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Mercedes AMG GLS 63 – High and Mighty

The phrase ‘high and mighty’ often has a negative connotation, it can be used to describe people as arrogant or self-important, grandiose or just haughty but I think there is a simpler and more positive way to utilise this phrase and the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 will help me explain.

You see to me, most epithets and phrases (if you dig a little deeper or even take step a back in this case) can often be interpreted quite differently. In many ways it’s about perspective, as regardless of their current or commonly accepted use, a different tone or inference can bring about a world of change to any phrase.

There is no hiding the fact that the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 has a huge kerbside presence. After all, it measures over 20 cubic metres (1.85m tall, and 2.14m wide and 5.13m long) and has 2,580kg kerb weight. Many people would see this as too much, too big or maybe even unwarranted but having spent some time with this ‘big daddy’ I would strongly disagree.

Rather than having what could have been described as huge and obnoxious, the GLS’s design is charismatic and defined; with a multitude of idiosyncrasies or qualities that are very endearing. Take the grille for example, as large as it is, tilt your head a little and you see the makings of a Biplane coming towards you. It’s 22inch Black AMG alloys are like grand roulette wheels (especially with the bright red brake callipers behind). Long sill length running boards conjure up images of surfing and summers at the beach while the immense tailgate has all the ‘escapism’ of a top of the line RV. A seven seat SUV could be deemed irresponsible for a family of three but I could argue that for longer trips it gives everyone their own domain and in turn a more affable experience (and since all the seats are Nappa leather and spacious, it’s luxurious too).

Under the bonnet louvres lies a V8 5.5 litre bi-Turbo heart that produces 430kW and 760Nm from as low as 1,750 rpm. It’s also powerful enough to take this beast of a thing up to 100kph at a sportscar embarrassing 4.6 seconds and when its permanent all wheel drive system is in Sports + mode, it will shame it in the handling department too.

I took it on a long run up the North East coast which included some stunning scenery and more importantly glorious roads. The shore footedness of the GLS felt at home stretching its legs from the freeway to the beach. I shifted through the drive modes Comfort to Sports Plus and it responded by shifting through its 7G-Tronic box and changing revs and exhaust notes. Suspension-wise it is hard to fault, this mammoth of a vehicle should lollop around but the ride is quite the contrary, the steering is bang on, it’s tough but forgiving – the massage seats more than helped.

Back around town, I found it easy to navigate around tight and restrictive carparks (the 360 degree camera helps) and there are plenty of settings (via the infotainment screen) to keep you occupied in heavy traffic. Connectability and HK sounds are outstanding as is the interior finishing. The 3rd row of seats are electronically operated, ideal for me as I loaded my son’s Xmas bike in there – shhh don’t tell him.

Its substantial size rules the driveway and brings attention from the neighbourhood, which was surprising as not many SUV’s have held such interest – mind you, I did leave it in ‘plus’ mode a lot, making it very vocal through its bi-twin chrome exhaust tips.

The GLS 63 AMG can be a sedate and stately luxurious SUV that takes virtually any sized family around in style. It has the look of a sinister CIA transporter but with the ‘bling’ worthy of a Rap star video. Under a heavy foot (accelerating AND braking) it sounds ferocious and head turning, but can also move around the city at a dulcet and soothing V8 baritone. It’s big and bad, soft and welcoming, Tall and ultimately very powerful – in short, it gives an all new meaning to High and Mighty.

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