The 2025 AMG G63 Is the Best Thing Mercedes Makes Right Now

By automotive-mag.com 8 Min Read

Some people think Mercedes-Benz has lost its way. Questionable design choices across its electric EQ lineup and four-cylinder hybrids in place of fire-breathing V-8s have mainstream buyers and enthusiasts alike wondering, ‘What’s going on in Stuttgart?’ But not all hope is lost, because the Mercedes-AMG G63 still exists. And it’s even better than before.

The G63 is proof that Mercedes still knows its stuff. Visually the SUV is near-unchanged from the outgoing model, and there’s still a twin-turbo V-8 under the hood. The company could’ve gone on selling the same truck as before, and it’d still be the greatest SUV on sale today. But AMG improved the formula, adding a mild hybrid system and a revolutionary suspension.

Quick Specs 2025 Mercedes-AMG G63
Engine Twin-Turbo 4.0-liter V-8 Mild-Hybrid
Transmission Nine-Speed Automatic
Output 577 Horsepower / 627 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH 4.2 Seconds
Base Price / As-Tested Price $188,000 / $200,000 (est.)

There are a handful of exterior changes for 2025, but you really have to know where to look. There’s a new grille, new LED headlights and taillights, silver-painted brake calipers, and an AMG crest on the hood. That’s about it. The biggest changes, as ever with the G-Wagen, lie under the skin.

The 4.0-liter eight-cylinder engine is, thankfully, untouched for 2025, making the same 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque as before. Between it and the nine-speed auto sits the new piece of kit: an integrated starter generator (ISG) that adds up to 20 hp and 148 lb-ft when revs are low, assisting forward motion. Together, the two power sources are enough for a claimed 0-60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds, 0.3 seconds quicker than before. Top speed is electronically limited to 137 mph.

In practice that extra spice is immediately noticeable, delivering that little bit of push when you set off or when you put your foot down at highway speeds. Not that the V-8 is laggy or the nine-speed is slow, but having that hint of electric immediacy on tap provides another layer of confidence to go for that gap or make that pass. And best of all, it doesn’t hinder the thunderous V-8 rumble we’ve come to know and love.

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Pros: Unmatched Presence, Impeccable Off-Road Prowess, Exceptional Ride And Performance

Even more noticeable than the mild-hybrid tech is the G63’s fancy new suspension. AMG Active Ride Control is a new system available only to AMG-branded products, and it manages to revolutionize the G63’s performance both on and off the pavement. In place of traditional sway bars sit a collection of interconnected hydraulic lines controlled by valves on each damper, pressurized by a centralized motor. 

The valves, when closed, allow the G63 to isolate each corner so they work independently of the other three. That means if you hit a bump with the right front wheel, only that corner reacts. It doesn’t translate that shake to the rest of the car. The valves can also open to connect the system when the G63 goes through a corner, pressurizing the outside dampers to eliminate roll. In short, the system requires no tradeoffs between handling and ride comfort.

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The mostly glass-smooth roads of southern France aren’t exactly the ideal testing ground for this sort of suspension, but first impressions are good. The few bumps I managed to find were handled with grace. The G63 is no Maybach GLS, obviously, but the new model is far more comfortable. Cornering has improved too, but with a curb weight well over two tons and a center of gravity rivaling a skyscraper, there’s only so much a trick suspension can do. 

AMG Active Ride Control shines brightest when the G-Wagen is in its natural habitat: Off-road. Climbing up treacherous obstacles in the G63 is as easy as it’s ever been. There aren’t sway bars connecting the wheels left to right, meaning more suspension articulation for each corner. The tires leave the ground less often, resulting in more traction. Mix in the standard triple lockers and the G63 is as capable as any production off-roader. 

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Cons: Touch-Sensitive Buttons Are Annoying To Use, Painfully Expensive

Want to go faster on dirt? The new G63 can do that too. AMG Active Ride plays the part of long-travel rally suspension, soaking up giant bumps and big rocks at high speeds. It felt right at home on a muddy make-shift rally course used by Mercedes for testing, brushing off huge potholes and jumps. A sub-system called AMG Active Balance Control adjusts exactly how much roll the suspension delivers, letting you fine-tune handling as you’re bashing through loose dirt. Mercedes even added a seven-mode traction system that doles out whatever level of slip the driver prefers. And it all works seamlessly.

Knowing where to place the G63 is easy thanks to the truck’s upright driving position and unmatched visibility. The perks of having a shape that hasn’t changed much in 45 years is no growing beltline or pillars. Now there’s even an “invisible hood” function that uses cameras to show what’s in front of the nose for when you’re climbing uphill. Thankfully the cabin has been given only a minor facelift for 2025, with physical controls for things like climate control and the diff locks still in place. Sadly the steering wheel has been updated with the company’s touch-sensitive button array, making it harder and more confusing to use. 

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That fault aside, there’s not much to hate about the 2025 Mercedes-AMG G63. It continues its reign as the greatest all-around SUV on sale today, able to dance through back roads and climb up jagged rock faces without hesitation. A wonderful duality, but one that’ll cost you.

Mercedes hasn’t released pricing for the 2025 G63, but last year’s model started at $184,150 including destination, meaning this one will likely be even more expensive. And that’s before you factor in that available trick suspension, a must-have if you plan to do more than slap potholes on Rodeo Drive. 

A years-long waitlist proves price isn’t a pain point for buyers, though. If you can afford a new G63, it’s a no-brainer. Every other SUV in this price range isn’t nearly as fun or capable.

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