2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63

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2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Pros

  • Iconic design is instantly recognizable
  • Outstanding forward visibility
  • Unusually quiet when driving on-road
  • Lots of cosmetic customization potential

Cons

  • Awful steering, handling, drivability and fuel economy
  • Difficult to get into and out of
  • Poor interior packaging leaves little useful space
  • Compromised off-road ability
Mercedes-Benz G-Class years


Which G-Class does Edmunds recommend?

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an oddity in a class of one. In other markets the G-Class is offered in configurations that align with its proficiencies, but in the U.S. the G-Class is a box of compromise. If you're ever going to use a G-Class off-road, get the entry-level G550. It has the robust hardware of the AMG variants but with fewer of those models' concessions to on-road driving. Buyers simply seeking a status symbol should go straight to the range-topping, new-for-2017 G550 4x42 model. It is a bonkers machine that defies classification — a singularly unparalleled motorized device.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

2.5 / 5

The G-Class is at its core a nearly 40-year-old military vehicle that's been gradually metamorphosed into a luxury vehicle. Ultimately these mutations have resulted in something that's optimized for neither luxury nor off-road adventure. The G-Class is hilariously hard to get into and out of, steering inputs are met with indifference, and the usefulness of its cargo and storage areas is limited.

Yet this iconic truck has experienced a boost in popularity in recent years that has defied logic. In European markets the G-Class is offered in a somewhat rational configuration with a diesel engine and tires with taller sidewalls. There, you could reasonably take a G-Class off-road and expect it to perform admirably, what with its full complement of locking differentials, high ground clearance, and steep approach and departure angles.

Here in the U.S., however, the G-Class offsets these purpose-driven attributes for the trappings of a luxury vehicle — powerful engines that demand plenty of fuel, relatively low-profile all-season tires (and high-performance summer tires on AMG variants!), acres of leather and precariously low-hanging exhaust pipes. AMG variants offer more power but only modest increases in swiftness. The G-Class is dripping with character but finds itself in a no-man's land of compromise. Maybe that's part of its appeal, twisted though it may be.

2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class configurations

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a five-passenger SUV that is offered in four trim levels: G550, AMG G63, AMG G65 and G550 4x42 (as in "squared"). All versions are equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission, live axles at both ends, full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case and three locking differentials, and they can tow up to 7,000 pounds. The G550 is entry-level only in a relative sense. It's extremely well-equipped — beyond its prodigious drivetrain hardware, it has leather-upholstered 10-way power-adjustable and heated seats, heated backseats, power-folding and heated mirrors, adaptive cruise, dual-zone climate control, navigation and premium audio. It's equipped with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 (416 horsepower, 450 pound-feet of torque).

Stepping up to the AMG G63 nets you a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 (563 hp, 561 lb-ft of torque), 20-inch wheels, larger brakes and a performance-tuned suspension. It also grants access to the AMG Performance Studio, whereby near-endless customization is available. The next step in the G-Class lineup goes from merely silly to truly absurd: the AMG G65, which slots in a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 (621 hp, 738 lb-ft of torque) and adds 21-inch wheels and revised upholstery.

Then there's the G550 4x42, for which words do not do justice. This has the 4.0-liter V8 but swaps the standard axles for portal axles, which dramatically increase ground clearance. It also adds 22-inch wheels, larger-diameter tires, twin coilover-damper assemblies at each wheel, wider fender flares and skid plates.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG (5.5L twin-turbo V8; 4x4; 7-speed automatic).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current G-Class has received only minor, mostly cosmetic revisions and the addition of the G550 4x4² trim level. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's G-Class.

Driving

2.0
The G63's 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 makes a ton of power; unfortunately, it's very hard to actually drive this thing. Steering is comically bad, handling is worse, and thanks to high-performance tires and silly exhaust placement, it's a liability off-road.

Acceleration

2.5
The 563-horsepower G63 gets out of its own way better than anything this shape should (0-60 mph takes 5.3 seconds). The seven-speed automatic shifts quickly, but the steering gets light and the G becomes hard to control at wide-open throttle. What a noise, though!

Braking

2.5
Tons of nosedive and a strong pull left, but a pretty good stopping distance of only 120 feet from 60 mph. The brakes are very touchy, which makes for lurchy stop-and-go driving and isn't great for off-road either.

Steering

1.0
The steering constantly reminds you that this is a nearly 40-year-old military truck with working roots. The steering is terribly vague with seemingly random results. It also fails to center, causing constant, abnormal extra steering inputs.

Handling

1.0
Thanks to seriously aggressive stability control that you'll encounter every day, the G63 is almost foolproof. It's also slow, ponderous and top-heavy, and every body motion is grossly exaggerated.

Drivability

1.0
Twitchy brakes, tractor steering, tons of power and a mile of body roll make for an exciting but not necessarily good driving experience.

Off-road

2.5
What should be a strong point for the G-Class isn't. Summer performance tires, touchy brakes, exposed catalytic converters and side-mounted exhaust in the crush zone add up to a vehicle that's more suited for the country club than the Rubicon.

Comfort

2.0
When the G-Class was designed for the world's armies in the 1970s, comfort wasn't a priority, and it still isn't. Nevertheless, the G63 is a remarkably quiet place to spend time, and the front seats are well built and well contoured.

Seat comfort

2.0
The front seats themselves are actually quite nice. Lots of adjustment, good bolstering and nice leather. The rear seats are wide and featureless. Unfortunately, neither position really has enough legroom for humans of average height or taller.

Ride comfort

2.0
One of the bounciest, most active rides in memory. There's no impact harshness, but the springiness and lack of steering control make every road feel like a Disney ride. Fun, but not good.

Noise & vibration

5.0
Extremely quiet on the road. Minimal wind noise. No road noise. Near total isolation.

Interior

1.0
The G63's interior has a new display screen, a user-friendly tech interface and a host of other features, but that still doesn't fix the fact that there's no space. Even average-sized drivers don't fit well, it's hard to climb into, there's no lateral space and the back seats are worse.

Ease of use

3.0
With the caveat that the seating position puts you a little too close to stuff, the ergonomics of the G are actually quite good. Stalks and switches are well labeled and placed where you expect them to be, the tech interface is easy to use, and the big-dial HVAC switches are great.

Getting in/getting out

1.0
It's a huge step up into a relatively small seat. You need to be active and flexible to get into this vehicle. Getting out is just as bad. Miss the skinny step, and you're overextended and on the ground. May explain why we see so many parked at yoga classes.

Roominess

1.0
There's lots of headroom but no space for your arms, and the seats don't slide back far enough for even average-height drivers. The steering wheel and windscreen are always very close. The backseats are compromised in the same ways but have no adjustability.

Visibility

5.0
The seating position is compromised for this reason: Forward visibility is exceptional. You can see the front corners and know where the tires are. The rearview camera and sonar make the G easy to park anywhere.

Quality

3.0
Build quality on the G63 is quite good, but you'd expect that from something this expensive. Panel gaps are big but even. The doors shut with a pleasing thunk.

Utility

2.5
Surprisingly subpar cargo area and cabin storage. The cargo area is tall, but the backseat leaves a large step when folded and doesn't fold horizontally. Awkward cabin storage, though there is a smattering of it.

Small-item storage

2.5
No real front cupholder to speak of — one is behind you; the other a weird mesh pouch. The glovebox barely holds our logbook. Inconvenient door pockets. The center console bin is narrow and deep.

Cargo space

2.5
With the rear seats raised, 40.3 cubic feet of space is dead-flat and offers handy tie-downs. The seats flop forward, but they crash into the front seats doing so. Not terribly useful.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

You are buying a G63 for a reason.
Marksparise,06/26/2018
This is one of the most iconic vehicles on the road and if you are buying one you have a reason..it’s just plain cool and you clearly have fu money to back it up. People consistently stop me and want to talk about it. If you want a pure comfort luxury SUV with lots of cup holders to haul around the kids, buy a GSL 550 or Escalade. If you have an extra $155k and want a fast and loud, stiff/tight, climb up into it, classic German engineered and pretty reasonably comfortable for an off-road capable vehicle that can climb at 40 degrees in the Austrian Alps (that you probably won’t use it for), buy this. Pure fun at 3 feet off the ground.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$141,400
MPG
12 city / 14 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
563 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite G-Class safety features:

Mbrace2 Emergency Telematics
Includes automatic collision notification, an emergency response button, stolen vehicle location, and remote locking and unlocking.
Blind-Spot Assist
Provides a visual cue if a car is traveling in an adjacent lane and sounds an auditory alarm if you switch on the turn signal.
Parking Assist
Provides visual and auditory indications of parking distance to cars or objects located in front and rear.

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More about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has maintained largely the same shape for decades, and it's become an iconic profile. There's no mistaking a G-Class on the road, and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is no exception.

The designers who first worked on the G-Class, which was initially built as a variant of a European military service nearly a half-century ago, had no inkling of the cultlike following this midsize luxury SUV would develop decades later among civilians in certain affluent corners of the U.S. — where it’s also referred to as the Geländewagen by those in the know.

The result is a unique vehicle: a high-riding off-roader loaded with luxury and gifted with massive power. In the end, the G-Class doesn't excel at either on- or off-road performance. Of course, its appeal doesn't lie in its capabilities but its impressive extremes — a fact Mercedes-Benz understands very well.

The new-for-2017 G550 4x42 is a perfect example of the G-Class' appeal. It's been raised even higher thanks to a reworked suspension, and given skid plates, larger tires, a roaring, quad-tip side-exit exhaust and a twin-turbo V8. It's the G-Class, only bigger.

Two AMG versions of the G-Class are also available. The AMG G 63 and AMG G 65 are definitely road-going vehicles, with sticky tires with low sidewalls. The former's 563-hp twin-turbocharged V8 and the latter's 621-hp twin-turbo V12 might be thought of as the poster children for automotive overkill. But overkill is what the G-Class is meant to do. EPA fuel economy estimates are about what you'd expect, with the entry-level G550 rated at 13 mpg combined (13 city/14 highway) and the fire-breathing AMG G 65 returning 12 mpg combined (11 city/13 highway).

The G-Class passenger cabin is nicely turned out in top-quality leather upholstery and wood trim. It's also a surprisingly quiet place, save for those times you decide to turn all those AMG-produced horses loose to gallop freely. It also features a user-friendly technology interface and well-sized functional knobs for the climate control system.

This is an old vehicle underneath, having mostly carried over for 40 years, which shows through in handling and interior space. The G-Class design is known for being difficult to get into and out of, for starters. Once inside, both front and rear seat passengers of anything more than average height are bound to feel crowded. There's not even as much cargo room as you might expect in an SUV that makes such a great pretense out of its practicality. The entry-level G550 will tow a 7,000-pound trailer, which is at least some concession to utility.

Ultimately, the G-Class is a love-it-or-hate-it proposition, but either way it's undeniably eye-catching, and Edmunds can help you find the right 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class for you.

2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 Overview

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 is offered in the following styles: AMG G 63 4dr SUV 4WD (5.5L 8cyl Turbo 7A).

What do people think of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 G-Class AMG G 63 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 G-Class AMG G 63.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 G-Class AMG G 63 featuring deep dives into trim levels including AMG G 63, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 here.
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63s are available in my area?

2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 and all available trim types: AMG G 63. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 63 include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials