Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S review: taking SUVs to new extremes

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S review: taking SUVs to new extremes
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S review: taking SUVs to new extremes

Taking the SUV concept further and faster than ever before

When most people think of an SUV they think of a chunky vehicle that rides high on the road, and which can manage a modicum of life off the road. Add in plenty of practical space for you and yours and all their kit, and you have a vehicle that is taking the motoring world by storm, and a long storm at that. But this SUV adds another dimension.

This is an SUV that can accelerate form rest to 62mph in only 3.8sec, a figure that would embarrass a considerable number of hot hatches. It can go from rest and pass 100mph in just 9sec on the way to 174mph. Given the high-ride size of the beast that absolutely incredible. Yet here it is, looking sleek and glossy, outside and in.

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Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S review

Clearly, with such performance on tap from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, there isn’t going to be much of the compromise you find on many SUVs, where on-road performance is detuned particularly in the suspension to allow a gentle ride on rougher ground.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Price: £76,070
Engine: 4.0-litre, V* petrol
Power: 503bhp
Torque: 516lb ft
Gearbox: 9-spd automatic
0-62mph: 3.8sec
Top speed: 174mph
Official economy: 26.4mpg
CO2, tax band: 244g/km, 37%

Fire up the V8 so it grumbles evilly to itself and you just know how this is going to go. Sure enough, give it a load of throttle and it fires you towards the horizon in a way you won’t find in any other SUV. It pulls well from low down but once it’s past the 3000rpm mark it pulls with brutal force all the way to the 7000rpm limiter. It sounds tremendous, Wagner-like in its controlled violence, but if that’s not enough then another £1000 will get you the AMG sports exhaust system.

That level of blistering performance would be fatal in quite a few SUVs, but Mercedes-AMG has exerted an iron control on handling, thanks in part to standard air suspension. In default mode it’s firm, holding the chassis flat through fast corners, but you can stiffen it up more if you want to go even harder.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S interior

You know what comes next – yup, that makes the ride quality very firm. It’s not that bad but you’re never in any doubt that you’re in a vehicle focused entirely on going very fast on the road. Sure, it’s an SUV with four-wheel drive, but listen to the low-profile tyre roar at speed from the big wheels and you’ll not imagine for a moment that off-road is an option.

Apart from the tyre roar the cabin is delightfully quiet, apart from the muffled grumbling from the V8. Under cruising conditions it’s peaceful and pleasant in the spacious and well-appointed cabin. There are some lovely sporty bits like the nappa covered sports seats that hold you tight and the flat-bottomed steering wheel complete with paddles, but comfort and luxury have not been forgotten.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S seats

This is a vehicle that’s practical enough to be used every day and to transport family and luggage about with ease. Yet it’s also one that can blast away like a missile and haul you round twisting roads in a manner that at times defies belief.

At the limit it doesn’t impress so much, certainly not as much as a Porsche Macan Turbo, but how many drivers are going to take a vehicle like this on a track day? If you do, be prepared for some gulping numbers, and we’re not talking high speed. With 244g/km of CO2 and a claimed fuel figure of only 26.4mpg you’re going to be romping through the numbers at an obscene rate.

But if that bothers you then you’re probably not in the market for a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S review

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