By on May 31, 2012

Any notion that AMG and M cars have become merely totems of wealth for the uninformed has just been further cast in stone, with the introduction of the Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG.

How is this any different from the ML63, G63 or R63 AMG crossovers/SUVs? It’s not. But the GL lineup, until now, lacked an AMG version, topping out with the GL550. The AMG two-box lineup exists more as fiduciary summit for wealthy MB customers looking for the most expensive vehicle in the range, rather than for performance-minded SUV or crossover buyers. Now that the GL63 is here, we just have further confirmation of that.

Underneath the skin, the GL63 gets the ubiquitous 5.5L AMG twin-turbo V8 with 550 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque. Notably, the GL63 looks less belligerent than the G63 or ML63, to the point where it apes the very stealthy R63 AMG pseudo-van. On the other hand, it looks brawny enough for suburban rubes to pony up the estimated six-figure price tag to buy this thing.

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22 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz GL63 Fires Opening Salvo In The Suburban Status War...”


  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    Growing up in the mid-west, I used to see AMG cars being driven by

    -Older car fanatics. 50% of the time that were taking them out as daily drivers. They had a porsche or a vette at home when they wanted a bit more flash. A few year old Ferrari if they were from Oakland county Michigan.

    -30% were young kids who loved cars and had too much stinking money. Some really did know a ton about cars but where dismissed by jealous people.

    -20% were younger business people trying to impress people.

    Now that I live in southern California? You are spot on regarding the fact that the target is the range-topping price tag.

    50% are soccer moms. Literally. 25-45 year old soccer moms who cannot negotiate parking lots without a 5 point turn. Especially the big S-class and SUV models. I saw 2 ML63 this morning. Both driven by women with bad plastic surgery and no intention of paying attention to the road.

    40% are business men stuck in traffic. They may or may not know what a wrench is or how to use it. Some of these are going through a mid-life crisis, where the M3 is the soup of the day for the past few years. The ones driving the 4-door M3 drive especially stupid to prove to people there was no compromise DAMMIT!

    10% are 17-23 year old kids with too much money. Only in Cali the only difference is that these rich kids don’t work for their parents. They most likely don’t work at all for those 25K they put in wheels to go with their 100k car. Its the only way to make your car unique in this jungle.

    If you sense a bit of bitterness you would be correct. There is a man at work here that drives a E63 AMG with no less than SIX exhaust pipes. Work that one out in your head…

    I’ve loved cars since I was a kid with posters all over my room. How can I get excited about my favorite cars when I see three 28 year old girlfriends/moms drive past me piloting my favorite Porsche year/model every day? With the passenger seat folded forward so the baby seat will fit in the back nonetheless? And WHY IS SHE DRINKING A DAMN SLURPEE IN A 100K+ PORSCHE!!!!!

    OK. I’m going to go kick a trash can and take up smoking….

    • 0 avatar
      james2k

      Don’t be sad, Fonz. If all those soccer moms, status conscious business people, and privileged kids out there didn’t buy all those M/AMG/R/V cars, the companies that make them might not bother selling them at all. Then where would we be? Prii, Prii as far as the eye could see.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “Both driven by women with bad plastic surgery and no intention of paying attention to the road.”

      I thought all plastic surgery was bad, especially the facial procedures – they come out looking like Pelosi, who always looks constipated. Each time I see her I think someone needs to tighten the bolts in her neck.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Why drink a slurpee in a Porsh? The same reason why people would hit a Mcdonalds in a Jag, or pick their nose in a Benz.

      People that want to look fancy based on their material items are inconsistent, and a bit careless.

      One of these days I will hit the fanciest bits of CA and drive whatever the cheapest car is that I have, just to mess with those status-phoney baloneys.

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      Another type of person to add to the California category are the guys who drive up and down Sunset in their Porsche GT3s on friday night, perpetually pretending to look for parking!

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Personally, I preferred the R63. If I were to win the lottery, I’d pick up one of those, re-badge it as something more modest, and then go around playing the “Dude, you just got dusted by a minivan” game.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Amen brother,

      Everyone has got to give MB some serious credit for building such a stupidly awesome vehicle. It makes no sense in any way, yet will destroy most cars out there in a race.

    • 0 avatar
      daveainchina

      reminds me of the turbo dodge caravan I used to see on youtube. This was doing like 11 seconds in the 1/4 mill and looked like your average 1988 dodge caravan. Really sick and twisted guy built that thing.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I don’t understand why Mercedes go through all the trouble of mechanically upgrading their SUV’s. All they’d have to do is slap a different badge on the same vehicle and sell it for $20k more and some divvy would buy it – just because it was more expensive than their neighbours.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Why not offer a range topper that’s “above” the AMGs? Call it “Über Knallig”, sell it with a louder exhaust and call every option “designo” while maintaining the same drive line as the regular merc. Price the ÜK 20K above AMG, that’s money in the bank.
      Then they could even offer a customizing program by a separate firm “Geschmacklos und Teuer GmbH, a Prestigious tuning company located in Schwarzwald, near the Nürburgring, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Where they develop exclusive cars and manufacture bespoke machines for mercedes’ MotoGP team.”*
      Then we could all watch when the Mercedes Boards fills up with people talking about the heritage of the ML ÜK GuT, designo black on black they just bought.

      *It wouldn’t be much more of a scam than the “hand built by one guy” AMG V8s.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    What’s funny is when I see a Mercedes with an AMG badge that’s clearly not an AMG (ie bottom trim factory wheels, no body kit, etc,)

    I agree that AMG was once a line for enthusiasts but now it’s just like a Louis Vuitton label for status seeking soccer moms.

    The price difference is also ridiculous between the AMG line and stock, I’d rather simply have an additional sports car in my garage than pay double for the same Mercedes with slightly stiffer struts and a half second quicker 0-60 time.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Except for the E63 wagon… That one is sublime

    • 0 avatar
      ithiel

      So true! I used to commute from the IE to West LA, and I swear at least 1/2 of the “AMG” models were base Benzes with an AMG badge stuck on. You could usually tell because of the lack of extra exhausts or stock wheels, but sometimes the driver was lazy enough to slap an AMG badge on without even altering the model number (e.g. C300 AMG). Apparently you can buy an AMG badge for less than $10 on ebay. I guess in the automotive arms race that is the SoCal driving experience, people will do whatever it takes to outdo their neighbors.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This reminds me of a Jeep Cherokee minus the two-tone.

    If I ever brought a Benz it’d be a classic one, the genuine luxury models that were designed tastefully and to last.

    Better to own a dated Benz than to own a disposable SUV for soccer-moms with too much grocery money.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I still think both the E, S & CL class cars are pretty much top of the heap as far as luxury vehicles go. Even going to a $300,000 RR Ghost honestly feels like a step down, in anything but bling, compared to the aging S63. Which, again, honestly doesn’t have much recommending it over the E version. And the next S, coming later this year, is bound to set the bar even higher, now that the (scarcely existent) Maybach set is being included in the target market.

      The Panamera has it’s merits, but compared to one of the above Benzes, it really only makes sense some ways from densely trafficked areas, where very few 1%ers (gotta have someone to flaunt it to, you know…) spend much time to begin with.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Oh, and since this article is about a GL version of a 63 (or vice versa, I guess)…… As long as people pony up fr something THAT silly, please refrain from talking smack about the Raptor. That one at least has some merit. Like being an “off-roader” specced with tires capable of traversing a common curb without breaking rims and stuff…….. And avoiding Ponch & John by taking non paved shortcuts, or even planning routes beyond the reach of donut delivery vans.

        Big engines in ill handling “off-roaders” don’t have to be bad. But city block like weights, floppy chassis and skyscraper COGs, perched atop postage stamp tire sidewalls, absolutely have to. No exceptions.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Meh, Luxuries only good if the vehicle itself looks fine while being comfy. These new Benz’s look way to tacky for me (and they’ll be visually out of date in the next 5 years).

        The Raptors nice as an off-roader, but again its way too tacky and I’m sure that its weightsize will limit what it can do in the mountains.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Drive a GL, then drive a Suburban.

    I promise you won’t notice a difference between the two.

    Except the cost, and the fact that the ‘burban will last longer and tow more.

  • avatar
    baggins

    Lots of abuse to the MBZ. I drove a group of 7 adults(including me) around the Santa Barbara wine country in a GL450. Loaded up with 1300 lbs of passengers and cargo

    The air suspension had it driving like a dream under that load. Handled fine, Plenty of power too.

    Its a hell of a nice ride, I’d love to have one.

    Not sure I’d see the point in a ML63, but some of these posts smack of jealousy.

    • 0 avatar
      FJ60LandCruiser

      It eventually comes down to common sense. The GL is overpriced and offers nothing over Expeditions and Suburbans.

      A local dealer sells GMCs and Mercs and says that most people realize that the Yukon and Denali offers exactly the same for much less money and told me he sells 10 of the GM’s for every 1 GL when the customer just WANTS to be seen in a Merc.


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