Few cars are as imposing as the Mercedes Benz G-Class, especially one with the added AMG nameplate. Before you even step into the massive SUV, you get the sense that you can go anywhere in the new G63 AMG. Once on the inside, however, you are overwhelmed by an understated luxury that only cars in this league possess. From the plush leather-clad steering wheel with aluminium shift paddles to the bespoke two-tone seats, the interior, much like the exterior, is purpose-built.
Start the engine up and immediately the twin-turbo V8 roars to life. Although the cabinet is rather quiet, you will be under no illusion as to the monster that lurks beneath the bonnet in front of you. Automatic mode is the best set up, comfortable and responsive without leaving much room for driver error. On take-off, there is a hush but addictive rasp coming from the AMG sports exhaust. The G63 feels super solid but most owners will use this car in the urban jungle with little to challenge its supremacy instead of off-road where this car is all but untouchable. It does have an annoyingly wide turning circle and it’s not as comfortable as some of its competitors namely the brand new Range Rover. This shouldn’t be surprising as the G-class has been around for over 30 years and although it is very solid, it is very mechanical and will only really be appreciated by the truly adventurous at heart.
Despite its massive size, the latest Range Rover just isn’t as imposing alongside the G63. It is a lot more comfortable though and features technology that even NASA could be proud of, making it easier to live with every day. It’s quite capable of doing the daily commute to school then to work, meetings, gym, school and back home. It is equally at home in rough terrain although unlike in the G63 you would be more worried about something possibly going wrong. It won’t but nevertheless, it fails to give that assured feeling you get in the Mercedes.
Ultimately the choice between the two cars boils down to individual taste and the reason behind the purchase. The G63 has that unmatched presence and is a lot more exclusive whereas the Range Rover is quicker, nimbler, more obviously luxurious and ultimately easier to live with as a daily commute. It isn’t as rare though and you can bet that the BBBEE cats are already onto it, so are the Sandton moms and the boardroom skothanes!
Of course neither of them are cheap with the G63 starting at R2 110 900 (The base model 350 BlueTec is priced from R1,3 million) while the Range Rover Autobiography with its supercharged V8 engine will set you back at least R2.1 million (The standard Vogue is a more reasonable R1,5 million but only comes in the 3.0 litre diesel).
Writer: Katlego Modipane