Review: 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLS63

– Gateway, Colorado

I shouldn’t need to explain why, for those of us who live in The Real World, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 is something of an extravagant absurdity. Does your seven-passenger luxury SUV need 577 horsepower and the ability to hit 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds? Of course not. I know, I know – you really need to get to Starbucks before all of your Range Rover-driving neighbors, lest they run out of your favorite pumpkin spice whatever. But I promise, at the end of the day, you’ll be just as happy with any other version of the incredibly well-rounded GLS family – they all carry the same amount of people and things, they all coddle you with the same amount of luxury, and they all look just as good in the pick-up line at your kids’ private school.

Pros

  • That engine. I love everything about the hand-built, biturbo, 5.5-liter AMG V8. There’s oodles of power everywhere in the range, it’s constantly shouting at you, and it burbles and snorts and pops and crackles as you quickly fire off shifts from the AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic automatic. Yes, the lower-priced GLS550 has more than enough power with 449 hp on tap, but I’m certainly not going to kick an extra 128 ponies out of the stable – especially when they’re this eager to scoot.
  • The GLS63 actually knows how to use that power, too. The adaptive air suspension keeps body roll to a minimum, and the AMG model includes both Sport and Sport+ modes in the Dynamic Select system (non-AMG GLS models have an Off-Road mode i...