Exterior:designo Graphite Metallic
Interior:designo Black / Black
While this review concentrates on the bonkers Mercedes-AMG G63, managing editor Steven Ewing took a spin in the standard, $124,500 G550 earlier this year. The G550 is better for folks who might actually go off-roading, what with its less-aggressive wheel/tire setup, and it still packs hearty V8 punch and a world-class interior.
The G63, meanwhile, starts at $147,500, and it’s a bombastic, grandiose, completely unnecessary thing. It’s powered by an AMG-built, 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V7, pumping out 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. That’s a full 161 horsepower and 177 pound-feet more than the G550. And with 22-inch wheels wrapped in summer tires, the G63 is more beast-in-the-street than it is devil-in-the-dirt.
If the old G-Class had one glaring problem, it was the steering. Unchanged for generations, the recirculating-ball setup was kind of scary, with terrible on-center feeling and irregular weighting. For 2019, it’s been replaced by a more traditional, electronically assisted rack-and-pinion system, so the G63 reliably goes in the direction I point it. This more modern steering setup even has two different modes: Comfort feels a bit too light for a vehicle this large, but Sport adds an appropriate amount of weight, and it’s my preferred setting for all situations.
Another big improvement is the independent front suspension. The cold, hard fact is that most G-Wagen owners stay far away from the dirt, and an independent setup provides a much more comfortable ride.