Who said the Germans were boring? Who said SUVs have to be boring? Well, this is the opposite of boring - the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S is a fire-breathing family hauler, with enormous power, huge torque, insane acceleration and a soundtrack that you'll want to hear over, and over, and over again.
Click that little triangle play button on the video. Do it. Go on. This review will make a lot more sense if you do, I promise.
Why do I say that? Because it’s hard to put a grin in writing. Truly. I can use happy words like, well, ‘happy’, ‘smiley’, ‘grinny’… wait, ‘grinny’ isn’t a word.
But anyway, the point is that this bonkers SUV - the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S - is the sort of thing that will plaster a pearly white poster all over the bottom half of your face. Eww, that actually sounds a bit wrong.
Anyway - below you’ll find all the info, specs, details and driving impressions to help you understand why the video review is important to watch.
Have you watched it yet? Good. Now read on!
Mercedes-Benz GLC63 2019: S
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Is there anything interesting about its design? 9/10
Visual changes between the existing model and this one? Well, there have been a few. More than meets the eye initially, in fact.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S had re-styled LED headlights (coupe body).
The new 21-inch wheel design adds a little something to the look (coupe body).
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S had re-styled LED headlights (wagon body).
The new 21-inch wheel design adds a little something to the look (wagon body).
Things like the re-styled LED headlights with new LED daytime running light signatures stand out most, but you might also notice that the grille has been flipped from a ‘V’ shape to an ‘A’ shape, and it still has the ‘Panamericana’ vertical slats. The bumper still has gaping holes for big air flow, but the fins below now look more like the curled edges of a hipster’s moustache than before.
Side-on not a lot has changed, though the new 21-inch wheel design does add a little something to the look.
The GLC Coupe model has seen identical front-end adjustments.
At the rear there are new LED tail-light inlays which have a more squareish look to them, and the exhaust outlets are bigger than before, and finished in chrome.
The GLC Coupe model has seen identical front-end adjustments, though the tail-lights on this bodystyle remain distinct from the wagon version, though they do follow a similar cue. The ducktail rear spoiler will either light your fire or promptly put it out.
So the exterior changes aren’t immense for the AMG GLC, but that’s no bad thing. It was already pretty pleasing to look at. And the bigger changes have been made inside the cabin - check out the interior images below to see for yourself.
The structure hasn’t changed, but the interior has seen some significant additions.
The highlight is Benz’s MBUX media and infotainment system.
The highlight is Benz’s MBUX media and infotainment system, which comprises two high-resolution digital screens in front of the driver - one for the instruments, and the other for the major controls and media.
The system comprises a 10.25-inch touchscreen with the brand’s "Hey Mercedes" voice control system. Believe me, if you or a member of your family or friends group has the name Mercedes, you’ll hate this system… it’s hyper-sensitive to the word, and - fun fact - it made filming the car very difficult!
The 10.25-inch touchscreen has the brand’s "Hey Mercedes" voice control system.
Also difficult is learning your way around the menus. It’s fine after a few hours, but there’s a lot of complexity to the way the screens are laid out. The idea, I guess, is to get you to use voice control more.
If you prefer to be hands-on, you can use the central touchpad, or the tiny little touchpad on the steering wheel, to control the central screen. It is a lovely looking display - no doubt - but I’ve heard some people call it the best in the business, and I can’t help but think they’re quite wrong about that.
There are small touchpad's on the steering wheel.
The tiny little touchpad on the steering wheel allow you to control the central screen.
If you prefer to be hands-on rather than voice control there are various touchpad's.
The screens aren’t as neatly aligned across the dashboard.
I don’t really dig how the screens aren’t as neatly aligned across the dashboard as in, say, the new A Class, but that’s just because this was an update, not a generational change. Sure, it looks smarter than before, but it’s not quite as glorious an interior as some of the brand’s newer examples.
The practicality is still on point, though - there are big cup holders up front and in the back, bottle holders in all four doors, and good loose item storage. No map pockets on the seats, though, as the AMG buckets in the S model don’t allow that.
And someone my size - 182cm, or six-feet tall - can fit behind their own driving position comfortably in the back seat of the wagon model, as there’s good headroom, legroom and toe space. The bench is broad and comfortable, too, though the transmission tunnel is quite intrusive. But there is rear climate control along with rear vents.
The Coupe model suffers a reduction in head room.
The Coupe model suffers a reduction in head room - it’s more suited to someone who is 175cm than my height, and you have to watch your head getting in and out. Also, the door sills are quite large, and people with bigger feet (or who are just generally clumsy) could find themselves tripping over the edges of the apertures in the front and the back.
The boot is larger in the wagon body.
The wagon body model has 550L of cargo capacity.
The wagon model easily fits a family of four’s luggage for a weekend away.
Boot space is cut down in the Coupe body.
Boot space is cut down in the Coupe, too - it has 500 litres of cargo capacity, where the wagon model has 550L, and that’s easily enough for a family of four’s luggage for a weekend away.
Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 6/10
It’s hard to say what the price will be for the updated version of the GLC 63 - but we don’t expect it to move too far from the current price list.
The pre-facelift model has a list price (before on-road costs) of $165,395 for the wagon model, and $172,400 for the Coupe. That’s pricey, but we expect the new model will bring a few additional bits and bobs the help justify the expense.
Indeed, the soon-to-arrive Jaguar F-Pace SVR - which runs a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 (with 405kW/680Nm!) - lists from $140,620. So maybe we’ll see a slight price decrease for the new GLC AMG model… time will tell.
The new-look models are due to arrive in the fourth quarter of the year.
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Wagon model.
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe model.
The exterior changes aren’t immense for the AMG GLC.
Stay tuned for a full pricing and specs story later in 2019. The new-look models are due to arrive in the fourth quarter of the year.
What are the key stats for the engine and transmission? 9/10
The notion of the GLC being a family-friendly mode of transport is right. But where the regular GLC range is like a quenching bottle of still mineral water, the AMG versions are the equivalent of taking a bottle of mineralwasser mit gas and shaking it up… just to see what happens.
That’s because the GLC 63 AMG models use a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, which is teamed to a nine-speed MCT automatic transmission and the brand’s 4Matic+ variable all-wheel drive system. And this time around there’s an electronically-controlled locking rear differential.
The GLC 63 AMG models use a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine.
The outputs of the engine are enormous - 375kW (at 6250rpm) and 700Nm (at 1750-4500rpm). Enormous, right? But the 0-100km/h time is minuscule as a result - it’ll hit highway speed from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds!
How much fuel does it consume? 7/10
Official combined fuel consumption for the existing version was pegged at 10.9 litres per 100 kilometres for both models.
The new model is expected to be officially thirstier, because it abides by Europe’s tougher new WLTP testing protocol, with a stated consumption of 12.4L/100km.
We didn’t get a chance to monitor our fuel use on test, and we can’t say what the figure will be for Aussie models just yet.
Yes, the claimed consumption is high, and yes it needs 98RON premium unleaded petrol - but given the performance on offer, it can’t be penalised too much.
What's it like to drive? 9/10
The engine is the star of the show here. Of course it is, because the performance on offer is addictive, enthralling and amazing. And the sound? Wow. Just watch the video if you haven’t already!
It revs so eagerly, the transmission is so in tune with the driver’s intent, and the way it gathers pace under even light throttle is pretty startling. Even more so if you happen across a damp surface, where you’ll feel the rear end hinting at breaking traction - and there’s a new Slippery drive mode to help in those situations. Engage Race mode and things will get slidey, we’re told, but we didn’t get a chance as our drive loop was purely on public roads.
The transmission is in tune with the driver’s intent.
Even so, when your foot and you might feel like your grin becomes a grimace as you fight the G-forces on offer. If you’re the sort of person who always finds yourself looking either side of your car when you pull up first in line at the traffic lights, you’ll love this car. Let’s just leave it at that.
The steering is pretty light and nicely accurate - which is suitable in a lot of situations, though the more enthusiastic drivers out there may be left wanting a bit more in the way of feedback, as it can be hard to feel what’s happening at the front axle.
The Slippery Drive mode helps when you drive across a damp surface.
Some of that could come down to the air suspension doing such a good job of isolating the road below from the occupants, and it is quite comfortable considering the intent of the thing.
Yes, it is firm at lower speeds, yes it will shunt you around a bit if the surface below the 21-inch tyres isn’t perfect. But if you’re buying an AMG-badged SUV, you probably shouldn’t expect a magic carpet ride.
The engine is the star of the show in this car.
But it’s the level of confidence that the chassis inspires in the driver that makes it stand out. My drive time included a stint on the autobahn where I nudged past 250km/h, and it honestly felt stable, secure and strong.
And when the fast lane gave way to a section of roadworks, and the AMG model’s 390mm-all-round brake discs helped rein in the GLC with ease, and the brake pedal feel was excellent, too.
Warranty & Safety Rating
3 years / unlimited km
What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating? 9/10
The entire GLC range was awarded a five-star ANCAP crash test rating in 2015, which is good - but the standards have moved on, and it won’t be retested.
That’s likely not that big of a deal, because the GLC 63 models - like the rest of the range - come loaded with safety equipment and technology.
The GLC range has nine airbags fitted (dual front, front side, rear side, curtain and driver’s knee) and of course there are dual ISOFIX child seat anchor points and three top-tether points as well.
And the GLC now gets the option of the Energizing Comfort Control system that pumps fragrance into the cabin, but also offers exercise videos or distinct music to help fight fatigue.
What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered? 7/10
Benz and AMG models are covered by a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan, and you get roadside assist included for that period, too.
Service intervals for the AMG 63 models are set at 12 months/20,000km, but as you may expect, the ownership costs aren’t exactly budget-friendly.
Benz and AMG models are covered by a three-year/unlimited km warranty plan.
You have the choice of pre-paying for maintenance for three services ($4050) or going the pay-as-you-go route ($5000). If you prefer to lock in the peace of mind of extra cover for up-front servicing, you can get four years cover for $6100 or five years for $6850. These costs cover the regular scheduled servicing (including brake fluid, air, cabin and fuel filters, spark plugs and coolant) but consumables like brake pads and discs and wiper blades will incur additional fees.
For me, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S in SUV body style is the better choice of the two variants - it offers more practicality and will again be more affordable when it arrives in Australia in late 2019.
But if you fall into the ‘SUV Coupe lovers’ category - in other words, you’re the ‘one’ in the ‘one out of six GLC buyers’ that chooses the coupe model, then you won’t be disappointed. Just know that it is compromised by its, er, style.
No matter the choice you make, the AMG GLC model will make you smile. That’s a guarantee.