Skip to main content

2019 Mercedes G63 exists at intersection of brute force and finesse

When Mercedes-Benz introduced the all-new 2019 G-Class, it gave AMG credit for a lot of the engineering work that finally brought the truck into the 21st century. It’s on these sturdy, performance-ready bones that the German brand’s in-house tuner built the 2019 G63, which will make its debut next month at the Geneva Auto Show.

The G63 receives its own version of the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that powers other members of the AMG lineup, including the C63, the E63, and the GT. In this application, it pumps out 577 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 627 pound-feet of torque between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm. Its output flows to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission and a sport-tuned version of Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

Those numbers impress on paper. In real life, they translate to a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed that’s electronically limited to 137 mph. Buyers who need to go faster — presumably well-heeled drag racers or those who commute on Germany’s Autobahn — can hit 149 mph by ordering the optional driver’s package. 137 mph sounds plenty fast to us, though.

The all-new G63 is powerful and fast, but you don’t need us to tell you that. Its predecessor already ticked both boxes. One of the major differences between the two SUVs is that the 2019 version is much more engaging to drive on a twisty road. In its default configuration, the all-wheel drive system sends 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels and the rest up front. AMG added an adjustable suspension system on both axles and speed-sensitive steering to give the G more bite in the corners and a more polished ride in everyday driving conditions.

It can still hold its own off-road, though. Like the normal G-Class, the G63 rides on a ladder frame, it offers three differential locks, and it lets the driver shift into low range when the going gets really, really tough. Three built-in off-road modes named sand, trail, and rock, respectively, provide the basis for stress-free driving when the pavement ends.

Flared wheel arches hint at the horsepower lurking between the fenders. The AMG treatment also brings wider alloy wheels, bigger air vents punched into the front bumper, the Panamericana grille that’s quickly spreading across the portfolio, running boards, and side-mounted exhaust outlets, a hallmark carried over from the last-generation G. Step inside to find a three-spoke steering wheel with galvanized shift paddles and, when ordered, carbon fiber trim on the center console.

We’ll see the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 in the metal for the first time next month at the Geneva Auto Show. Sales will begin before the end of the year. Mercedes will release pricing information in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date, which the brand scheduled for later this year.

Editors' Recommendations

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV preview: The EV lineup grows again
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV.

As Mercedes-Benz has steadily expanded its EQ range of electric cars, the lineup has become a bit like the late stages of a Tetris game. It’s mostly complete, but with a few gaps still left. And the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is the piece that perfectly fits one of them.
Mercedes recently launched two other electric SUVs at opposite ends of the price spectrum. The EQS SUV is positioned as the lineup’s flagship, while the EQB is the entry-level model. The EQE SUV slots between those two in size and, presumably, price. The latter hasn’t been confirmed yet, and likely won’t be until the EQE SUV’s planned March 2023 on-sale date.

Design
As the name says, the EQE SUV is a utility-vehicle version of the EQE sedan, which will likely beat it to showrooms by a few months. Mercedes did the same thing with the EQS, which is available in both SUV and sedan body styles.
With its tall, upright profile, the EQE SUV definitely looks like a proper SUV compared to the low-slung EQE sedan. Park it next to an EQS SUV, though, and you’ll have to get out a measuring tape to spot the differences.
The EQE SUV is 0.6 inch narrower and 1.2 inches lower than the EQS SUV, but the most significant difference is in length. The EQE SUV is 10.3 inches shorter than the EQS SUV, with a 2.1-inch shorter wheelbase. And while the EQS SUV has three-row seating, the EQE SUV has two rows. Based on our experience with the EQS SUV’s third row, that’s not a big loss.
The interior design theme carries over from other Mercedes EQ models, with an expansive sloping dashboard designed to accommodate many screens, and multicolor ambient lighting that should look pretty dramatic at night. However, leatherette upholstery is standard, rather than real leather, which Mercedes is now spinning as a vegan option.

Read more
Sporty Polestar 3 SUV is an EV guiding star
Front three quarter view of the Polestar 3.

For Volvo’s EV-focused Polestar spinoff brand, the third time really is the charm.
The brand’s first model, the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe, was built in low volumes and still had a combustion engine. The current Polestar 2 is a derivative of the Volvo C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge. With the Polestar 3, the brand is really finding its footing.
Scheduled to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2023, the Polestar 3 is the brand’s first SUV, and while it still shares much hardware and software with parent Volvo, it’s next-generation tech that’s blended with a unique design aesthetic and a greater emphasis on performance.

Design
Where the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 recycled styling from old Volvo concept cars, the five-seat Polestar 3 debuts a new brand-specific design language. The scrunched-up “face” and minimal air-intake opening advertise the 3’s electric powertrain, while the pinched rear side glass gives it a more streamlined appearance than other SUVs — particularly those of parent Volvo. The headlights look like an enlarged version of the “Thor’s Hammer” LED elements from current Volvos, however.
While not officially confirmed, the Polestar 3 is expected to be twinned with the Volvo EX90, the parent brand’s upcoming all-electric flagship SUV. Both are expected to use Volvo’s SPA2 platform, a successor to the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform underpinning most current Volvo models.
Because eliminating tailpipe emissions doesn’t totally erase a vehicle’s environmental impact, Polestar also emphasized sustainable materials, such as wool upholstery that, the automaker claims, can be certified as sustainably produced. Polestar also plans to conduct a lifecycle assessment of the 3’s environmental impact when production starts, and follow up with additional assessments through the production run to look for ways of reducing its carbon footprint.

Read more
2023 Kia Niro EV first drive review: Practical doesn’t have to bore you to tears
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Kia Niro EV.

If you want to see just how quickly the electric car landscape has changed over the past few years, take a look at the redesigned 2023 Kia Niro EV.
When the first-generation Niro EV launched for the 2019 model year (following hybrid and plug-in hybrid Niro variants), it was a pretty big deal. The Niro was Kia’s first EV not based on a conventional gasoline model, and the first intended for high sales volumes.
The second-generation 2023 Niro EV boasts more tech, more space, and more extroverted styling than its predecessor, but it’s still very much in the shadow of the Kia EV6. Once Kia’s main EV attraction, the Niro is being refocused as a more affordable option to take on the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt EV/Bolt EUV, Volkswagen ID.4, and Nissan Leaf.
Kia plans to offer the Niro EV in trim levels named Wind and Wave, but hasn’t released pricing for either. Note that the previous-generation 2022 Niro EV started at $41,245; the new model could see a price increase because of its updates. And because it’s assembled in South Korea, the 2023 Niro EV won’t qualify for the revamped federal EV tax credit, Kia has confirmed.

Design and interior
Like the previous generation, the Niro is part of a three-pronged lineup that also includes the Niro Hybrid and Niro PHEV (plug-in hybrid models). All three maintain the tall-wagon shape of the first-generation Niro, but with much bolder styling.
Where the previous Niro was a wishy-washy mix of car and SUV styling elements, the 2023 Niro is the result of the same fearless design department that produced the EV6 and the 2023 Kia Sportage. The traditional automotive “face” was rearranged with a visor-like element, protruding grille, and hexagonal lighting elements. Contrasting trim panels break up the profile view, and conceal “Air Blade” elements around the taillights that, Kia claims, reduce aerodynamic drag.
Kia used sustainable materials to further decrease the Niro EV’s environmental impact.

Read more