2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S – Maximizing Luxurious Muscle

In every way, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S is what we consider the idée fixe of the luxury SUV market.

We all know that the best kinds of Mercedes vehicles have AMG on them. The GLE sport utility is no different. In its top-most format, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S is more luxurious muscle than most can imagine. It’s beautiful, fast, and roomy. We road tripped with five people (two adults, three teenagers) plus all of our gear and loved this super-luxury SUV.

The current GLE generation debuted for the 2020 model year and hasn’t seen a lot of changes since. The new MBUX infotainment interface, which you can talk to like you would your Amazon or Google device, is even more improved and the AMG version of the GLE has a lot of performance-oriented and comfort-oriented additions.

Most in the automotive press consider the GLE to be the benchmark against which all other luxury SUV models are compared. It’s a mid-sized SUV that combines premium luxury with useful utility and great technology. The AMG GLE 63 S is, however, the only GLE that cannot have a third row option. This is to accommodate the updated rear differential and axles used on this performance model.

Before we talk about those, let’s look at what this SUV starts with. The GLE 350 model, the “base” option for the utility, is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional, but is standard on all other models of the GLE. The base model includes a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, synthetic leather upholstery (called “MB-Tex”), a digital instrument cluster, navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a host of advanced safety systems. Other standards include a sunroof, power liftgate, 19-inch wheels, power-adjusting and heated front seating, multi-color ambient lighting, and a wireless smartphone charging pad.

As one goes up in model numbers for the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the accoutrements just get more plentiful. The 450 has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and the 580 has a turbo’d V8. The 350 outputs 255 horsepower, the 450 362, and the 580 has 483.

The AMG variants get a lot more added on. The AMG GLE 53 has a turbocharged six-cylinder outputting 429 horsepower and rides on 20-inch AMG-specific wheels. Brakes get an upgrade to handle the extra power and AMG badging and trim pieces are added inside and out. The AMG models also get a Burmester surround-sound system.

Then comes the 2023 Mercedes-AMG 63 S, the top-most model as we drove this SUV. It has a turbocharged V8 that outputs a whopping 603 horsepower (and 627 pound-feet of torque) while riding on 21-inch AMG-exclusive wheels. The rear axle is replaced with an electronic limited-slip differential and seating is replaced with AMG-specific designs made to add more support in spirited driving. Adaptive headlamps that follow the turn and a few other additions finish the 63’s build.

On the road, the Mercedes-AMG 63 S is amazingly responsive for such a bulky vehicle. It’s all-wheel drive system shoves power to the ground via its fat tires and strong vectoring controls. Yet it never feels like it’s trying very hard, even when the right-most pedal is shoved all the way down. The optional air suspension system (which we recommend) removes some of the road feel, but returns a smoother and more leveled ride quality. Especially when pushing this SUV to go faster and turn harder.

Even when just driving for everyday, the AMG GLE 63 S is engaging and comfortable. More comfortable than most, we’d say. On our family road trip, our three teenagers were not terribly cramped sitting across the second row and a large amount of luggage fit nicely in the cargo area. Highway driving in the GLE 63 is smooth and easy. The adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance are nicely calibrated and not overly pushy. Speed limit assistance defaults to changing your cruise control setting automatically, so if that’s not working for you, we recommend changing that. This can be done by merely asking the MBUX (with “Hey, Mercedes”) to bring up the driver assistance controls. Then toggle it off.

In every way, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S is what we consider the idée fixe of the luxury SUV market. Pricing for the standard models begins at about $59,000 and the AMG variants start at $85,500 or so. Our test model was in the $140,000 range.

This review originally appeared on DriveModeShow.com.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.