Mercedes-Benz G55 / G63 AMG Buyers Guide


History repeats itself, simple fact. Don’t believe me, take a look at the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG.  Unmistakably a military machine capable of conquering any terrain, now lining the driveways of every suburban neighborhood.

After 30+ years of evolution from the first Gelandewagen in 1979, the G63 AMG emerged from the Mercedes-Benz factory in Graz, Austria in 2013 with roots of a timeless off-road design, added with some improvements to highlight the modern need for luxury and refinement.

Taking over for the Mercedes-Benz G55, the G63 AMG became the highest trim level in the G-Class line, followed only by the G550. With the AMG badge, power isn’t a question. Under the hood sits a 5.5 liter twin-turbo V8, pushing out 536 horsepower and 561lb-ft of torque, coming from an AWD 7 speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission. All this helps the 5,876 pound beast get from 0-60mph in a respectable 5.3 seconds. Which is incredibly impressive, given the G63 is built with the aerodynamic structure of a cardboard box.

G 350 ( W 463 ) 2011

Looking the blast from the past straight in the face you pick-up on the aggressive attitude right way. With the chrome grill and front brush bar, that militaristic power is seen from the get go. Wide set headlights and LED daytime running lights give depth to the low-angular hood that houses the AMG engine beneath. The high and straight-up windshield helps cater to the vehicles off-road capability with the driver being able to see up and out over the hood.

Come along the side and the AMG brake calipers pleasantly poke through 20-inch 5 spoke alloy wheels. The excessive amounts of chrome continue down from the grill and brush bar to the quarter panels and doors. Below the beast sits a step-bar to assist with the task of getting in and out of the high-riding SUV. Two exhaust pipes on both sides, positioned below the back doors, let out a powerful AMG roar to remind you that this is no Range Rover.

At the rear, you truly get a sense of how this SUV was made with 90-degree angles and a square shape, in mind. Opening the trunk door feels like swinging open a bank vault door, hefty but solid. The back window while large has some sight taken away by the large stainless-steel spare wheel cover, adding more to the utility-style of the G63.

Inside you can see just how evolved this Mercedes-Benz truck has come. Though the militaristic style of the exterior makes you believe this truck should be roaming around after the apocalypse, the interior makes you see comfort in the finer things of life. You have the comfortable Designo leather seats encompassed by leather/wooden trim seated high against the large windows to give a great exterior view. Included in the redundant set-up of dash on the G63 you have the 7inch COMMAND LCD display that covers everything from auxiliary controls to map routes. The stock Harman/Kardon surround sound system only adds to the aggressive nature of the truck, delivering the quality of sound that most would look for in after-market audio systems. Practicality becomes a sacrifice though, with a cab built for five, there only seems to be one cup holder, jovial as it may sound, it’s an annoyance none the less

Inside and out, there is nothing less than a timeless Mercedes-Benz design that was met with today’s desire for luxury and power. While mixed with the best of both worlds, this is no luxury cross-over vehicle, this is an SUV through and through with the classic AMG power to take on any roads, dirt or otherwise.

Driving Experience:

Once behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG, the driver really gets a taste of what this historic car was built to do, drive tough. Designed with strong, off-road compatible axels and an AWD drive-chain, there ins’t much that this SUV can’t take.

Although the G63 is found on your local highways and byways, when snow, dirt, or ice hit, the timeless tank is designed to take it all. 3 differential-lock modes, located on the central dashboard enable the driver to choose from different styles of defensive driving. On a daily commute to work, none of these buttons need to be pressed, unless you find yourself stuck in a ditch. If that situation arises, the modes have been pre-set to get the truck moving again: 1-2-3. (DISCLAIMER: When differentials are locked, keep speeds under 10mph. Lock differentials in order: center (1), rear (2), and front (3) to make sure you don’t damage the drivetrain. Make sure to unlock the differentials once safely back on the road or you will damage the drivetrain


With Mercedes-Benz being the conscious and alert manufacturer they are, even inside the massive SUV a start/stop ECO mode tries to optimize fuel economy. However,  with an appalling fuel rating of 12 (city)/14 (highway) mpg rating, not much boosting is being done.

Acceleration isn’t as slow as the size of the SUV would lead you to believe. A press to the gas and the twin turbo V8 is ready to show you what it can do. Keeping a steady pace along your drive is doable, there is no dramatic deceleration when you remove your foot from the gas, but the AMG, top of the line  brakes keep the near 6,000 pound beast on its toes. Willing and able to stop on a dime, safety and security are not compromised for power and speed.

Coming into the turns with the G63’s top-heavy feel and powerful pull, it becomes apparent that this is no track car, what with the aerodynamics of your everyday house. The G63, while luxurious and sporty still has awful the turning radius of every other SUV.

Driving down the suburban roads that the G63 has now evolved into calling home, the AMG motor. The electric steering and electric motor combination call for a smooth and steady drive, but the steering could stand to be a little tighter. With almost 3 tons of truck underneath you, the last thing you want feel is out of control in your steering. When the ever random pot hole does hit, the truck doesn’t take well to the sudden dip in elevation. A heavy beast doesn’t glide over well, but then again, does a mid-size sedan take pot holes any better?


Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG Common Problems:

With a design going back three decades the G63 AMG is only 4 years old on the roads. On a car who’s development is so young, there are bound to be a few issues.

  • Rear Axle Bolts Fracture (Recall # 16V900000)

The bolts that secure the axles on the front and rear drive axle carriers may not have been assembled correctly. This causes the axles to become unstable and result in risky driving, leaving more chance for an accident. This has only affected the 2015 models.

  • Leaking Roof

A commonly reported issue in all years of the G63 is the leaking sun-roof. Make sure whenever you open the roof to make sure it is completely shut before washing your G63 or leaving it out in the rain. This issue while seeming small can lead to other, more serious issues. With a leak overhead, water could pool into the cabin, aesthetically damaging the trim and leather of the vehicle. Bigger picture, the water could leak inside the dash, creating electrical problems.

  • Electrical Problems

Mercedes-Benz is notorious for having electrical problems across the board in almost all of there models, no matter the year. The G63 suffers it’s own share of problems with numerous reports concerning the 2013-2015 models. Small issues: check engine or tire pressure light turning on for no reason at all, or the alarm going off without a click. Larger issues: the G63 has been known to stall while in motion or stopped. Along with that, features such as cruise control and the collision prevention assist (alarm alerting when you are too close to another vehicle) have been known to fail at random.

  • Plastic Wear & Tear

While most of the interior components of the G63 are a classy leather or wood, there are still some plastic parts. These parts are usually found to wear much faster than their leather counterparts and require a little extra TLC when detailing. The same issue on the interior can be seen on the exterior when it comes to the trim of the spare tire cover on the back of the G63, exposed to the elements more, the piece itself wears down faster than to be hoped for.


Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG Cost of Ownership/Maintenance

Mercedes-Benz has a staple of the 4 year or 50,000 mile warranty.

When it comes to repairs and cost of ownership, to keep your G63 running like new, Mercedes-Benz has implemented a Flex Service System into vehicles form 2009 and newer. This system alerts the driver when service is necessary on the vehicle, dependent on miles driven or years. When the system goes off there is an indicator of what service is needed. One wrench signifies Service A is needed. Two wrenches signifies Service B is needed.

Service A is to be performed every 8,000 to 10,000 miles or one year.

Service B is to be performed after 20,000 miles or two years.

The service cycle then repeats itself with so many miles and so many years of ownership.

Service A includes:

  1. Synthetic Motor Oil Replacement
  2. Oil Filter Replacement
  3. All Fluid Level Checks & Corrections Are Dependent On Factory-Recommended Service Intervals For Your Vehicle’s Year & Model
  4. Tire Inflation Check & Correction
  5. Brake Component Inspection
  6. Reset Maintenance Counter

And will cost on average between $200-$350, (All prices dependent on your location preference of shop, labor costs, etc.)

Service B includes:

  1. Synthetic Motor Oil Replacement
  2. Oil Filter Replacement
  3. Cabin Dust/Combination Filter Replacement
  4. Brake Fluid Exchange
  5. All Fluid Level Checks & Corrections Are Dependent On Factory-Recommended Service Intervals For Your Vehicle’s Year & Model.
  6. Tire Inflation Check & Correction
  7. Brake Component Inspection
  8. Reset Maintenance Counter

And will cost on average between: $500-$850, (All prices dependent on your location preference of shop, labor costs, etc.)

Other services fall into separate categories:

(All prices dependent on your location preference of shop, labor costs, etc.)

Front Brakes & New Rotors: $550-$800

Transmission Service with Filter & Gasket: $600-$700

4 Wheel Alignment: $150-250

Rear Brake Pads & New Rotors: $400-$750

Unlike a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Bentley, Mercedes-Benz are universally known and operated on cars. If franchise pricing intimidates you and you have an independent shop that you trust, chances are they will be able to perform the services for you without such high prices.


Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG Model Year Changes

As said before, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG is such a young car. So there haven’t been many changes to the SUV. Between the years of 2013-2015 the models stayed the same, from the interior to the exterior to the engine to the drive train.

However, the G63 AMG did replace the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG (last year of production being 2011). The improvements made between the two models is significant and worth mentioning.  40877aa2fd6f0610-picture-of-2010-mercedes-benz-g-class-g55-amg-exterior-manufacturer

  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG vs 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Mercedes-Benz took the outdated 5.4 V8 Sugercharged engine of the G55 and spruced it up with the 5.5 v8 Bi-Turbo we see in the G63. With a change in engine comes a change in the output, going from a flat 500hp and a 516lb-ft to a 531hp and 561lb-ft in the G63. Fuel consumption is slightly different, but still not any better. The G55 had a consumption of 11 (city) to 15 (highway) mpg and the G63 has the more narrowed range of 12 (city) and 14 (highway) mpg.

Cosmetic changes were definitely needed to get the G-Wagen out on the posh roads it dominates now. Gone is the 3 bar front-grill and mixed metal/plastic brush bar, now we are left staring into the face of a mean, 2 bar front grill, all chrome bared G63. The headlights were also updated for the 2013 SUV, giving it  day-time LED lights under the main bulbs. 19inch wheels were replaced by 20inch wheels, while only a slight change, a huge difference is made in the way the body of the G63 sits atop of the larger wheel.

What is on the inside matters most, right? Well the G63 knows that to be true. The inside-dash LCD screen has now been transferred to rest atop of the dash and is now surrounded by a muncher higher quality surround sound system (technological evolution at its finest). Replacing the G55 with updated interior with trims galore (wood, leather, carbon) the G63 also offers packages to pleasantly design the SUV to the owners liking, the G55 however came with no option packages, just a Design leather interior (in your choice of color) and your preference of exterior color, very basic.

All changes that were simply a part of the continuing 30 year evolution of the G-Wagen. As it continues down it’s historic route we can’t wait to see what Mercedes-Benz is going to do with the G-class next.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class (BR 463) 2015; AMG G 63 "Edition 463"Exterieur: palladiumsilber metallicexterior: palladium silver metallic

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG Options

Not much is to be said about options on the G63. Aside from paint options, The exterior stays the same from the factory to dealer, however the interior is given a few options to play with. While the options are limitless when it comes to playing with coloring for your cabin, know the Designo leather isn’t for the faint of heart, some designs costing up to $4,950 on the MSRP.


Coming from the factory with the Chrome package: chrome is found everywhere around the seat adjustments, switches, speakers, and door jams.

The PA6 package available for the 2014 and 2015 models adds more of the Designo leather and diamond stitching you love to the center door panels and the rear door inserts, with more Designo leather on the upper and lower dashboard. The package also includes AMG front sport seats. The package adds $4,950 to the original MSRP of the G63.

Also available in the 2014 and 2015 models is the AMG Carbon Trim package. The carbon trim would replace all the chrome on the interior switches, dash, and door lining. A sportier look that can add $2,950 to the MSRP.

Looking for a litte entertainment to please your passengers? The rear-entertainment system complete with two 7 inch LCD screens, two headphones, remote control, monitor holders, and the harness wiring will help rack up MSRP another $2,650. Other less pricey options include swapping out the steering wheel for a multi-function heated leather one, adding another $250 to the MSRP. The headliner can be swapped out for a more durable and classier Alcantara while adding $1,750 to the MSRP.


With limitless ideas and designs, you decide wether you aim for big, bad, and sporty. Elegant, refinement and luxury. Or combine the two like the G63 does already and have the best of both worlds.


“It’s the Lamborghini of SUV’s” someone once said, and to that, one would have to agree. The attention the G63 grabs out on the roads is unparalleled to what any Range Rover would get. Perhaps it is because it’s build like an off-road titan from the Carter administration. Or maybe it’s from the growl of the AMG engine. Whatever the reason, the time-defying beast is here to stay and wants us all to know it.

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