Mercedes seem to be getting pretty damn good at breaking these barriers. When I reviewed the A45 AMG, I said it threw out the hot hatch rule book and now Merc have done it again with the GLC63 S AMG. However, fast SUVs don’t come with the same sort of history that hot hatches have so maybe this GLC might be a little less controversial. Or not, let’s find out!
I have experienced my fair share of fast SUVs- some that are lightning quick, some that are great lookers but what they all have in common is that they are all pretty bloody expensive. Then comes the GLC63 S. First of all, if you’re expecting me to call this cheap then I am sorry to disappoint you but it is not that. However, it is very fast and this sort of performance allows it to punch way above its weight where the pricing is concerned.
For an AMG, the exterior is fairly discrete. It does get that new AMG hannibal grille though… There’s plenty of AMG badges around and of course the bi-turbo logo on the sides. The body is much more imposing and you get flared wheel arches to accommodate those large AMG alloys.
The front is dotted with large vents because that bi-turbo engine is going to need a lot of cooling! The exhausts make a great roaring sound but they are only semi authentic. What I mean by that is the tailpipes are not actually connected to the exhaust system. There is instead a tiny gap that separates the actual pipe from the fake tips, why have they done this?! At least it’s an improvement over those plastic scoops they have on the normal GLC.
Being an authentic AMG car means that the interior is definitely a step-up from those pseudo AMG line cars. You also get an extensive and expensive options list which includes things like the sports seats. This car did not come with those selected and I am grateful for that. The AMG sports seats are supportive for sure but they are not comfortable by any means of the word. And especially in an SUV as fast as this one, you will want soft seats to cushion your body as you get flung back into them.
Other than leather, there is plenty of wood paneling on the doors and on the centre console, the colour of which you can choose. There is plenty of aluminium as well, something that adds a premium touch to all those buttons on the dash. The steering wheel gets its fair share of this precious metal and it utilises it well with the AMG badge on the flat bottom being engraved into the metal. While the interior is a nice place to be, I must say that I was not pleased with the hard plastics on the door panels.
The infotainment unit is Merc’s widely praised twin screen set-up. Infinitely customisable and almost providing an overload of information. The central screen controls all the AMG trickery that the GLC63 has to offer but you can take the shortcut and use the rotary knob on the wheel to change driving modes, suspension set-ups and so on. All good stuff but what’s even better is the way it puts the power down.
Remember that bi-turbo engine that I mentioned earlier? Well, it’s a 4 litre twin turbo unit that puts out a mammoth 700Nm of torque and 375kW. Mercedes didn’t really detune this car as most manufacturers tend to do these days, this is a properly rowdy AMG. Those power figures may not mean much to most but couple those with the GLCs light body and you get a family SUV that will go from 0-100 in 3.8 seconds. A figure that is barely a second slower than all those razor sharp supercars.
Obviously, power is nothing without control and all that so this GLC does get Merc’s 4MATIC four wheel drive system. It is extremely intelligent in managing the power delivery and coupled with that wide track, you can achieve some face melting speeds through the corners.
Overall, the best thing about the GLC63 S is the surprise that you get. Sure, it’s dotted with AMG badges and costs a whole lot of money but when you put your foot down, all logic gets thrown out. The way this 5 seater family SUV can get up to speed and keep going is just insane. And then when faced with a corner, it will just keep going because the level grip will probably test your limits.
It’s safe to say that the GLC63 has broken lots of barriers here. It allows you to have something practical that will put sports cars and even some supercars to the sword without being unusably low.
The Mercedes GLC63 S AMG gets a 4 out of 5 from me.
Thanks for reading! Words and pictures by Matthew Dsouza