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It's big, it's boxy, it's ugly and it's luxurious. Yes, it's the Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV. AMG starting tuning the G-Class into a high-performance SUV in the 2003 model year, adding yet another twist to this iconic SUVs list of odd combinations. This AMG tuning has continued through 2013 with the G63 AMG.
For the 2013 model year, the G63 AMG received a light refresh. This refresh includes new LED daytime running lights, slightly revised side-view mirrors and some additional standard features, like Blind Spot Assist, PARKTRONIC and DISTRONIC PLUS. What hasn’t changed is the 5.5-liter bi-turbo V-8 engine under the Benz’s hood, which cranks out 544 horsepower and 560 foot-pounds of torque. This engine combined with the seven-speed AMG SPEDSHIFT transmission lunches this 5,622-pound SUV to 60 mph in only 5.3 seconds. With its monstrous V-8 engine and flat front engine, the G63 AMG only gets 12 mpg city and 14 mpg highway.
The G63 AMG only comes in one base model, but this luxury-equivalent to a M4 Sherman tank is loaded with luxury. It features top-line standard equipment, like 20-inch wheels, wood-and-leather steering wheel, 6-way airbag protection, ambient lighting, 10-way power front seats with position memory, heated and cooled seats, and rain-sensing wipers.
If there is one thing the G-class SUV hates, that would be competition, as very few SUVs can match its uniqueness. There are, however, a handful of SUVs that give it a run for its money, though they are not as interesting looking as the G-Class. First up is the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged, which comes standard with a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine with 510 horsepower, a 5.1-second sprint to 60 mph and a maximum towing rating of 7,716 pounds. Next up is the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which features a 4.4-liter V-8 engine with 500 horsepower, a 4.6-second sprint to 60 mph and a 7,716-pound towing capacity. The final competitor is the 2013 BMW X6 M, which comes in with a 4.4-liter V-8 engine with 555 horsepower, a sprint to 60 mph of just 4.3 seconds and a 6,600-pound towing capacity.
As a range-topping AMG model, the Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG carefully combines luxury and sport with standard amenities like: a dual-exhaust system; 4MATIC all-wheel drive; an Airmatic sport suspension with adaptive damping; 15.6-inch front brake discs with six-piston calipers, and 13.6 inch rear discs with single-piston calipers; an AMG body kit with bi-xenon headlights; 21-inch wheels; aluminum roof rails; illuminated running boards; burl walnut interior trim; a rearview camera with an overhead-view; premium leather upholstery; three-zone climate control; power front sport seats with multicontour, heating and ventilation; and a Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 audio system with 830 watts, 13 speakers, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, an in-dash CD/DVD player, a 7-inch LCD screen and a hard-drive-based navigation system with 80 GB of storage.
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Decent highway mpg, brand new body and quicker than the G-Class, but low engine output and uncertainty in Land Rover's future
Monstrously powerful, super-fast and relatively low price, but doesn't look like an SUV and a crowded dashboard
Stunning exterior, relatively low price, extremely fast and very powerful, but awkward rear window kills visibility and horrific city mpg
Great base price and a more conventional SUV, but drastically underpowered, snail-speed slow and lacks any real personality