by Deiondre van der Merwe
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 packs brutal power into a crossover body, and it's a main player in the ever-growing game of performance SUVs. It's one of few in the class that still sticks with a vicious V8 to get the job done, and we're particularly fond of the 469-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter. With that kind of raw power under its snout, you'd expect the GLC 63 to be overly aggressive with its exterior appearance. That isn't the case; the SUV subtly alludes to its prowess and the result is truly stunning. It isn't skin-deep either, because the inside of the SUV is the epitome of luxury. Modern tech and Alcantara greet you as you enter the cabin and the GLC 63 comes with nearly every standard-fitted indulgence you can think of. Still, with competition like the BMW X3 M and the Porsche Macan Turbo, it goes without saying that the GLC 63 has its work cut out for it.
The GLC 63 returns fresh-faced for 2020 with restyled headlamps and taillights along with a new grille, and the inside has been given a revamp too. Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) is now enabled through a 10.25-inch infotainment screen and a new haptic AMG Performance steering wheel is now standard. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is newly standard and the SUV gets a bunch of added driver-assist features, including active lane change assist and route-based speed adaptation. In terms of performance, the GLC 63 gets a newly standard electronic locking differential.
With just one model in the lineup, pricing for the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 is a simple affair. The SUV has a starting MSRP of $73,750 which is more expensive than the BMW X3 M's $69,900 sticker. It does manage to be considerably more affordable than the Porsche Macan Turbo that will set you back to the tune of at least $83,600. The MSRP excludes the $995 destination fee.
See trim levels and configurations:
|AMG GLC 63 4MATIC SUV||
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
We fondly refer to the GLC 63 as a fake SUV, because when you're in the driver's seat, it feels more like a taller C63 AMG. This is the one to get when your other half demands that you sell the race car and replace it with one that's more appropriate for the family: everyone wins here. Every component on the inside of the GLC 63 works in perfect harmony, and its aggressive handling makes it one of the most engaging performance SUVs out there. Seriously, the GLC 63 begs to be hurled into corners and when you give in, it eats them for breakfast with no roll or instability in sight. Sure, for this to be possible, Mercedes-AMG had to chuck in a stiff suspension that can be a little too harsh at times, but the sacrifice of pure comfort is well worth it for the agility and track-like prowess. A beautifully direct and weighted steering wheel improves things even further, and when switched into Sport modes, we couldn't find a single fault. However, in Comfort and Slippery modes, it's a little less eager, which is to be expected and you don't need much more on the daily commute. Unless you're like us. Being the performance-loving delinquents we are, one of our favorite things about this SUV is the naughty pops and bangs that accompany downshifts - but the whole experience behind the wheel is a joy.
Mercedes-AMG has put luxury, performance and practicality in a dish, and put the oven on high. The result is a delectably powerful SUV, the GLC 63. It may have a striking appearance, but the GLC 63 is far more than just a pretty face. Beneath the aggressively cinched metal lies one of the strongest engines in the segment, thanks to Merc sticking to its guns with the burly V8 engine.
The handbuilt twin-turbo gets from 0-60 mph in a stonking 3.8 seconds, making it one of the fastest luxury SUVs in the segment. The inside is equally enticing thanks to a deluxe blend of soft and velvety surfaces and all the modern technology you could possibly need. We only have two niggly bits to contend with in the GLC 63, and that's the ride quality that can be a little harsh at times, and we'd like a little more standard safety features at this price point. Other than that, it's an undeniable winner if you're looking for a fire-breathing SUV that takes your breath away and takes the kids to school simultaneously.
If we were to choose the best GLC 63 model, we'd start with opting for the Black exterior paint and the optional 21-inch multispoke AMG wheels. This creates a mean black-on-black look that brings out the aggressive styling. For the inside, we'd go for the AMG Performance seats and add the AMG head-up display. Lastly, we recommend adding the Driver Assistance Package that includes an extra 13 safety features. Adding all of these brings the final asking price up to $79,050.
|Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 SUV||503 hp||15/22 mpg||$73,900|
|BMW X3 M||473 hp||15/20 mpg||$74,400|
|Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV||603 hp||15/19 mpg||$116,859|
In the land of coveted performance SUVs, the X3 M and the GLC 63 are at the forefront. Given that the starting price of the latter is around $4,000 more expensive, it has to work that much harder to leave a lasting impression. The $76,900 X3 M Competition may be worth considering if you're after true performance from the X3 lineup. The Merc may have a bigger engine, but the BMW produces more power from its smaller capacity in-line six. In terms of interiors, it's a tough one because BMW has been stepping up its game when it comes to luxurious and up-to-the-minute cabins. Still, Mercedes-AMG is known for its immaculate interior offerings. While the GLC 63 takes the cake for the best looking interior, it falls slightly behind with its smaller trunk. The cavernous trunk in the X3 M pushes it ahead when we consider practicality. Truthfully, you can't go wrong with either one.
Around $30,000 separates the two relatives, and it's almost immediately obvious why. The GLE 63 is the larger sibling in terms of size and comes with a bigger and more powerful engine to match. The burly GLE 63 is home to a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 that smacks out 550 horsepower in comparison to the GLC 63's 469 hp. That being said, the power comes with the sacrifice of modern tech and even modern exterior styling. The inside of the more expensive SUV is considerably more outdated than its more affordable and smaller stablemate. We don't think that the GLE 63 is worth the extra cash at this point, so for now, we'd recommend sticking with the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 SUV.
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