2021 Mercedes-AMG G63 review: Even more capable

These wheels and tires are exclusive to the AMG Trail package.

Michael Shaffer / Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has scalable off-road capabilities to Schöckl scale, but that’s not why most people buy them. In the United States, the G63 outperforms sales the G550 baseand not by a small margin. Plus, I can pretty much guarantee that every AMG you see around has 22-inch wheels and tire bands. That’s why I’ve always said the G550 is actually the best purchase for people who may want to get a little dirty. But thanks to a new options package for the 2021 AMG G63, this is no longer the case.

Like it

  • Unmatched off-road capability
  • Strong V8 power
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Iconic style

I do not like

  • Old multimedia technology
  • Bad fuel economy
  • High cost of entry

For $ 3,050, you can specify your 2021 Mercedes-AMG G63 with the AMG Trail package. This adds a recalibrated off-road setting to the G63’s riding modes, with softer damping for a slightly more adept approach to off-roading. This package also adds black underbody brush protection, all-weather floor mats, rear mud flaps and matte black 20-inch wheels with – and that’s the important part – all-terrain tires. Capacity aside, the Trail package is a really cool thing. And paired with new paint colors like G Manufaktur Arabian Gray from this test car, I’m 100% here for AMG’s butch updo.

The off-road tires in question are delightfully meaty 275/50 Pirelli Scorpion ATR. Their high sidewalls and aggressive tread pattern are far better than those of any all-season tire, especially when the going gets tough. Those deep treads can better expel dirt and mud and, when aerated, provide excellent traction and control on deep sand. Look, I’m not going to try to tell you that the G63 isn’t a stellar off-roader in its stock specs, but great suspension geometry, lockable axles and a big V8 mean bupki if contact patches – the spots where your car is. it really touches the ground – they are weak.

Let’s not forget the heart and soul of the G63: AMG’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. This engine produces 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, sent to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Not only does this propel the G63 to 60 mph in meager 4.4 seconds, it means there’s a huge reserve of low-end power available at all times. I have to admit that even with the sophisticated suspension and the right tires, many difficult off-road situations can be overcome by following the trusted “if in doubt, turn it off” theory.

But even if you never take the G63 off-road, the Trail package also pays off in everyday life. These softer tires make freeway driving more comfortable, and while the trade-off here is reduced lateral traction in speed, let’s be honest, you’re not making any hot corners in a crazed G63. Changing tires should also not affect fuel economy; expect to see the same sad 13 miles per gallon of city, 16 mpg freeway and 14 mpg combined as before. Then again, what else would you expect from a streamlined 577hp SUV like a barn?

The G63’s base chassis and steering calibrations don’t change if you select the AMG Trail package, so all of these good – well, unique – attributes are retained too. Additionally, every G63 comes standard with the full suite of Mercedes driver assistance features, including adaptive full speed cruise control, blind angle assistance and lane keeping assistance. The G63 is also equipped with a 360-degree camera, which is very useful when dealing with difficult situations, off-road or otherwise.

The G-Class still uses Mercedes’ old COMAND infotainment system.

Michael Shaffer / Mercedes-Benz

In addition to driving aids, the G63 gets all of the best cabin technology in the G-Class, with one important caveat. There’s a 12.3-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster and 12.3-inch center infotainment screen, but this runs the old COMAND setup, not Mercedes’ excellent new MBUX interface. That means there are no touchscreens, augmented reality navigation overlays, and no friendly “Hey, Mercedes” voices to tell you a joke when you have a poop day. At least COMAND did Apple CarPlay is Android Auto bundled, as well as a number of Mercedes-Benz related services. A Burmester sound system is also standard.

The interior of the G63 is so damn beautiful, with optional Nappa leather surfaces, real metal accents and excellent attention to detail. There’s head room for days, even if shoulder room is on the narrow side, and the G63 has plenty of amenities at no extra cost, like heated front and rear seats, multi-colored ambient lighting, a sunroof, and even more. The rear seats are tight, but at least there is real legroom in this G-Class generation, and the heavy, side-hinged rear door opens to reveal a huge cargo hold, even though most of the usable space is vertical. Go buy some tall plants, but put a tarp down so you don’t damage the carpet.

Arabian Gray is a $ 6,500 paint option.

Michael Shaffer / Mercedes-Benz

You’ll need at least $ 157,500 to get into a 2021 Mercedes-AMG G63, including $ 1,050 for the destination. Throw in the $ 3,050 AMG Trail package – along with my test car’s AMG Night package ($ 1,950), Comfort Seat Package ($ 2,220), carbon fiber trim ($ 3,700), Arabian Gray paint ($ 6,500) and a few more odds – – and you’ll come up with the tested $ 176,370 price tag of the G63 shown here. There’s a whole world of color and finish options available for the G63 too, so go crazy by all means.

I would be remiss not to mention that the $ 132,800 G550 will check 95% of the same boxes for far less money, although the Trail package is only available on the G63. (Nothing a tire dealer can’t partially remedy, though.) Then again, given G’s sales stats, the 550 / AMG disparity clearly doesn’t matter. And now that the Trail package amplifies the G63’s off-road reputation to levels beyond the G550, it’s even harder to argue against the exhilarating and powerful AMG. Live it, big spendthrift.

Related Posts