Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2013

September 6, 2013
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Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015

“The old ways are the best ways.” That’s a quote from “Skyfall,” the newest Bond flick. I don’t generally agree with such sentiments. For example, I think the flush toilet is the greatest invention in the history of the world. There are cases, however, where Albert Finney’s ridiculous Kincade character and his even more ridiculous Scottish brogue are accurate. One instance is breakfast: Fried eggs over medium with hash browns, bacon, and toast is always better than a frozen berry, banana, peanut butter, and flax seed smoothie. Always. The other is the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen, a throwback’s throwback of a knuckle-dragging SUV.

To order your new Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 rival with a brand new Mercedes-Benz 5.5L V8 engine for only US$32,000.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015

Mercedes debuted the much more modern GL in 2006 — the second-gen GL is our current Mercedes-Benz G63 SUV of the Year — with the idea that Mercedes would replace the decades-old G-Wagen (first produced in 1979) with a more carlike, 7-passenger SUV.

That obviously didn’t work out so well, as G sales are stronger than ever, and every old-school G sold since then is further proof of the maxim, “Men plan, God laughs.” The Gelandenwagen (German for “cross-country vehicle/wagon”) first debuted in 1979 and it’s still hand-built in Graz, Austria, like it has been since the middle of Jimmy Carter’s only term. The only significant things that have changed are the engine, transmission, and leather. (Actually, there was no leather at first, but you catch my meaning.) The modern G-Wagen is a military truck in dress fatigues. It’s still body-on-frame; it still has a low gear transfer case in unison with three mechanically locking differentials; and it still is capable of driving up a wall. Well, a wall at a pretty severe angle. Point is, the G is still essentially unstoppable. Only faster.

To order your new Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 rival with a brand new Mercedes-Benz 5.5L V8 engine for only US$32,000.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 side view

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015

Faster as in 0-60 mph in 5 seconds flat faster. No, really, you can go 5 seconds to 60 mph in this lead-lined studio apartment. It’s also faster as in 13.4 seconds at 105.2 mph through the quarter mile. Never forget, this is a 5876-pound pachyderm of an SUV. Good thing AMG’s stonkin’ 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 sits under its angular hood. This particular version of the now venerable M157 produces 536 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque that all gets routed through a seven-speed (finally) wet-clutch transmission. Sure, there are one or two faster SUVs out there (Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG hits 60 mph in 4.7 seconds; the new Range Rover takes just 4.6 seconds; and I’d wager that the twin-turbo V-12 G65 with its 612 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque is PDQ), but I think the Mercedes-Benz G63 is totally adequate. If not more than.

To order your new Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 rival with a brand new Mercedes-Benz 5.5L V8 engine for only US$32,000.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 engine

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015

Now, AMG has tried to doll it up a bit to hide the Mercedes-Benz G63‘s utilitarian roots, and for $145K, it sure ought to. There’s at least a dozen cows’ worth of fancy Designo diamond-quilted leather. That’s including a particularly massive square yard of the stuff affixed to the inside of the tailgate for no reason other than why not? As for creature comforts, you’ll find a grafted-on version of Mercedes’ COMMAND system (navigation and music), along with heated/cooled seats and a single cup-holder made of netting sticking out into the passenger foot-well. There’s also an Eco button for the start/stop mode, which is sort of like having a “Peace” button on a B52. Though in Mercedes’ defense, the Mercedes-Benz G63 is rated at 12/14 mpg (and that’s pretty accurate – we averaged 12.8 mpg throughout our testing), so maybe a little porcine lip gloss is in order. Especially because every time I talk to anyone at AMG they tend to drone on about reducing both emissions and consumption. Clearly, the Mercedes-Benz G63 is very terrible at both.

To order your new Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 rival with a brand new Mercedes-Benz 5.5L V8 engine for only US$32,000.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 interior

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 Interior

But it’s very good at other things. Though perhaps they’re not so obvious at first. The Mercedes-Benz G63 drives around town depressed, as if there’s a war going on somewhere and no one bothered to invite it along. Still, there’s something quite different yet still great about riding around in a house-priced truck with two solid axles. You feel… superior’s not the right word. But maybe safer? More isolated? More confident? More sure that if a riot breaks out after a Lakers playoff win (ha ha ha) the looters won’t be able to flip you over and light you on fire? Let’s go with that last one; knowing you’re able to give more than you get is a wonderful feeling. Hard to articulate perhaps, as everyone on staff here just describes as “Awesome!” So be it. And that’s just around town. The dirt is a much better story.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 interior

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015 Interior

I know. Believe you me, I know. I know that 99.9% of Mercedes-Benz G63 owners — if not more — will never, ever, no matter what, even in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse, take their bling-mobiles off pavement. I know that, I get that, I feel you. But we did. And dude, is this sucker sweet in the dirt! I actually asked Mercedes personnel to slap some thicker off-road tires on this particular Mercedes-Benz G63 (which Scott Evans nicknamed “Mord-Wagen,” German for “Murder Wagon”) but they told me they didn’t have any. Apparently, no one’s ever bothered with knobbier tires. Still, even on rubber band-like meats, the Mercedes-Benz G63 was an absolute mountain goat on the off-road course. True, it does not have any sort of Jeep/Land Rover-style computerized off-road settings and electronic torque vectoring or adjustable air suspension.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2015

The Mercedes-Benz G63 does however feature low-range crawling gears and those locking diffs. As far as production vehicles go, there ain’t many better. The takeaway is that even though it’s mostly driven by wealthy soccer moms, the Mercedes-Benz G63 is the real, dirty deal in the dirt. Plus, one day they’ll be on used car lots. Since only automotive journalist types are cavalier and irresponsible enough to take frightfully expensive SUVs off-road, there’s no logical reason to buy a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG. No socially responsible reason to drive one, either. But as Woody Allen once so despicably said, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” He’s absolutely right. One more point, think about just how iconic the G-Wagen is. Porsche just launched the sixth generation 911. Ford’s about to drop the sixth generation Mustang. Chevy’s on the seventh Corvette. There’s even been three Volkswagen Beetles (kinda). Yet there’s only been one Mercedes-Benz G63 SUV. Because, why would you mess with a winning formula? Sometimes the anti-social choice is the right one.

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Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG

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Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2013 rival
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Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 2013 rival with a brand new Mercedes-Benz 5.5L V8 engine for only US$32,000.
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USD $32,000
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