2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S Test Drive

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S
A Big, Bad, Bold Tri-Star Performance SUV

OVERVIEW

Looking for a sinister performance SUV with attitude? Your search is over. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S fills the bill on all counts. This big Benz is a four-door, 5-passenger SUV with impressive performance credentials. It provides stellar levels of luxuriousness along with state-of-the-art high tech features and safety innovations in a versatile package.

BOLD, ALLURING EXTERIOR DESIGN

The styling of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S differs from base GLE versions by leading off with a bold “in your face” AMG-specific grille featuring familiar vertical bars, pronounced chrome trimmed air intakes, and a power domed hood. The AMG SUV’s athletic persona is enhanced by side skirts and flared wheel arches. The standard 21-inch AMG alloy wheels and red brake calipers add to the GLE 63 S’s performance image. Wrapping up and bolstering the high-performance attitude are rectangular twin dual exhaust outlets fitted into the rear diffuser.

The GLE Series actually comes in four versions divided into SUV and Coupe configurations and power sources: GLE53 SUV; GLE53 Coupe; GLE63 SUV; and GLE 63 coupe. AMG models are added for enhanced performance. We’ll deal here with the ultimate example – the 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S SUV.

CREATURE COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

Ranking at the top of the Mercedes performance lineup, the cabin or greenhouse is also the most luxurious of the line. AMG sport seats are highly supportive and trimmed in exclusive Nappa leather with AMG badging and contrasting stitching. An active massage function delivers a classic massage as well as a heated treatment. The interior mood may be enhanced by a 64-color ambient lighting selection.

The 3-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel features standard, aluminum shift paddles with the rim lined in Nappa leather/DINAMICA. Along with common audio and display controls, the wheel provides quick access for adjusting the driving dynamics with controls for stability systems and exhaust note as well as drive mode. AMG brushed stainless-steel sport pedals for throttle and brake add to the sporty nature of the interior.

Equipped with MBUX the latest Mercedes-Benz User Interface features advanced voice recognition. The system is activated by saying “Hey Mercedes,” and is able to perform functions based on language requests. For example, occupants can ask it to find a specific destination and it will set a navigation route to that point. Occupants need to be careful about what and how they say things as the system can be activated unintentionally.

An impressive and innovative feature is the Augmented Video for Navigation. A forward-facing video camera activates and overlays navigation information on a programmed route as a turn is approaching to positively identify the next direction.

The AMG GLE 63 S provides a roomy second row that matches the front seats, with comfortable cushions featuring controls for rear-seat occupants to adjust climate controls. Rear seats may be folded flat to increase cargo carrying capacity.

The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S comes with heated and ventilated AMG-specific front seats, Nappa leather trim on the seats and steering wheel, a 12.3-inch touchscreen display with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, five USB-C ports, wireless device charging, active park assist and a surround-view camera system. Active LED headlights, LED taillights and 21-inch AMG wheels are also come as standard fare.

AMG variants of the GLE 63 S also sport a Burmester Surround Sound audio system, nine USB ports, heated and cooled front cupholders, heated second-row seats, a 115-volt AC power outlet and active front-seat massage functions

MOTIVE FORCE

AMG, Mercedes’ performance division, provides the healthy “get-up-and-go” power from a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine that cranks out a whopping 603 horsepower at 5,750 rpm while producing 627 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. The output is augmented by an integrated EQ Boost starter/generator that consists of an electric motor works functioning as a starter and an alternator. It is positioned between the engine and AMG’s 9-speed SPEEDSHIFT automatic transmission. Energy reaches the ground via AMG’s Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.

The unique EQ Boost system acts is a power generator that also supplies the 48-volt electrical system. The EQ Boost adds 21 horsepower and up to 184 lb-ft of torque when additional power is called for in heavy acceleration. The AMG GLE 63 S scoots from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and is capable of an electronically limited top seed of 174 mph.

PERFORMANCE

The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S features AMG DYNAMICS, a range of electronic aids intended to improve handling agility via steering, torque distribution, active stabilizers and all-wheel drive. DYNAMIC SELECT enables the driver to optimize the vehicle for a variety of conditions and driving styles, including off-road settings such as Trail and Sand, as well as Comfort and Sport settings. The GLE 63 S adds one more setting: Race, which sets up the vehicle for ultimate

The AMG GLE 63 S is agile on the road with precise steering and minimal body lean driving into corners. Acceleration is impressively rapid, accompanied by a sweet and authoritative V8 growl. The ride quality is definitely what one expects from a Mercedes – it drives as a Mercedes should. The ride is comfortable, and the adjustable dynamics allows one to select settings to suit their mood.

AS TESTED

My test 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE was the AMG 63 S version with 4MATIC 4-wheel drive. The exterior sported a Selenite Grey finish, while the interior was done in Black with Grey accents and contrasting stitching, along with AMG carbon fiber trim accents. The base price was set at $113,950 while the total retail price came to $131,935 after factoring in an impressive and mind-boggling list of optional equipment and value added packages too extensive to list here, but essentially, if a feature wasn’t included, chances are you wouldn’t need or want it.

THE FINAL ANALYSIS

What’s not to like? The 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC is a dream machine. It may well be the most visually appealing and most powerful SUV in today’s marketplace. Yes, it’s expensive, but if you’ve got it, it’s worth it. The awesome roar of the powerful bi-turbo V-8 alone is almost worth the price of admission. A week with this astounding vehicle wasn’t really sufficient to fully appreciate all that it has to offer – I hated to see it go.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63S 4MATIC

Base Price: $113,950.
Price as Tested: $131,935.

Engine Type and Size: 4.0-liter, DOHC, 32 –valve Bi-Turbo V8 with direct fuel injection and 48-volt EQ Boost hybrid system motor generator mounted between the engine and the nine-speed automatic transmission

Horsepower (bhp): 603 @ 5,750 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 627 @ 2,500 rpm

Transmission: AMG Speedshift TCT 9-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / 4MATIC All-Wheel Drive

Suspension: Suspension based on AMG RIDE CONTROL. Self- leveling AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL with roll stabilization and Adaptive Damping System Plus.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with AMG high performance braking system, ABS, ESC and BA.

Tires: Yokohama ADVAN Sport 285/40-ZR22 110Y front / 325/35-ZR22 114Y rear high performance tires mounted on 7-“Y”-spoke AMG alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 117.9 inches
Length Overall: 195.0 inches
Width: 79.4 inches
Height: 70.2 inches
Curb Weight: 5,350 lbs.
Turning Circle: 39.4 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 22.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 15 mpg city /20-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: TBD
0 – 60 mph: 3.5 seconds – Top speed electronically limited to 174 mph.

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