New looks, new tech, more power!

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 is the high-performance version of the latest-generation GLE SUV. Redesigned from the ground up, it features a new exterior design that’s a bit bland, but the modern interior with state-of-the-art technology makes up for that. The most important update lurks under the hood, where Mercedes-Benz replaced the old 5.5-liter V-8 with the modern 4.0-liter V-8. Available with either 563 or 603 horsepower, it almost as powerful as the competition. The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 and the GLE 63 S will arrive in the United States by the end of 2020. Let’s find out more about this high-performance SUV in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GLE63.

  • 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    563
  • Torque @ RPM:
    553
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.0 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Exterior

  • Sportier design
  • Panamericana grille
  • Aggressive bumpers
  • Lightweight wheels
  • Dark chrome trim
  • Optional black trim
  • Plenty of customization options
  • Beefed-up engine hood
2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Exterior
- image 874979

Just like its predecessor, the current-generation AMG GLE 63 is a sportier version of the regular GLE.

Up front, the main highlight is the Panamericana grille that larger and features vertical slats in dark chrome.

There’s a big Mercedes star in the center and an AMG badge on the right. The headlamps are identical to the standard model, now featuring a simpler, almost rectangular design.

The bumper is obviously sportier thanks to the wider side vents that feature black trim. The surrounding areas are finished in body color. The jet-wing design lower section includes a splitter at the bottom. Both the splitter and the trim around the vents feature silver trim. The engine hood also looks sportier thanks to a couple of power domes that flank the center section.

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The profile isn’t very different from the standard model, but this isn’t surprising. We can spot minor revisions to the side skirts, which are now painted in body color and feature silver trim. The mirror caps are finished in body color, which is a bit disappointing given that you can get carbon-fiber on other models. The SUV rides on 20-inch wheels as standard, but you can order 21- and 22-inch rollers from the options list.

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The rear end boasts minor revisions too. The spoiler on the roof is a bit larger than usual, while the AMG-specific bumper is black at the bottom and features a sporty diffuser and two rectangular twin tailpipes. A Silver Shadow trim strip adorns the area above the exhaust pipes.

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You can customize the AMG model even further with the AMG Night Package. This bundle adds a front splitter, bumper trim, side skirt inserts, mirror caps, and window frames in Dignified Black, tailpipes and black chrome, and dark-tinted windows. Of course, the badge on the tailgate will get an additional S on the AMG GLE 63 S model.

Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Interior

  • Based on E-Class
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • 12.3-inch displays
  • Premium features
  • New technology
  • Plenty of passenger room
  • Improved trunk space
  • Nappa leather standard
  • Sporty features
  • Unique AMG trim
2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Interior
- image 874996
The interior is once again identical to the standard model, but Mercedes-Benz spiced things up with loads of AMG-specific features.

Of course, the big highlight inside the GLE is the massive display that stretches from the driver side to the center stack. It features two 12.3-inch screens that are placed next to each other, with one acting as an instrument cluster and the other one as an infotainment system. Both feature AMG graphics and display custom information and menus. Both screens also include now more performance-oriented information like speed, torque, G-forces, lap times, and tire pressure.

The steering wheel is clearly unique to this model. It feature sportier lower spokes with "AMG" lettering and a rim wrapped in luxurious Nappa leather. The AMG GLE 63 S model combines Nappa leather with Dinamica microfiber for better grip. You can choose for a range of leather colors and you can also opt for a two-tone finish for the door panels and dashboard. The center dash area that includes the A/C vents features carbon-fiber trim.

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The seats are also wrapped in Nappa leather and they're obviously sportier than usual.

The bolsters are bigger and together with the integrated headrests provide enhanced support for spirited driving. The wide center console between them is fitted with an AMG control panel with additional switches for the three-stage ESP, manual transmission mode, and controls for adaptive damping adjustment and suspension level. The rear seats aren’t as sporty, but they can be fitted with full electric adjustment.

Other highlights include AMG-branded, brushed stainless steel pedals with rubber studs, black floor mats with "AMG" lettering, AMG badges on the front seat backrests, and higher quality stitching on every surface.

Technology is also top-notch in the AMG GLE 63.

The SUV is fitted with the already familiar MBUX infotainment system, which is smarter than ever and include more features than ever.

It features voice control that recognizes and understands all commands related to infotainment and vehicle control. It also includes gesture control, so you can access various features without having to press on the screen.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Interior
- image 874995

The AMG’s MBUX system is a bit different compared to the standard model, especially when you’re using it in Supersport mode. This setup tells you when to shift up in manual transmission mode and displays the gear in yellow. It also includes a warm-up menu for engine and transmission oil temperature, a set-up menu for the AMG Dynamic Select features, and a Race-Timer that shows stopwatch, lap, and sector times.

As far as practicality goes, the AMG model is similar to the regular GLE when it comes to passenger room. But how does it compare to its biggest rival, the BMW X5 M? Well, the AMG GLE 63 offers 40.5 inches of headroom in the front, and that’s only 0.3 inches below the Bimmer. Front legroom is rated at 40.3 inches, a half-inch more than the X5 M, while front should room is 58.3 inches versus the BMW’s 60 inches. Second-row headroom comes in at 39.6 inches, 1.1 more than the X5 M, while legroom is 40.9 inches, 3.5 more than the BMW. Second-row shoulder room is about on par at 58.3 for the GLE and 58.1 for the X5. Overall, the AMG GLE 63 offers a bit more of almost everything, but not by much.

When it comes to Cargo room, the AMG GLE 63 swallows up to 29.1 cubic feet of luggage behind the second-row seats. That’s a bit less than the BMW X5 M, rated at 33.9 cubic feet. Fold the second row and the trunk grows to a more impressive 72.6 cubic feet. That’s only marginally more than the BMW, rated at 72.3 cubic feet. This is also a bit more than the Audi Q7, which swallows up to 71.6 cubic feet of cargo.

Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Performance

  • 4.0-liter V-8 engine
  • Up to 603 horsepower
  • Up to 627 pound-feet
  • 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds
  • Sport automatic transmission
  • All-wheel drive
  • Self-leveling suspension
  • EQ Boost technology
2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Drivetrain
- image 874999
The AMG GLE 63 no longer features the old 5.5-liter V-8 engine. Mercedes-Benz ditched the dated unit and fitted the more modern, 4.0-liter V-8 mill under the hood.

Output of the AMG GLE 63 is now up at 563 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for a 13-horsepower and 47-pound-foot increase over the outgoing model. It might not sound like much, but combined with the lighter architecture, it leads to significant improvements performance-wise. The 0-to-60 mph sprint dropped from 4.2 seconds to only four clicks. While standard top speed remains locked at 155 mph, you can run up to 174 mph if you select the optional AMG Driver’s Package.

Moving over to the GLE63 S variant, it comes with 603 horses and a whopping 627 pound-feet of twist on tap. That’s a 26-horsepower and 66-pound-foot increase over the old model. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes only 3.8 seconds, versus 4.2 in the old model. Top speed also remains limited at 155 mph, but you can opt for the same AMG Driver’s Package to raise to 174 mph.

Another important change is the EQ Boost system, which combines a starter motor and alternator in a single electric motor integrated between the engine and the transmission. This motor adds 22 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Drivetrain
- image 875000

How does it compare to the BMW X5 M? Well, the Bimmer comes with 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, so the Merc falls behind by a notable 37 horsepower, while torque is the same. The BMW X5 M comes with 617 horsepower on tap, 14 horses more than the AMG GLE 63 S. However, this Merc benefits from an extra 74 pound-feet of twist.

Official figures put the Bimmer above the Merc when it comes to acceleration. The X5 M hits 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, two seconds quicker than the AMG GLE 63. The X5 M Competition hits the benchmark in 3.7 seconds, a tenth-second quicker than the AMG GLE 63 S.

The new V-8 engine is just about power. It’s more efficient too, mostly thanks to the cylinder deactivation feature. In the partial-load range, cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which reduces the fuel consumption. It’s also available when you select the Comfort drive program as long as you don’t go past 3,250 rpm. You can monitor this feature through the special display in the instrument cluster, which indicates whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is presently operating in four- or eight-cylinder mode.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Exterior
- image 874985
All the power and torque hits the wheels through a revised, performance-oriented 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

An electromechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle and a computer calculates and distributes the best possible torque split. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and the other way around is seamless. The AWD system also improves the SUV’s longitudinal dynamics and improves acceleration.

The SUV is also fitted with a high-performance, AMG Speedshift TCT 9G transmission. The unit is specially tuned to handle the V-8’s high power and shifting is quicker than ever. You can also use it in a manual mode via the shifters behind the steering wheel.

The AMG Dynamic Select feature has been improved and enables you to drive the SUV in various setups, starting with a Comfort mode for comfortable and fuel-efficient driving.

Next up is Sport, which prepares the SUV for more agile responsible to the gas pedals, as well as shorter shift times, earlier and more precise downshifts, and a more dynamic suspension setup.

There’s also Sport+ with more extreme sporty characteristics. This mode enables double declutching on downshifts, increased idle speed for faster acceleration, and a more dynamic setup for the suspension and steering. individual enables you to customize everything from the transmission, suspension, and the exhaust system. This setting also activates the gliding function in the Reduced and Moderate drive settings.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Exterior
- image 874997
Next up is Race, standard in the S model only, which puts the SUV into a highly dynamic driving setup specifically tailored for closed race circuits.

All of the parameters are configured for maximum performance.

Trail mode is for when you go off-road or if you have to tackle muddy or slippery ground. The suspension is raised by 2.2 inches and the suspension is prepared for off-road driving. Finally, Sand mode enables you to drive comfortably on loose, sandy surfaces. In this mode the suspension is also raised by 2.2 inches.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 specifications
Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4MATIC+ Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 4MATIC+
Engine 4.0-litre V8 with twin turbocharging and integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator 4.0-litre V8 with twin turbocharging and integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator
Displacement 3982 cc 3982 cc
Output 563 hp at 5750-6500 rpm (+13 hp) from EQ Boost starter-alternator 603 hp at 5750-6500 rpm (+22 hp) from EQ Boost starter-alternator
Peak torque 553 lb-ft at 2250-5000 rpm 627 lb-ft at 2500-4500 rpm
Drive system layout AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission
Fuel consumption - combined   11.4 l/100 km*   11.5 l/100 km*
Combined CO2 emissions 261 g/km* 262 g/km*
Efficiency class E E
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.0 s 3.8 s
Top speed 250 km/h** 280 km/h***

Suspension and Brakes

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Exterior
- image 874994
Unlike the regular GLE, the AMG models ride on the AMG Ride Control+ air suspension as standard.

They also feature the Adaptive Damping System with both features paired to combine agility and good dynamics with maximum traction and day-to-day comfort.

The suspension also features pneumatic self-leveling, which maintains a constant ride height regardless of the SUV’s load. But you can adjust the ride depending on the driving mode or by manually using the switch on the center console. The ride is generally lowered by 0.4 inches in Sport, Sport+, and Race modes from speeds of 75 mph and raised back to normal speed falls below 44 mph. When switching to Trail or Sand, the vehicle raises automatically by 2.2 inches at speeds below 44 mph.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Exterior
- image 874971

The AMG GLE 63 also features an electronically controlled locking differential at the rear axle as standard. This feature ensures optimum grip and maximum handling safety by enabling you to accelerate out of corners earlier and with more power.

Stopping power comes from larger, high-performance brakes with six-piston fixed brake calipers and 15.7-inch discs in the front and single-piston floating brake calipers and 14.6-inch discs in the rear. The base model comes with grey calipers, while the S model features red clamps. Optionally you can go with a higher performance, ceramic braking system with bronze-colored calipers. Not only lighter, ceramic brakes also have higher overall and fading stability.

Prices

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Exterior
- image 874983

Pricing information for the U.S. market is not yet available, but the new-generation AMG models should be a bit more expensive than the outgoing SUVs. With the old AMG GLE 63 priced from $103,050, the new hauler will probably come in at around $106,000. Likewise, the old AMG GLE 63 S starts from $110,200, so the new-generation will probably cost around $115,000 before options.

Competition

BMW X5 M

Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the BMW X5 M looks sportier than before on the outside and feature a more modern interior. It’s also fitted with enough technology to give its Mercedes-badged rival a run for its money. For the first time ever, the X5 M is available with two outputs, just like the AMG GLE 63. The base model features a twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 that cranks out 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. BMW also offers a Competition version that cranks out 617 horses and the same amount of torque. While the upgrade isn’t massive, it enables BMW to better compete in this segment. A bit more powerful than the AMG GLE 63, the X5 M is also a tad quicker from 0 to 60 mph. The BMW X5 M starts from $105,100, while the Competition version comes in at $114,100 before options.

Read our full review of the BMW X5 M.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the Cayenne is as impressive as performance SUVs get, especially in Turbo guise. Powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8, the range-topping model comes with 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque on tap, which enables it to reach 60 mph in a scant 3.7 seconds with the Performance Start option. While it’s not as powerful as the competition, the Cayenne Turbo is the quickest of the bunch. Porsche also offers a more powerful Turbo S model in the form of an E-Hybrid model. Pairing the same V-8 engine to an electric motor, it comes with a whopping 671 horsepower and 664 pound-feet on tap. On the flipside, the Cayenne Turbo is significantly more expensive that the competition. While the Turbo retails from $126,500, the Turbo S E-Hybrid fetches $161,900 before options.

Read our review of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

Conclusion

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Exterior
- image 874981

Just like the current E-Class sedan, the new GLE features significant improvements in all departments. With revised looks, new tech, and even a semi-autonomous function, the AMG GLE 63 is finally on par with the redesigned[BMW X5 M and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. More importantly, the performance SUV boasts revised aerodynamics and a brand-new engine with the best performance available on the market. Okay, so it’s not quite as quick as the competition, but it has what it takes to give them a run for its money and it’s one of the best options when it comes to luxury features and technology.

  • Leave it
    • Not as quick as the Cayenne Turbo
    • Tough competition from BMW

References

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Exterior Spyshots
- image 687363

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE.

2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 High Resolution Exterior
- image 623836

Read our full review on the current, 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE63.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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