2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63: Better Handling, Smarter

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Mercedes-AMG is updating the GLC 63 model line for 2020, not that it really needed to. The performance variants of this compact crossover already trounce their mainstream counterparts in terms of looks — even the oddly squat GLC “Coupe.”

However, as the manufacturer was not content to simply rest on its laurels, it decided to provide a brief but well-rounded list of upgrades.

Output remains the same for the 2020 model year, but AMG hasn’t left any sane person wanting. The 63’s 4.0-liter V8 biturbo still banks a respectable 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, while the S version creeps things up to an enviable 503 hp and 516 lb-ft. AMG fans may find all that power more useful, as the next batch are said to receive an electronically controlled locking differential as standard equipment. AMG wanted to minimize slippage on the rear inside tire during cornering and appears to have succeeded, as the GLC 63 S remains the fastest crossover to tackle the North Loop of the Nürburgring.

Similarly new is the galvanized, flat-bottom steering wheel. On the S model the unit is trimmed with black Nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber — though you can have it customized to incorporate more of what you like, even if what you like happens to be high-gloss carbon fiber. S models also receive AMG’s “Drive Unit” as standard, allowing drivers to customize drive modes via the steering wheel. Those include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Individual, and Race (with the latter being S-only).

The manufacturer also says it upgraded its electronic stability program to better complement these driving modes — tailoring engine/transmission response, torque distribution for the 4Matic all-wheel drive system, steering inputs, and suspension settings for each.

Mercedes’ MBUX debuts on the infotainment display and is operable through either the standard means or that dope-sounding steering wheel’s touch controls. However, you can just talk to it if your fingers are otherwise occupied. The system is also smart enough to detect whether it’s a driver or passenger reaching for it and performs some predictive reasoning to give each what it thinks they might need.

Everything else is in service of the vehicle’s aesthetics. Headlight and taillamp designs are slimmer than in the past, and the AMG GLC 63 adopts a trapezoidal twin tailpipe design. There’s also a new exterior paint option, but it’s a rather predictable gray. Mercedes’ new upholstery (with the contrasting yellow stitching) is far more exciting, if perhaps a little too bold for some tastes.

The only real downside we can see is that the manufacturer still insists on offering the roomier AMG GLC 63 SUV without the superior engine. If you want the S you have to buy the GLC 63 Coupe.

Both should begin arriving at U.S. dealers toward the end of this year.

[Images: Mercedes-AMG]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 6 comments
  • Redapple Redapple on Apr 17, 2019

    The drivers of Coupie looking MB are real gems. Not my kind of people. Not my kind of car.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Apr 18, 2019

    Seems odd. Take so much engine and then stuff into a body and frame that isn't performance. Wouldn't you rather a nice C63 ?

  • Lou_BC Ironic, the Honda Ridgeline, a truck that every truck guy loves to hate is in 6th place.
  • 28-Cars-Later I keep forgetting I own it, but the space look on the ext cab reminds me of my 'Yota pickup of the same model year. I'm pretty sure there is some vintage of Hilux which features the same looking ext cab window (maybe '88?) its a shame these things are mostly gone and when available are $1,000,000,000 [INSERT CURRENT CURRENCY].
  • Sayahh Imagine if Ford had Toyota design and build a Mustang engine. It will last over 300k miles! (Skip turbo and make it naturally aspirated.) Maybe Yamaha will help tune it...
  • Sobhuza Trooper Isuzu's crime was to build some damn good trucks.Shame on them.
  • El scotto Listen, unless you were Lord Headly-Stempmoor or such when you got off the off the boat, boot in Canada, you got the short end of the stick. People got on the boat, these days a plane, to escape famine, becoming cannon fodder in yet another stupid war, or the government thought it was A-OK to let soldiers kill you. Juneteenth is just a way to right one of the more bad ideas in the American experiment. Instead we have commenters who were buying tater chips and diet soda at Wal-Mart and got all butt-hurt because they heard someone who wasn't speaking English. I'm going to go fix a couple of frankfurters with salsa and guacamole and wash them down with a lager or three