2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 / G65 Reviews

Since its introduction way back in 1979, the Mercedes-Benz G-class—better known as the Geländewagen or G-wagen—has become an off-road icon and a certified status symbol. Apparently, the lumbering luxury SUV’s specialized skills and astronomical price fascinated the speed freaks at AMG, Mercedes Benz’s high-performance division. Enter the 563-hp G63 and the 621-hp G65, two frighteningly quick and insanely expensive twins that function primarily as enablers of macho braggadocio. While their horrible handling and choppy ride could only appeal to masochists, those qualities only increase their mystique. Most people don’t understand the illogical appeal of these absurd antiques. As for us? We get it: It’s a G thang.

What’s New for 2018?
For the 2019 model year, Mercedes-Benz is overhauling the G-class inside and out and will launch the next generation of the legendary off-roader. But before the curtain is lifted on the new model, Mercedes has added light updates to the 2018 AMG versions. These include new packages with specific paint colors, chrome accents, and a two-tone Saddle Brown leather interior with carbon-fiber flourishes.

Trims and Options We’d Choose
It may be futile to try to apply sound financial reasoning when buying outrageously absurd $100,000-plus vehicles, but there has to be a line somewhere. Or maybe not. The main differences between the G63 and the G65 are their powertrains and sticker prices. The 563-hp twin-turbo V-8 G63 starts at $143,795 ($1400 more than in 2017), and the 621-hp twin-turbo V-12 G65 goes for $223,695 ($2300 more than last year). But our testing revealed that the G65’s added power supplies minimal real-world performance enhancement and little extra value, considering the G65’s almost $80,000 premium. Even in the realm of the obnoxious and unnecessary, having the bigger badge isn’t worth it. With the cash saved, buyers can make the already loaded G63 their own with things such as a $6500 Designo Manufaktur paint job or the $20,000 AMG Performance Studio package, which includes retina-searing paintwork choices. All G63s and G65s come standard with:

• Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality
• Three lockable differentials
• AMG sport exhaust

Some buyers might spring for higher-end paint and interior trimmings, but the base G63 package is already impressive.