2019 Mercedes-AMG G 63 new car reviews

For those who need to conquer the wilds while still bathed in opulence, Mercedes-Benz has offered their G-class wagon since 1979. The line is new for 2018 and, of course, there’s now a high-output AMG version. That’s the one that we sampled.

Some numbers to chew on:

Its handcrafted 4.0-liter biturbo V8 produces 577 horsepower along with 627 lb.-ft. of torque.

That power is sent through AMG’s nine-speed Speedshift TCT 9G transmission.

Its maker claims a zero-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds, nearly a full tick quicker than the previous model.

The new body is 4 inches longer and 4.8 inches wider than the previous one. Cabin space is up as well.

Four side exhausts, two per side.

Base price is $147,500. Ours carried a sticker of $166,095.

Other staff views

Tim Suddard Tim Suddard
Publisher

Ahh, we finally got to drive a G-Wagen. Introduced way back in 1979, the G—for ‘Gelände’ (cross country vehicle)—Wagen, has been remarkably soldiering on for 40 years. Why? Because people want them, and Mercedes doesn’t have to do much development to keep selling them.

That said, this is not the stripped down, diesel-powered G-Wagen available in Europe, this is the $167,000 AMG twin-turbo V8 G-Wagen, with some 577 horsepower to get you through the rough terrain of Orange County California, or Miami, Florida.

When we first got this garish monstrosity, with its bright Cardinal Red $2300 optional paint and its hideous $4000 22-inch wheels, I was horrified.

What kind of idiot would spend this kind of scratch on something 40-years old. I then got in and started it and as those twin side pipes rumbled to life, my attitude softened.

The air conditioned, heated and massaging seats, with bolsters that dig in and hug you when you go around a corner, really do not suck, unless you are ever tasked with having to pay to fix them.

Honestly, I was embarrassed to drive this thing. I am clearly not their target market. Still I soldiered on, doing 0-60 runs in the four second range, in this short wheelbase, quick steering, pretty damned nice handling, beast monster.

I needed to jump out. Despite all my predispositions, I was falling in love with this stupid thing. Maybe all these ballers and wealthy house wives weren’t as vapid as I had assumed. I am still not sure you want to own and maintain a new G-Wagen, but I am positive you want to borrow one of the weekend.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

First, yeah, this one’s a bit gauche for me. Paint it black, lose the chrome hoop around the spare tire carrier, ditch the cow catcher, and then we can talk–maybe. Even so, it’s still a bit cartoony.

Once inside, it’s all standard current AMG–retro looks on the outside married with today’s standard for luxury and performance. The gauges, center stack, steering column and console come right from the S-class AMG–never a bad parts bin to raid.

After firing it up, there’s one thing that must be done: press the button to open up the exhaust. All cars should sound this good. It rumbles nicely at idle and howls under load.

Then the next step: click it into one of the available sport modes.

Third step: turn off the lane assist. In this application, it felt downright dangerous. Step over the line, and the wheel is jerked in the opposite direction with such intensity that you’ll wonder if the car hasn’t lost a wheel or something. It’s that strong.

AMG’s latest products have been exemplary: fast, comfortable and carrying every conceivable luxury. This one’s no different–except that you’re sitting up above traffic. Acceleration is brutal, and the chassis feels responsive.

Does it conquer the dirt? Probably. Would I want to thrash a $166,000 vehicle? That’s between you and your wallet.

Like I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of this drivetrain. It’s fast. It’s smooth. The nine-speed automatic is perfect. It doesn’t need a clutch.

Just not sure I need/want it in a Jeep-like vehicle. I get that this fits in with the Benz lineup, but right away you know if you need/want this vehicle or not. You don’t need my opinion.

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Comments
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Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
5/14/19 3:02 p.m.

My old neighbor worked for MB NA and brought a metallic orange one of those home once, it was a 2017 I think.  He let me drive it for about 20 minutes and my biggest take away was that something that big and heavy should not move that fast.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/14/19 3:13 p.m.
Aaron_King said:

He let me drive it for about 20 minutes and my biggest take away was that something that big and heavy should not move that fast.

That pretty much sums it up. It's like driving a really fast shed. 

Dave M
Dave M Reader
5/14/19 4:23 p.m.

Coming soon to school pickup lanes and nail salons all over LA!

It's astonishing that Mercedes has managed to take a humble farm vehicle and turn it into one of the most "look at me" rich lady cars out there. Brilliant, really.

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
5/14/19 4:29 p.m.

These cars are the ultimate status symbols for housewives.  Discrete enough that it's not a Bentley or RR, but expensive enough that everyone knows what you're driving, especially other housewives.  And like 90% of the ones I see on the street are the AMG version, vs. the non-AMG variants.  Because you know, the non-AMG versions would get looked down upon...  

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
5/14/19 4:41 p.m.

Ours moves on pretty good and it’s just the NA G550.  I need to drive a newer G63 for comparison.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/14/19 4:46 p.m.

In reply to bcp2011 :

The right people know. laugh

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
5/14/19 4:48 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

Yeah, right?  You don't want to get disinvited to the next week's lunch at the Four Seasons!!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/14/19 4:51 p.m.

In reply to bcp2011 :

Dude, I HOST that lunch. 

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
5/14/19 5:52 p.m.

I'll drive it every day. Red and everything. berkeley what people think! 

Bubbal
Bubbal New Reader
5/14/19 9:09 p.m.

The really right Mom’s drive the awd Sprinter passenger van with the ac on the roof.

Brian_13
Brian_13 New Reader
5/14/19 11:30 p.m.
Dave M said:

...

It's astonishing that Mercedes has managed to take a humble farm vehicle and turn it into one of the most "look at me" rich lady cars out there...

Farm vehicle? Maybe you're thinking of the Unimog. The Geländewagen was developed with Steyr-Daimler-Puch as a military vehicle, not for farmers. And, of course, this thing shares nothing with a real G-Wagen other than the styling.

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
5/15/19 5:21 p.m.

Someone needs to put together a body kit to dress up old Isuzu Troopers to look like these! I can just see the crestfallen expression when the pretty little gold-digger climbs into the cab only to find janky old cloth and plastic.

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
5/15/19 7:05 p.m.

You know,  you’d think a forum full of Miata fans would be a little better about stereotypes.  It’s funny,  I drive something like my old square body Suburban and people think I’m a poor hillbilly,  drive the g wagon and,  well,  you can see with how this thread is turning out.  Of course,  I have so many cars that invoke some sort of stereotype that I look at like Yupididit, “berkeley what people think!”

Dave M
Dave M Reader
5/15/19 7:22 p.m.

In reply to Brian_13 :

Sorry, farm/Jeep, tomato/tomahhto!

Dave M
Dave M Reader
5/15/19 7:30 p.m.
Cotton said:

You know,  you’d think a forum full of Miata fans would be a little better about stereotypes.  It’s funny,  I drive something like my old square body Suburban and people think I’m a poor hillbilly,  drive the g wagon and,  well,  you can see with how this thread is turning out.  Of course,  I have so many cars that invoke some sort of stereotype that I look at like Yupididit, “berkeley what people think!”

Welp, aren't something like 1/3rd of all US AMG sales in LA? I guarantee that 0% of those are going off-road. You may destroy mad Moab trails in your G-Wagen, but the vast majority of folks who drive them don't.

Sometimes stereotypes are earned (AMG G Wagens), sometimes they're not (Miatas), and sometimes it's in between (WRXs). 

Btw the most amazing thing is that Mercedes will sell you, the discerning rich buyer, whatever car you need. If you're the fifth-generation blueblood who needs stealth wealth, E-Class wagon. If you're the trust fund daughter of a Qatari shiek, AMG G Wagen. And everything in between.

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
5/15/19 7:41 p.m.
Dave M said:
Cotton said:

You know,  you’d think a forum full of Miata fans would be a little better about stereotypes.  It’s funny,  I drive something like my old square body Suburban and people think I’m a poor hillbilly,  drive the g wagon and,  well,  you can see with how this thread is turning out.  Of course,  I have so many cars that invoke some sort of stereotype that I look at like Yupididit, “berkeley what people think!”

Welp, aren't something like 1/3rd of all US AMG sales in LA? I guarantee that 0% of those are going off-road. You may destroy mad Moab trails in your G-Wagen, but the vast majority of folks who drive them don't.

Sometimes stereotypes are earned (AMG G Wagens), sometimes they're not (Miatas), and sometimes it's in between (WRXs). 

Btw the most amazing thing is that Mercedes will sell you, the discerning rich buyer, whatever car you need. If you're the fifth-generation blueblood who needs stealth wealth, E-Class wagon. If you're the trust fund daughter of a Qatari shiek, AMG G Wagen. And everything in between.

Well,  it’s good to know I’ve found the source of truth for stereotypes on the forum.  What sort of paradox does it create when someone owns a g wagon as well as an e class wagon?

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
5/15/19 7:42 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

In reply to bcp2011 :

Dude, I HOST that lunch. 

Gives new meaning to "fast food".

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
5/15/19 8:34 p.m.

In reply to Cotton :

Sorry to have hit a nerve. Did not intend to offend. Having said that, the stereotypes for the AMG version of this car is pretty spot on. I’ve seen it play out the same way in Houston and Chicago and burbs of New York City. MB has even admitted that the bulk of G class sales are for the AMG version. Why if not for status?  Because most people spending that type of dough needs a hand built 500+hp motor?

Stereotypes exist for every car and every make. I think most people on this forum would not look at Porsche or bmw owners for their general population stereotypes, but maybe this one is pretty spot on?

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
5/15/19 8:48 p.m.

In reply to bcp2011 :

It’s no big deal.  I just came from a hellish shopping experience at the mall,  the Prada store didn’t have the latest man handbag I’ve had my eye on,  then off to the salon for a pedicure and they tried to use the cheap feets lotion....ridiculous.  And to top it all off another g wagon got the best compact car slot....it’s been one of those days!  laugh

 

 

 

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
5/15/19 9:58 p.m.

In reply to Cotton :

Totally understand. Sounds like you need a Dom and caviar night to me!!

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
5/16/19 12:49 a.m.

Just had a G350D in Tokyo for a week, what utter rubbish! Slow, noisy, poor manners. 

Glad to have the v8s on this side of the pond! 

Love the G, even though they are getting rarer locally, with everyone driving the ugly Bentayga these days at the school line. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
5/16/19 7:14 a.m.

I'd probably order mine in an even more garish color. 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
5/16/19 7:23 a.m.

My wife has been bugging me for one as a replacement for her H2. This revamped one hopefully will result in many being traded in so the used market for the older ones comes down a bit. 

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
5/16/19 7:37 a.m.

What’s the coolest car an “uber-rich and everybody knows it already” dude can drive?  I just look to my friend of a friend, family money, one term Congressman (as a hobby-only ran once), and all around great guy’s garage.  What do I find?  15 year old rusty club cab Toyota 4X2.  Ha.  Airplanes though,...that’s another story.

Dave M
Dave M Reader
5/16/19 7:46 a.m.

In reply to Cotton :

That's like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters, except instead of conjuring the marshmallow man you get Christmas cards from your mechanic.

Dave M
Dave M Reader
5/16/19 7:50 a.m.
A 401 CJ said:

What’s the coolest car an “uber-rich and everybody knows it already” dude can drive?  I just look to my friend of a friend, family money, one term Congressman (as a hobby-only ran once), and all around great guy’s garage.  What do I find?  15 year old rusty club cab Toyota 4X2.  Ha.  Airplanes though,...that’s another story.

Anything old and pristine, preferably owned for 50 years and with a folksy story. Either that or a Buick like Warren Buffet.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
5/16/19 8:32 a.m.

AMG G Wagen = new money

E Class wagon = old money

Like it or not, that's the way it typically breaks down. Different products for different buyers, and people will like what they like, and have different tastes/priorities based on their situations and circumstances.

 

In related news, I've been seeing an older, 2 door G wagon with a soft top around my neighborhood occasionally and that thing's pretty cool in an oddball, GRM way without being quite a flashy as the current G with all of the AMG kit:

Image result for convertible g wagen

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/16/19 9:03 a.m.

I admit that the AMG-G wasn't really me--just too garish. Now, the AMG E-class wagon? I'd drive that every day for the rest of my life. Review on that one coming soon....

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
5/16/19 11:06 a.m.
Dave M said:
A 401 CJ said:

What’s the coolest car an “uber-rich and everybody knows it already” dude can drive?  I just look to my friend of a friend, family money, one term Congressman (as a hobby-only ran once), and all around great guy’s garage.  What do I find?  15 year old rusty club cab Toyota 4X2.  Ha.  Airplanes though,...that’s another story.

Anything old and pristine, preferably owned for 50 years and with a folksy story. Either that or a Buick like Warren Buffet.

Buffet has a Buick? I thought he had a XTS. Had a DTS prior and  Towncar as well.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
5/16/19 11:06 a.m.
z31maniac said:

I'd probably order mine in an even more garish color. 

Yup mine would be lime green or orange. Don't care if people think I have new money or old money. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
5/16/19 11:08 a.m.
dean1484 said:

My wife has been bugging me for one as a replacement for her H2. This revamped one hopefully will result in many being traded in so the used market for the older ones comes down a bit. 

Sadly, if I can convince the wife, I would hvae one tomorrow for the fam. My wife HATES them with a passion. Also HATES Range Rovers. Maybe my wife isn't a woman at all :( I don't know ANY women that hates G/RR :(  She loved our Land Cruiser (80), and LOVED our LX570.  We got a FJ cruiser (LOVES IT), and she wouldnt say YES to the G. SIGH. She only wants Toyota/Lexus :( :( Maybe we can trade wives!

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
5/16/19 11:08 a.m.
STM317 said:

 

 

In related news, I've been seeing an older, 2 door G wagon with a soft top around my neighborhood occasionally and that thing's pretty cool in an oddball, GRM way without being quite a flashy as the current G with all of the AMG kit:

Image result for convertible g wagen

 

There are few of these I see around here. Dark green or silver usually. Personally I prefer a D90/D110 to these. 

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
5/16/19 11:12 a.m.
mr2s2000elise said:
Maybe we can trade wives!

Well that veered left quickly...  

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
5/16/19 11:33 a.m.
bcp2011 said:
mr2s2000elise said:
Maybe we can trade wives!

Well that veered left quickly...  

Like a G Wagon it is all about the maintenance and up keep costs. wink

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
5/16/19 11:36 a.m.
mr2s2000elise said:
 

Image result for convertible g wagen

 

There are few of these I see around here. Dark green or silver usually. Personally I prefer a D90/D110 to these. 

Strongly agree, but it's still neat to see compared to the normal diesel trucks and jeeps that everybody else drives.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
5/16/19 12:43 p.m.
STM317 said:
mr2s2000elise said:
 

Image result for convertible g wagen

 

There are few of these I see around here. Dark green or silver usually. Personally I prefer a D90/D110 to these. 

Strongly agree, but it's still neat to see compared to the normal diesel trucks and jeeps that everybody else drives.

Agree 100! :) Neat to see them. Except around here everyone seems to drive a Bentayga, Range Rover. Saw two D110 today, and those are "rare."  I wish I would see more brodozer coal diesel trucks - would be breath of fresh air. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
5/16/19 2:18 p.m.
bcp2011 said:

In reply to Cotton :

Totally understand. Sounds like you need a Dom and caviar night to me!!

Of all the uber-wealthy stereotypes, caviar is the one I find the most baffling. Prices start at six dollars for a baby-food sized jar, and it tastes like it ought to be used for catfish bait. That and truffles. You've got a mushroom that costs 10-100 times the price of a good steak, and it doesn't even give you hallucinations.

Dave M
Dave M Reader
5/16/19 3:32 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:
Dave M said:
A 401 CJ said:

What’s the coolest car an “uber-rich and everybody knows it already” dude can drive?  I just look to my friend of a friend, family money, one term Congressman (as a hobby-only ran once), and all around great guy’s garage.  What do I find?  15 year old rusty club cab Toyota 4X2.  Ha.  Airplanes though,...that’s another story.

Anything old and pristine, preferably owned for 50 years and with a folksy story. Either that or a Buick like Warren Buffet.

Buffet has a Buick? I thought he had a XTS. Had a DTS prior and  Towncar as well.

Sorry, I was going to look up the difference between an XTS and a Lacrosse but then I fell asleep as I was typing the Google query.

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
5/16/19 3:37 p.m.
dean1484 said:

Like a G Wagon it is all about the maintenance and up keep costs. wink

Or... get a new, updated model?  Why trade for an used one...?  =D

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
5/16/19 4:59 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:
bcp2011 said:

In reply to Cotton :

Totally understand. Sounds like you need a Dom and caviar night to me!!

Of all the uber-wealthy stereotypes, caviar is the one I find the most baffling. Prices start at six dollars for a baby-food sized jar, and it tastes like it ought to be used for catfish bait. That and truffles. You've got a mushroom that costs 10-100 times the price of a good steak, and it doesn't even give you hallucinations.

Not uber wealthy so no clue about any of this stuff. That said, LA has a French restaurant that sells truffle fries. I used to think its "foo foo" stuff, till I tried it. WOW. Its orgasmic

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
5/16/19 10:32 p.m.
bcp2011 said:
dean1484 said:

Like a G Wagon it is all about the maintenance and up keep costs. wink

Or... get a new, updated model?  Why trade for an used one...?  =D

I have found that the ones that have had the 60k service tend to have all the little issues worked out and are good to go for many many years. laugh

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
5/16/19 11:00 p.m.
dean1484 said:

I have found that the ones that have had the 60k service tend to have all the little issues worked out and are good to go for many many years. laugh

Maybe it’s a bit more... comfortable... since it’s...broken in... but if you’re gonna be at the dealer might as well try out the more exciting new models, no?  

 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
5/16/19 11:26 p.m.

I guess it all depends on what warranty you can get with the new model versus somthing with a proven track record.

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