Mercedes G63 AMG Crazy Colour Review
Car Tested: 2015 Mercedes G63 AMG Crazy Colour; Road Test No. 613
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 2.58 crores
Rugged looks, tech-laden interiors and lots of power is what the Mercedes G63 AMG has to offer
I review a lot of cars every month. While I look forward to each and every car, irrespective of whether it is small or big, expensive or cheap, there are some cars that ignite a bit more enthusiasm in you as compared to other cars. So when Faisal called me up the other day and told me that I’ll be reviewing the G63 AMG Crazy Colour, I got quite excited. I’m a fan of low slung sedans with sharp handling and good power but there is something special about this beast that activates the adrenaline rush in you. So it was an early morning when I ignited the G and brought the engine to life and took it for a long spin to figure out what type of a car it is.
Motor Quest: The Mercedes G-Class was earlier called the G-Wagen (Geländewagen) and it is one of the few vehicles to come with three locking differentials. It was initially developed as a military vehicle under the orders of the Shah of Iran and only in 1979 did a civilian version come out. In the last few decades, the vehicle has evolved a lot but its styling has remained pretty much the same.
Exteriors – The G63 AMG carries old-school design elements that were found way back in the earlier G-Wagen. While Mercedes-Benz has added a lot of modern touches to the styling, the overall design still remains old-fashioned and it does suit the car’s personality. The headlamps are big and round while the turn indicators are placed on either side of the bonnet. The front bumper is flanked with LED DRLs and a chrome bull bar which looks quite macho. The side profile is pretty much straight-forward and those who do not know about the G63 can easily mistake the car for a modified Mahindra Bolero or something like that. The 20-inch alloys look massive and that matte black finish adds that sporty touch to the SUV. Peep between the spokes of the wheels and you notice the bright red brake callipers. Moving to the rear, the same rugged styling is carried over. The spare wheel is mounted on the boot in a body-coloured cover.
Stuff like the rubber insulation for the windows and windshield, rubber+chrome trim on the side profile and the bull bar are just some of the things that remind us that even though the G has grown modern, it still doesn’t miss out on its roots. The G63 AMG Crazy Colour is offered in three shades – Alien Green, Solar Beam and Sunset Beam. The vehicle gets an AMG sports exhaust system with two exhaust outlets mounted below the rear doors on either side. The SUV also gets bi-xenon headlamps with headlamp washers and headlight range adjustment. The LED DRLs are said to be brighter than the side lights and yet they consume lower power than the low beam headlights.
This model also gets a Stainless Steel package which includes side running boards and the spare wheel cover. Talking about road presence, the regular G63 AMG as well as the previous G55 AMG have always had loads of it. We have mostly seen these SUVs in white, black or silver and while they look uber sexy in those colours, the Crazy Colour variant takes things to just another level. The Alien Green shade looks quite bright in real and the SUV commands attention wherever it goes. We saw lots of kids looking at the car and smiling while their parents took out their phones to click a random picture of the car.
Interiors – When you open the doors to step into the interiors is when you realise that even the doors have that old-school feeling to them. Unlike other Mercedes’ where the doors are quite heavy and close with a loud thud, this one has pretty light and thin doors that close with a thunk. We’re pretty sure that Mercedes must have made the body structure equally safe in this car as compared to its stable mates. The interiors of the G63 AMG are a revelation. They are quite modern when it comes to design and tech. The all-black dashboard has a simple design and the AMG steering wheel looks classy. There is also an AMG interior trim package and lots of carbon fibre bits on the inside. The number of storage spaces and cubby holes is decent and there are not too many of them.
The G63 AMG is big on the outside but the rear seat lacks leg space
The instrument cluster is big in size and displays a lot of information. The centre console gets a 7-inch infotainment system which has the usual functions like SDHC card slot, Bluetooth, USB and AUX-in connectivity and also 10 GB of storage space. The upholstery is finished in black with contrast stitching in green colour matching the exteriors of the vehicle. The roof is finished in Dinamica black microfibre. The sunroof has a tilt and rollback function but it misses out on a cover. So when you press the sunroof button, the roof opens up completely while in other cars there is usually a cover that opens first and then the actual sunroof. The Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound system gets 12 speakers and gives out very good sound quality. There is also a rear seat entertainment system on offer.
The front seats get a lot of adjustment options and finding the perfect driving position is easy after playing around with the buttons for a few minutes. The vehicle also gets a Memory Package for the front seats and head restraints, steering column and exterior mirrors while parking. Overall visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent and the ORVMs are also generously big in size. All the seats are very comfortable but space is lacking at the rear. The rear seats has a 20:40:20 split functionality. The boot is large enough to stuff whatever you want to. The G63 AMG also gets a reversing camera with PARKTRONIC feature that includes 10 ultrasonic sensors – six and four in the front and rear bumpers respectively. The system displays the surroundings on the screen on the dashboard and also on the roof liner at the rear which is a nice touch. The SUV gets a THERMATIC climate control system with 2 climate zones and it works brilliantly and cools the cabin fairly quickly.
Performance – The Mercedes G63 AMG is powered by a 5.5-litre V8 Bi-Turbo petrol engine that whips out 544 horses at 5500 RPM and 760 Nm of torque between 2000 – 5000 RPM. The engine is mated to a 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS transmission. Floor the gas and the G63 pushes you back in the seat and flies ahead. The vehicle accelerates from standstill to 100 km/hr in just 5.4 seconds. The engine has a lot of grunt for sure and it feels very effortless to drive thanks to the way it has been tuned for power delivery. For driving at sedate speeds in the city, you just need to provide mild throttle inputs and the SUV maintains good speed. But who buys an AMG for driving in the city?
5.5-litre V8 bi-turbo petrol engine defines the idea of fun & power
We quickly hit the highway and floored the throttle only to be overwhelmed by the exhaust growl. The exhaust note is so addictive that we actually turned off the music and lowered down the windows a wee bit to hear it properly. The Bi-Turbo engine offers superior performance across the RPM range and the vehicle never runs out of power. The vehicle also gets an ECO mode, but hey, did you buy an AMG to use the ECO mode? Along with that, the gearbox offers the choice of three modes – controlled efficiency, sport and manual. We tried the controlled efficiency mode first. In this, the SUV provides lovely performance but upshifts a bit early on the RPM ladder. In the sport mode, the exhaust note becomes more pronounced and the G63 redlines away to glory. The manual mode basically enables the use of paddle shifters. The gearbox seemed to be a tad bit jerky in its operations though and not as smooth as we expected. The vehicle cruises comfortably at 100 km/hr at under 1800 RPM, it redlines at 6300 RPM and needs at least third gear to hit the ton.
The Mercedes G63 AMG is pretty good off the road too. It gets three electrically engage-able 100% differential locks that make sure that the SUV has a go-anywhere capability. The differential locks ensure that each wheel on an axle as well as wheels on both axles have the same number of rotations each minute. The drive torque is directed to only those wheels that have traction beneath them. Talking about fuel efficiency, you really cannot expect much from a vehicle that weighs so much and also offers so much performance. We managed to extract 5-6 km/l with very careful and sedate driving and approximately 3-3.5 km/l with some aggressive driving. The SUV has a massive fuel tank though (96-litres) so it can go on for around 400 kms on a single tank.
Driving Dynamics – Now this is the most interesting part about the G63 AMG. The steering is a bit on the heavier side and the SUV’s handling is not what you’d expect. We all know that SUVs aren’t great handlers but this one takes things to another level. The G63 understeers a lot and when you turn the steering, it actually takes the car ages to actually turn. So when you turn around the steering thinking that the car will also turn, it actually doesn’t and takes some time before it slowly starts turning. This might take some time getting used to but then that’s it. People who love vehicles with sharp handling will loathe this AMG.
However, the G63 AMG stays extremely stable at high speeds. The ride quality is a bit on the stiffer side but it manages to handle undulations with ease. The suspension does make a thud sound when you crash into a pothole but overall it’s quite manageable and not a deal-breaker or anything. The SUV is equipped with chunky 275 section 20-inch wheels which have tremendous levels of grip providing a lot of confidence on various types of road surfaces and also at high speeds. Braking is also excellent which is pretty much a given because such a powerful vehicle always needs good stopping power too.
Safety and After Sales Service – Talking about safety, well the G63 AMG is loaded to the gills. It is equipped with front, side and pelvis airbags for the driver and front passenger and side airbags for all passengers. The SUV also gets upfront and rollover sensors, NECK-PRO, ABS, BAS brake assist with brake servo assistance, Electronic Traction System 4ETS, Acceleration Skid Control, ESP, AMG high-performance braking system, Hill Start Assist and Adaptive Brake with hold function, TPMS and anti-theft alarm. In terms of after sales service, Mercedes continues to be excellent and the company has always had a good reputation in this regard.
Verdict – As I mentioned earlier, I am not much of an SUV fan (even though I’ve been reviewing a lot of SUVs lately) but the G63 AMG Crazy Colour made me fall in love with it. It looks killer no doubt, it has loaded interiors, it provides tremendous acceleration and is a proper drag car and the exhaust growl is something to die for. The G will surely appeal to people who don’t care much about handling but want power and a go-anywhere capability which the G63 surely has. The Crazy Colour trim is like an icing on the cake which makes the highly desirable vehicle even more desirable. The SUV is downright expensive thanks to our massive import duties but I’d really love to own the Crazy Colour one day, maybe in the bright orange shade and not this green one. Overall, a great vehicle that appeals more to the heart and less to the head.
The Mercedes G63 AMG has a couple of rivals which might look more modern and have better handling but the Benz still appeals a lot more to the heart.
* Old-school looks command road presence
* Mind-blowing acceleration and exhaust note
* Performs pretty well off the road too
What’s Not So Cool
* Gearbox isn’t as smooth as expected
* Lacks rear seat space
Alternatives: Porsche Cayenne GTS, Range Rover SVR
Mercedes G63 AMG Crazy Colour Specifications
* Engine: 5461cc, V8, Twin-Turbo
* Power: 544 BHP @ 5500 RPM
* Torque: 760 Nm @ 2000 – 5000 RPM
* Transmission: 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS automatic
* 0-100 km/hr: 5.4 seconds
* Top Speed: 210 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 4-5 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: Solid live axle, coil springs, gas-pressurised shocks
* Tyres: 275/50/20
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front and Rear)
* Safety: Eight airbags, ABS with EBD, BAS, ESP, ASR, Traction Control
Mercedes G63 AMG Crazy Colour Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4763 mm X 1855 mm X 1938 mm
* Wheelbase: 2850 mm
* Turning Radius: 6.62 metres
* Ground clearance: 205 mm
* Boot Volume: 480 litres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 96-litres/ 14-litres reserve
* Kerb Weight: 2550 kgs
Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta