Review and Test Drive: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

By Jonathan Spira on 20 January 2021
  • Share

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

Review and Test Drive:  2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

Mercedes-Benz introduced the first GLS Class, which was known as the GL-Class, at the North American Auto Show in 2006.  It was the flagship SUV in the Stuttgart-based automaker’s lineup, the SUV equivalent to the S Class, if you will.

While we didn’t review the original GL, we did review the second generation GL at its launch.  My colleague Dan Collins noted that the new (at the time) GL was “larger and wider than the M-Class and with true seating for seven, and tamer than the military-spec G-Class,” and that still holds true.

In 2016, Mercedes revised much of its nomenclature, and the GL became a GLS.  From then on, all Mercedes SUVs used the base name “GL” (the “G” stands for Geländewagen, or off-road vehicle) followed by a letter representing the vehicle’s place in the hierarchy, resulting in the switch to GLS, positioned above the GLE and former M-Class as the flagship.

The third and current generation of the GLS-Class made its debut at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. Engine options include a 3.0-liter inline six in the GLS 450 4MATIC and a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 in the GLS 580 4MATIC.

If this doesn’t sound high end enough, there are two more variants: The Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 4MATIC+, with a 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo that develops 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, making this the most powerful GLS; andthe Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC, the first-ever Maybach SUV, with a detuned version of the Mercedes-AMG GLS’ 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo.

Back in the day, when I was in high school secretly reading car magazines instead of the approved reading assignment, the battle for the best luxury sedan or coupe was a fairly big deal and the battle was always between Cadillac and Lincoln. One of the leading car magazines of the period would refer to the winner as “King of the Hill” and typically pitted a Cadillac Eldorado against a Lincoln Continental Mark VII or, later, Mark VIII.

Click here to continue to Page 2Inside the 20201 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

Pages: 1 2 3 4