2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Review
Practical Motoring’s first drive 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Review with pricing, specs, performance, ride and handling, safety, verdict and score.
In a nutshell: The Mercedes- AMG GLC63 is in a class of its own. While BMW and Audi are sticking with turbo sixes in their fast-compact SUVs (BMW’s isn’t even here yet), die Jugende heutzutage at AMG decided dropping their hand-built twin-turbo V8 into the GLC was the go. It’s a heavyweight in every sense of the word – you don’t want to get stuck next to it on a plane because it’s loud, brash, spills over into your seat and will punch a hole in the fabric of space and time if you provoke it.
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S
Pricing $164,900/$171,900+ORC Warranty 3 year/unlimited kilometre Engine 4.0L twin-turbo petrol V8 Power 375kW at 6250rpm Torque 700Nm at 1750-4500rpm Transmission 9-speed automatic Drive all-wheel drive Dimensions wagon/coupe: 4668mm / 4737mm (L); 1890mm / 1890mm (W); 1638mm / 1605 (H) Ground clearance 157mm Kerb weight 2020kg Fuel tank 66 litres Seats 5/4 Fuel economy 10.9L/100km Spare Tyre repair kit
THE GLC63 S is an absolute monster – that stonking bi-turbo V8 allied to a nine-speed automatic transmission will carry you to a 100km/h just two tenths slower than a V10-engined Lamborghini Huracan. Like the C63 sedan sibling, Australia only takes the S version, so with a bit of extra gear including an electronic (rather than mechanical) limited slip diff, more power and torque, an increase of the governed top speed to an academic 280km/h, you get tons for your money. In Germany, the price hike for the S is about $13,000.
If you’re interested in making a statement, the GLC is the car for you – huge bold “Panamericana” grille that could have been pinched from the AMG GT, giant 21-inch alloys with chunky tyres and an exhaust note that sounds like an oncoming storm.
What’s the interior like?
I’ll declare my hand here and say that the only Mercedes interior I like the look of is the E-Class with its funky dual-screen dashboard arrangement. The GLC interior looked a bit old the second the car landed almost three years ago and here in the 63, it’s still a bit gentleman’s club. It’s not bad – I am particularly partial to open-pore wood for some reason I’ve yet to explain – but some elements, like the way the centre console widens as it heads for the sky is heavy-handed and slabby.
While it might not be my cup of whatever visually, there’s no denying it’s comfortable when you’re sitting still. I prefer the Performance seats over the Sports seats (delete option) and I’d much rather have the AMG shifter of the A/CLA/GLA 45s over the irritating column mounted stalk shifter that looks like an indicator stalk. That aside, things work well although the lights/indicator/wiper/world peace stalk does take getting used to.
In the back is a decent amount of space for two adults and a pliable third human who won’t be very comfortable for a variety of reasons. There are plenty of spots for odds and ends, with four cupholders and bottle holders in the cabin. The boot is a decent size – the wagon holds between 550 litres and 1600 litres while the Coupe is slightly down on that at 500 and 1400 litres.
What’s it like on the road?
Like an errant Atlas V on full throttle runs the thing slams into the back of you every time you floor the throttle. It’s completely ridiculous that two tonnes of SUV can hit a century in 3.8 seconds and not peel the road out of the ground.
What’s more, it has grip for days and can corner almost as quickly as a hot hatch weighing 600 fewer kilograms. This sort of thing just shouldn’t be allowed because it’s utterly addictive. While it does ride lower than the standard GLC, doing what this thing can do at the height feels more like an aerial dogfight.
You get a great deal of confidence from the air suspension, too. One imagines stiff springs really wouldn’t suit our rubbish roads and would mean exploring the fun end of the scale would be a bit nerve-wracking. And back at the other end, that same suspension means that pottering around town in Comfort mode is firm but, as the name suggests, comfortable.
What about the safety features?
The GLC63 has nine airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, forward AEB, reverse cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, around-view cameras and tyre pressure monitoring. There are also three top-tether mounts and two ISOFIX points. The GLC carries a five-star ANCAP rating.
So, what do we think?
Well, we’ve already hinted out just how bonkers the thing’s acceleration is and how grippy it is, but it’s also practical-ish. Not so practical as an Audi RS4 Avant nor as nice inside, but Mercedes-Benz will still sell plenty.