All of a sudden, compact luxury performance SUVs are a thing. The really high-performance SUVs used to start with mid-size models like the GLE 63, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo or the BMW X5M. Now we have the BMW X3 M, the Porsche Macan Turbo, the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, and to a lesser extent the Audi SQ5.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ can be credited for the BMW X3 M while the other models on the list above were partly there to give credibility to the rest of the lineup. Still, the GLC 63 S 4Matic+ isn’t an afterthought and brings that unique AMG DNA to an SUV that for most buyers is just right in terms of size. It also rights what most consider to be the AMG’s lineup biggest wrong.
See, most Mercedes-AMG models have a special 4Matic all-wheel drive system called 4Matic+. That means that you can confidently drive your AMG vehicle in any weather. The rare exception to that rule is the Mercedes-AMG C 63 and C 63 S. One of the few AMG 63 models offered for less than $100,000, the C 63 requires a professional touch to drive in winter. If you wanted 4Matic with an AMG 63 model, you had to go to the GLE or the E-Class, quite a bit pricier. The GLC 63 S fills that void.
Starting at $93,000, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S is powered by a monster 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that packs 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to get you to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds which is about as fast as you can reach the legal highway speed limit in Canada in an SUV. As with any and every AMG 63 model, the sound coming from the engine is aggressive, loud, and will make any enthusiast shake with excitement.
You can tune how the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S sounds and how it performs using various driving modes. Sport and Sport+ are the most aggressive modes and certainly transform the GLC 63 S into a very harsh, rough sport utility vehicle. Those modes are better suited for the track or being heard driving through a downtown tunnel. The Comfort mode tunes the aggressivity down a notch and makes the GLC 63 S usable in daily driving situations.
It’s still not perfect and the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S will remind you every day that it is the fastest and sportiest GLC. Think it’s just a step up from the GLC 43? You’re wrong. It’s an elevator up in terms of performance, but also in terms of driving behaviour.
On the other hand, it feels sharper, faster, and louder than the BMW X3 M. It also explodes forward when you floor the right pedal with more authority. It’s more balanced than a Stelvio Quadrifoglio and has more personality than a Porsche Macan Turbo.
Why You Should Buy a 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 AMG S 4Matic+
- Incredible sound
- So much power under your right foot
- Looks really good and you can easily tell it’s the most powerful version
- Definitely worth the price jump over the AMG 43
- Still versatile with over 500 litres of cargo space
- A lot faster than the Audi SQ5 and faster than the BMW X3 M
- Has more personality than the BMW X3 M
Why You Should Not Buy a 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 AMG S 4Matic+
- You don’t really need a GLC 63 S. The GLC 43 is fast enough
- Fuel economy is non-existent. Expect over 15.0 litres per 100 kilometres on average
- The GLC 63 is a rough ride
- The interior does need a refresh (applies to the entire GLC lineup) and doesn’t feel like it’s worth almost $100,000.
I would buy this before a BMW X3 M and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. I would also buy it before the Macan Turbo because it’s more versatile and sounds a lot better.