers though, as little inputs to the brake pedals are enough to slow you down. The pedal feels solid and provides good feedback.

Model Mercedes AMG GLE 63  4MATIC SUV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
Brake Front (in.) 15.4 15.6 15.4 15.0
Brake Rear (in.) 13.6 15.2 14.1 14.4
Curb Weight (lbs.) 5203 5260 4796 5093
60-0 MPH (ft.) 120 104 106 120

Fuel Economy

6.7/10

This V8 monster is a fuel guzzler. And so is its competition. Giving only 15 mpg of combined fuel economy figure, efficiency is not what it’s concerned about. The Cayenne returns the best figure of 17 mpg in the competition but none of these cars are about efficiency. Performance is a priority and we are only glad. Still, for those concerned about the environment, the AMG GLE 63 comes with an efficient Start/Stop system.

Model Mercedes AMG GLE 63  4MATIC SUV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
MPG (city) 14 14 14 14
MPG (highway) 18 19 21 19
MPG (combined) 15 16 17 16

Interior

7.9/10

Useful in either body style, the 2018 Benz GLE has a refined cockpit and lots of adult space. - thecarconnection

The Mercedes AMG GLE 63 does not have the roomiest interior. It only edges ahead of its competition in terms of rear legroom. The Range Rover SVR and the X5M are quite spacious in comparison and even the Cayenne Turbo, having the shortest wheelbase feels quite large. But that’s in perspective of the competition and in itself there is enough room inside to keep you happy.

It is rather frustrating to see the old interior design being carried forward in newer Mercedes. You still get all the creature comforts you would ever need on a drive and the dashboard has even inserts of wood.

Seating and Comfort

Just like the exterior, the interior of the AMG GLE 63 does not excite either. Yes, all the materials used are of top-notch quality and fit and finish are up to a standard of Mercedes but the layout is old and dated. The center is cluttered with buttons and having seen the newer 12.3-inch screens in other Mercedes’, it’s disappointing to not find it here.

Model Mercedes AMG GLE 63  4MATIC SUV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.9/58.5/40.3 39.8/60.5/40.4 39.6/58.9/40.6 39.5/60.7/42.2
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.5/58.4/38.4 38.8/58.3/36.6 39.0/57.0/36.0 39.1/59.5/37

The seats come wrapped in beautiful leather and are ventilated which can be heated or cooled. They wrap you in genuine comfort and luxury as you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz car. They are beautifully contoured to hold your body perfectly in it. The rear seat also gets a center armrest with cup holders.

Infotainment System

The Merc comes with the Command system with a touchpad controller. The instrument panel comes with analog gauges with a high-resolution multi-function display. The infotainment system comes with an 8-inch screen and can be controlled via a rotary dial and touchpad that easily falls in hand.

It’s intuitive and responses swiftly to even gestures like swipe, pinch, and handwriting. There is voice command as well and the displays are great offering every convenience and entertainment you would want on a drive. There are also one-touch keys for major functions around the Command controller.

Cargo Volume

This is somewhere the Mercedes redeems itself rather well. It has a generous 38.2 cu-ft with the rear seats folded up and 80.3 cu-ft with the seats folded down. Its way better than the competition and fitting in all your luggage for a long weekend is not going to be a problem at all. The Porsche and Range Rover have least cargo space with the seats up and down respectively.

Model Mercedes AMG GLE 63  4MATIC SUV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
Cargo Volume with 2nd row up (ft.3) 38.2 35.8 23.7 27.5
Cargo Volume with 2nd row folded (ft.3) 80.3 76.7 60.2 62.2

Exterior

5.6/10

Handsome in wagon or fastback bodies, the 2018 Mercedes GLE wears an urbane SUV look. - thecarconnection

The AMG GLE 63 looks like a proper old-school SUV and not a particularly good one for that matter. Sure it gets the AMG treatment with aggressive bumpers and large wheels but the design still remains quite bland and lacks excitement. The competition looks meaner and like true performance SUVs. Still, looks are quite a subjective choice and some may actually like the understated design.

Dimension and Weight

The AMG GLE 63 is the shortest car in length but the widest against the two other Germans and the Brit. It does not have the best wheelbase either and has the least ground clearance. It’s still a significantly large SUV. All of these SUVs have decent standard off-road equipment but are largely let down by their road biased tires. However, they are good enough to go down a dirt track at a significant speed. The Range Rover being a Range Rover fares a little better in the absence of roads but still is primarily made to be driven on the tarmac.

Model Mercedes AMG GLE 63 4MATIC SUV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
Curb weight (lbs.) 5203 5260 4796 5093
Length(in) 191.0 192.7 194.0 192.2
Width(in) 84.3 78.1 78.1 78.1
Height(in) 69.3 67.6 65.9 71
Ground clearance (in) 7.2 8.1 7.4 7.9
Wheelbase (in) 114.8 115.5 114.0 115
Track width (in) F/R 66.4 / 67.1 65.6/65.6 66.5/65.8 66.6/66.6

Exterior Features

  • AMG body styling
  • Aluminum roof rails
  • 20-inch AMG 10-spoke wheels
  • Side-mirror logo projectors
  • Dual chrome AMG exhaust tips
  • AMG illuminated front door sills
  • Privacy glass
  • Optional AMG Night Package

Towing Capacity

The Merc has a good towing capacity at 7,200 lbs but the Porsche has the best in class at 7,716 lbs. That’s a significant number for a performance SUV. The BMW has the least towing capacity at 5,952 while the Range Rover SVR takes the third place.​​​​​​​

Model Mercedes AMG GLE 63 4MATIC SUV BMW X5 M Porsche Cayenne Turbo Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
Maximum Towing Capacity 7,200 lbs 5,952 lbs. 7,716 lbs. 6,613 lbs.

Safety

Mercedes has always been good at providing great safety features as standard as this is no exception. It comes with Active Brake Assist which alerts you of vehicles ahead or any other obstacle for that matter if it senses a likely collision, automatically providing you an appropriate level of braking to prevent the collision or reduce its impact. It also comes with lane keeping assist and crosswind assist which automatically stabilizes the car in reaction to wind turbulence from other vehicles encountering the car.

Safety Features

  • Active Brake Assist
  • ATTENTION ASSIST
  • Trailer Stability Assist
  • Crosswind Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Parking Pilot
  • Surround View System
  • Antilock Braking System (ABS)
  • Brake Assist (BAS)
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
  • High-strength unibody

Competition

Mercedes AMG GLE 63 vs BMW X5M

When it comes to looks and interior quality, the BMW clearly beats the Mercedes hands down. The Beemer looks meaner, its i-drive system is the best in class and the interiors are as luxuriously appointed as the Merc or even better. The Beemer has a smaller 4.4L engine compared to the Merc’s 5.5L but has better power and torque figures and better performance too. It’s quicker too but the AMG sounds way too good. Which one is more fun to drive? It’s the Mercedes that’s more engaging but there is very little separating the two.

Mercedes AMG GLE 63 vs Porsche Cayenne Turbo

The Cayenne Turbo seems to be giving the Merc a tough time. It comes with a lot of hardware, like rear wheel steering and electronic roll stabilization among other features. It also has off-road driving modes which the Merc does not have. It certainly has better dynamics around the corners. Even straight line performance is better than the Mercedes.

It looks like a handsome sport SUV and has Porsche’s latest interiors with great technology and materials. It also has better ride quality among the two. Yes, it comes at a premium of around $16,000 but it offers great equipment for that money over the Mercedes.

Mercedes AMG GLE 63 vs Range Rover Sport SVR

You thought only the Germans are good at technology? Range Rover now has a bold reply. It’s loaded with technology in its new dual screens, has lavish interiors and looks menacing to say the least. It’s the only SUV here which can take the off-road, has electronic locking differentials and low range gearbox for the same. It’s no less on the road either.

It’s fun to drive, holds itself pretty well around the corners and rides good too. The engine sounds as good as the AMG, if not any better. All this however comes at a premium of around $10,000, but would you ever find a more versatile SUV than this?

Final Verdict

It is not every day that a competition among a bunch of cars is so well fought out. The Mercedes AMG GLE 63 might be boring to look at and its dated interiors sure are a disappointment but it is an SUV with a lot of character. The AMG V8 sounds gorgeous, the engine is responsive and powerful, it goes down the road like a real Hulk.

All this, still does not seem to be helping the GLE 63 much as its competitors are just a little bit better. It all boils down to what you are really looking for. The BMW X5M is the best deal as it offers better performance, looks great and is a tad cheaper than the Merc. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo is easily the best driving SUV and if the $16,000 premium is not a problem, do not look anywhere else but the Porsche. If going off the road features in your weekend to dos, then the Range Rover SVR is your best choice and boy, it’s equally good on the road as well. In any case, it’s not the Mercedes AMG GLE 63 making a mark for itself, being a great car still.

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