2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV

Compare insurance prices:
Save an average of $440
Free Quote

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Test Drive Review: Physics, Prepare To Be Defied

Americans have now become used to the midsize Mercedes SUV being called the GLE, but while the second edition of this nameplate was all-new for last year, the AMG division has finally got its grubby little paws on the crossover, resulting in this, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63. Only available in GLE63 S guise for the US market, AMG is gunning directly at the Audi RS Q8, BMW X5 M, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo with its own super-fast mid-size SUV.

As with most AMG models, power comes from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, producing 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque in this application. A new mild-hybrid EQ Boost system adds an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft while helping to smooth out the car's stop/start system and improving response times. We adored the non-AMG GLE when we reviewed it around one year ago, and in AMG form, the SUV seems to be even more mesmerizing.

Read in this review:

What is BuzzScore?

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 AMG GLE 63 SUV?

Following on from the release of the new-generation GLE-Class, the fire-breathing AMG GLE63 S takes its place at the top of the range. Whereas the previous generation of the GLE63 was available in both 63 and more powerful 63 S form, the new one arrives only in 63 S guise and produces a phenomenal 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. These outputs are made possible by a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine, and, for the first time with this engine, it's supplemented by an EQ Boost starter-generator which adds another 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The GLE63 S also benefits from the more muscular styling of the latest GLE range, enhanced here by standard 21-inch AMG wheels and the characteristic vertical-bar grille. Inside, exclusive Nappa leather upholstery and the upgraded Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system provide all the luxury and innovative tech features expected of a high-end SUV.

Pros and Cons

  • Ear-shattering V8 engine
  • EQ Boost system improves efficiency
  • Muscular styling
  • Luxurious, spacious cabin
  • Much-improved infotainment system
  • Race Mode delivers precise steering
  • Can't fully mask its size
  • It can't fully defy physics
  • Ride will be too firm for some
  • Requires expensive optional extras
  • Infotainment system can be intimidating at first

What's the Price of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV?

Best Deals on 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Trims and Specs

2021 AMG GLE 63 SUV Exterior

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Front View CarBuzz
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Rear View CarBuzz
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Front Angle View CarBuzz
See All 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Exterior Photos


  • Length 190.0 in
  • Wheelbase 117.9 in
  • Height 70.2 in
  • Max Width 79.5 in
  • Front Width 66.7 in
  • Rear Width 67.7 in
  • Curb Weight 5,456.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • designo Cardinal Red Metallic +$360
  • designo Diamond White Metallic +$795
  • Brilliant Blue Metallic
  • Lunar Blue Metallic
  • Black
  • Polar White
  • Obsidian Black Metallic
  • Iridium Silver Metallic
  • Emerald Green Metallic
  • Selenite Grey
  • Mojave Silver Metallic

2021 AMG GLE 63 SUV Performance

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Gauge Cluster CarBuzz
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

One key difference separates the GLE63 and the larger GLS 63 we tested earlier this year: Race mode. The GLS 63 only goes up to Sport Plus Mode, but the GLE63 adds Race Mode, a subtle difference that you wouldn't expect to create a massive change. But it does. Race Mode transforms the GLE from luxury insulation pod to an attack animal with the turn of a dial. The GLE's drive modes have the ability to alter various aspects of the driving experience, including the steering, traction control, throttle mapping, suspension stiffness, ride height, exhaust note, and more. All of these settings can also be adjusted independently of each other, should you want loud exhaust (as an example) without the harsh ride of Race Mode.

Most notably, the GLE63's steering feels far more precise than the GLS 63, and even more pinpoint than the BMW X5 M. In Comfort and Sport Mode, the steering feels light and lax, allowing the car to be driven comfortably and without fuss. But in Sport Plus and Race Mode, it gains noticeable heft and sharpens up with the precise accuracy of an AMG GT sports car. Steering this sharp is rarely found in an SUV, let alone one of this size. The GLE63 responds to the tiniest inputs from the steering wheel, providing unmated levels of feedback to the driver. Combined with AWD and endless amounts of power, drivers might be mistaken for thinking their 5,000-pound-plus SUV is actually a supercar. It's not.

The standard GLE is one of the most comfortable SUVs this side of a Cullinan, but AMG has stiffened the suspension considerably. It isn't an intolerable ride, but buyers looking to iron out all road imperfections should opt for a non-AMG GLE with the E-Active Body Roll suspension. Massive six-piston front brakes help drive the car to a stop and carbon ceramics are available optionally should you really feel like stopping in a hurry. On long, open roads, the GLE63 can carry tremendous speeds through the corners while keeping body roll to a surprising minimum. It is only around really tight bends you are reminded that this is not a mid-engined supercar. It's still a tall, heavy SUV, and at a certain point, AMG's best engineers can not triumph completely over the laws of physics. You can reach a point of understeer should you take a corner at absurd speeds, but we feel most owners will rarely approach this limit.

2021 AMG GLE 63 SUV Interior

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Dashboard CarBuzz
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Steering Wheel Design CarBuzz
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Gear Shifter CarBuzz
See All 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Head Room 42.3 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.4 in

2021 AMG GLE 63 SUV Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Trunk Space CarBuzz
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Cargo Capacity CarBuzz
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz

2021 AMG GLE 63 SUV Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 A Good car?

Should you have the funds to purchase one, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S is a near-flawless performance SUV. It looks more aggressive than a standard GLE, still has the same awe-inspiring interior and technology, but can now keep up with sports cars in a straight line. There are some handling compromises of the tall ride height and tremendous weight, though most owners will likely never reach these limitations unless they want to risk a hefty speeding ticket. AMG has certainly taken away the road-isolating comfort of the standard GLE, but as a trade-off for the heart-pounding performance, the GLE63 rides reasonably well and doesn't jostle its passengers too much. Massaging seats, a near-silent cabin, and a powerful Burmester audio system drown out most of the road noise and imperfections associated with the AMG add-ons.

The GLE63 is not without competition from the Audi RS Q8, BMW X5 M, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. While we have not road tested the RS Q8 or Cayenne Turbo yet, we can unequivocally say that the AMG feels more dynamic than the M car. The GLE63 is louder, sharper, and more responsive than the X5 M, and it features a nicer interior with more passenger space. AMG has come a long way from being focused on top speed, straight-line acceleration, and burnouts, to now offering the driver's feedback once associated with BMW's M Division. If it were our six-figure bonus to toss down on a high-performance SUV, the GLE63 feels like a top option.

What 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Model Should I Buy?

Check out other Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Styles

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV Comparisons

Porsche Cayenne Turbo Porsche
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV603 hp15/19 mpg$116,859
BMW X6 M 600 hp13/18 mpg$113,700
Porsche Cayenne Turbo 541 hp14/19 mpg$129,900

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV vs BMW X6 M

While mechanically identical to the BMW X5 M, the X6 M offers just as much performance but in a more flamboyantly styled package. In X6 M Competition form, the BMW produces 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, so it's more powerful but less torquey than the GLE63 S. Both SUVs have identical 0-60 times of 3.7 seconds and almost the same top speed, so there is nothing in it. They're even exactly the same length, although the sloping roof of the X6 M reduces cargo capacity compared to the Merc. On the road, both are a riot to drive, but the BMW does feel a touch more dynamically involving than the GLE63, which, like many older AMGs, is dominated by its engine. The X6 M is a bit better-equipped, too, with standard features like four-zone climate control and a heated steering wheel, which are optional on the GLE. The Mercedes is the more practical choice, and it isn't as divisive to look at, but the X6 M does stand out more.

See BMW X6 M Review

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 SUV vs Porsche Cayenne Turbo

The segment's dynamic benchmark, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, is better than ever. With 541 hp from its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, the Cayenne Turbo is down on power compared with the GLE63 S. However, it makes the most of what it's got, and with the Sport Chrono Package, it'll blitz the 0-60 run in 3.7 seconds, exactly the same time as the Mercedes. While the GLE impresses in isolation, the Cayenne demonstrates what's possible in a high-performance SUV when you reach the first corner. It responds with immediacy but isn't twitchy, and there's more of a connection between the road and the driver than in the AMG. When you aren't pretending you're in a 911 and it comes down to day-to-day family duties, the Mercedes gains the edge with its superior ability to seat five occupants and a larger cargo area. The GLE is also better-equipped. As these are performance SUVs, the driving experience holds more weight, so that's why we'd side with the Cayenne Turbo.

See Porsche Cayenne Turbo Review
To Top