Ferocious People Hauler: 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG [First Impressions]

How did the mighty 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG come to be? Imagine, an Über-luxurious seven-passenger SUV that has a honkin’ 550 horsepower and 560 lbs-feet of torque via a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 and channeled to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission. At sea level, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG is said to fly from 0 to 60 mph in about 4.8 seconds.

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Now, imagine all of that power underneath a vehicle that weighs over 5,800 lbs… nearly three tons!

Covered in Designo Auburn Brown leather and Burl Walnut Wood trim, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG is one of the most luxurious vehicles in its class… if you can even define its class. Mercedes-Benz already succeeded in building a comfortable interior for five. The third row is a bit cramped for adults, but it worked well for my grade-school little ones. By adding the AMG-touch, the interior feels completely isolated from the outside world.

In an way, AMG’s heavy-handed engineering managed to remove any remnants of tactile feel from the outside world. This is true in comfort and performance. Unlike the BMW X5 M, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG has no tactile connection to the road. The steering is very light and the cabin removes all unwanted noises.

Even when deactivated, the traction control prevents you from having too much fun. Push hard into a corner, the traction control works in conjunction with the engine management system to kill power and speed. It literally makes you slow down on tight curves. Even if you manage to truly overcook the power into a bend, the amazing suspension will hold the mass in place while the enormous brakes stop forward progress like a sports car.

This massive German machine is not very happy on a racetrack. On the other hand, blasting down the highway – the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG is in its element. Cruising around town, it purrs like a kitten (or young African Lion). The sound is glorious while the ride is majestic. It’s easier to drive around town than the X5.

Still, push the pedal down and prepare for a beastie. Much of that credit goes to the remarkable atomic device under the hood, but there’s some amazing stuff happening in the suspension department too.

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“The fully independent AIRMATIC® suspension features AMG calibration of its high-pressure air spring-struts and Adaptive Damping System (ADS). Components and their electronic controls enhance responsiveness while maintaining impressive ride comfort. Automatic 4-wheel level control lets the driver raise the vehicle for negotiating deep ruts or rugged terrain, while lowering at higher speeds to enhance both aerodynamic efficiency and handling stability, thanks to a lower center of gravity.

Integrated with AIRMATIC, the electronically controlled ADS instantly adapts the suspension character to the driving situation, reducing body roll, pitch and dive while maximizing agility and smoothness. ADS continually optimizes ride and handling by selecting one of four damping profiles for each air strut every time a wheel changes its direction of up-down travel. The driver can also choose from two suspension modes (Comfort and Sport) at the touch of a button” – – Mercedes-Benz

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With an MSRP of $126,870, you would think this mammoth 202.6-inch, 5,800 lbs, 84.3-inch wide blunderbuss is far too massive and expensive to be considered. Not so, I think there’s so much tech, so much luxury and so much power on tap that those people who want an incredibly fast family hauler should consider the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG.

Now, how do you think BMW, Range Rover, Bentley and Jaguar will respond?

Speaking of high-priced vehicles…

Nathan Adlen Bio Picture Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.