Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 AMG review


What is it?

A complete dinosaur, an irrelevance, exactly the sort of thing we should hate about modern cars. It’s a two-tonne fast SUV, which drinks fuel and is about as likely to go off-road as it is to seat seven people, as a proper 4×4 ought to. And yet, the AMG version of the GLC is one of Top Gear’s very favourite fast SUVs. In a class of car that’s populated by anachronisms, the GLC 63 is just about as addictive as they come.

It’s all down to the monstrous V8 engine the GLC and GLC Coupe inherit from the AMG C63. It’s an utter monster, good for 469bhp in standard trim and 503bhp in the GLC 63 S, which is what we’ve been exposed to for this review. Every car this engine is injected into is blessed by it – of all the downsized turbocharged performance car engines, AMG’s is one of the best – only Ferrari’s 3.9-litre V8 comes close for drama.

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It’s so good, in fact, that AMG hasn’t touched the powertrain at all for the 2019 facelift. Same power and torque, same nine-speed gearbox, same rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel drive.

How you access that potency has been tweaked, thanks to an armada of new modes and settings. And how you view all the telemetry is new, because there are a fresh set of screens and infotainment gubbins inside – which is less successful.

So, while we wrestle with our conscience over falling so dangerously hard for such an absurd vehicle, read on to discover why it’s won us over.

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Our choice from the range

Mercedes-Benz5dr auto£76,505

What’s the verdict?

By no means perfect, but blessed with such character we can forgive AMG’s bombastic GLC

Despite ourselves, we love this car. Yes it’s thirsty and very expensive and totally unnecessary, but it manages to feel both modern and outrageously old-school, like a smaller, wieldier G-Wagen really. Of all the mid-size super-SUVs, a Porsche Macan is comfier (but slower) and an Alfa Stelvio handles less cumbersomely (but has a horribly dated interior). So, the GLC is odds-on our favourite. Is there no car this magnificent AMG V8 can’t make wonderful?

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