I drove a $97,000 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe to see if the SUV could deliver like a sports car. Here's the verdict.

Matthew DeBord/BIOur Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe is a compact luxury crossover SUV with the sloping rear end look of a sports coupe.
  • The top-spec performance variant of the GLC lineup is the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe.
  • The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe is powered by the 4.0 litre, biturbo V8 that produces 503 horsepower.
  • According to Mercedes, the GLC 63 S Coupe can do 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph.
  • The base 2018 GLC 300 Coupe started at $US47,300 while our GLC 63 S Coupe started at $US80,750. With fees and options, our top-of-the-line test car came to an as-tested price of $US97,330.

In all honesty, I’ve never been a huge fan of the SUV coupe. It’s a vehicle that is, to me, compromised at its very core. The need to be an SUV raises its center of gravity and thereby spoils its capabilities as a performance machine. While the performance-oriented tires and fastback rear end detract from its ability to go off road and carry cargo – two core competencies of SUVs.

This unholy union of luxury coupe and SUV is a somewhat recent phenomenon. Even though there had been a few oddball mashups in the 1980s and 1990s, the SUV coupe did reach mainstream status until the latter part of the last decade when BMW released the X6.

To my dismay, it proved to be a success. Especially in what are BMW’s two most important markets – the US and China.

Since then, Bimmer followed up with a second-generation mid-size X6 and a compact X4 coupe.

Read more: We drove a $US211,000 Porsche Panamera to see if it’s a hybrid supercar for the whole family. Here’s the verdict.

Naturally, Mercedes-Benz couldn’t let its arch nemesis go on unchallenged. Which is why Mercedes answered with the new compact GLC Coupe and the mid-size GLE Coupe.

Both vehicles are sleeker coupe variants of MB’s existing GLC and GLE SUVs.

Last fall, the good folks down at Mercedes drop off a brand new 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe for Business Insider to check out.

We were able to spend a week with the performance flagship of the GLC lineup with hopes that its excellence will force me to reconsider my disdain for the SUV coupe genre.

The base 2018 GLC Coupe started at $US47,300 while our GLC 63 S Coupe started at $US80,750. With fees and options, our top-of-the-line test car came to an as-tested price of $US97,330.

Here’s a closer look at the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe:

The four-door SUV coupe rose to prominence with the first generation BMW X6 that debuted for the 2008 model year.


Since then, BMW has followed up with a second generation X6 and…

Business Insider/Matthew DeBord

… A new compact X4.

Matthew DeBord/BI

In response, Mercedes introduced the GLC Coupe to take on the X6 and…

…The GLC Coupe to rival the X4.

Matthew DeBord/BI

The GLC Coupe is based on Mercedes’ existing GLC compact crossover that’s been on the market since 2016.

Hollis Johnson

Our top-spec test car is part of the Mercedes-AMG sub-brand and thus receives all of its latest performance-oriented styling upgrades.

Matthew DeBord/BI

As result, our tester came with more aggressive front spoilers, a set of matte black 21-inch wheels, and the Panamericana front grille borrowed from…

Matthew DeBord/BI

…The AMG GT sports car.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The side profile is where it truly stands out. It melds the high beltline of an SUV with the fastback roofline of a coupe.

Matthew DeBord/BI

From the rear, the GLC Coupe looks like a hatchback with some extra ground clearance.

Matthew DeBord/BI

Here’s the regular GLC for comparison.

Hollis Johnson

In addition to the quad sports exhausts, there’s also an optional carbon fibre spoiler.

Matthew DeBord/BI

Inside, the Mercedes’ cabin, which is based on the C-Class interior, impresses with solid cabin ergonomics and top-notch materials.

Matthew DeBord/BI

Especially the Nappa leather that dominate the cabin.

Matthew DeBord/BI

In our test car, the metal accents and the two-tone leather really brighten up the cabin.

Matthew DeBord/BI

Here’s a better look at the GLC’s front cabin.


In front of the driver, there’s a digital instrument display flanked by a pair of concise analogue gauges. Our tester was also equipped with an optional head-up display.

Matthew DeBord/BI

The center stack is equipped with a high-definition 8.4-inch display running an older version of the Mercedes corporate Command infotainment system. The GLC comes standard with a seven-inch screen. Overall, the system worked well. It’s clearly laid out and packed with functional content.


Instead of a touchscreen, the Mercedes system is operated using this rotary dial and touchpad combo.

Matthew DeBord/BI

As with past Mercedes vehicles we have tested, the Burmeister surround sound system delivered a truly pleasant listening experience.

Matthew DeBord/BI

In addition, the GLC 63 S coupe came equipped with adaptive cruise control, steering assist, lane keep assist, pedestrian recognition, parking assist, and active LED headlamps.

The rear cabin offers plenty of space of two passengers. However, anyone taller than six feet will find headroom to be somewhat limited to the sloping roofline.

Matthew DeBord/BI

Mercedes has not released the GLC Coupe’s cargo volume. However, it looks to be around 20 cubic feet with second-row seats up. According to MB, the GLC Coupe boasts 49.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded.

Matthew DeBord/BI

Under the hood lurks a handcrafted AMG 4.0 litre, biturbo V8 that produces 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The motor gets power to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission and Mercedes’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Both units have been beefed up by AMG for use in the GLC 63.

Matthew DeBord/BI

The base GLC 300 Coupe is powered by a 241 horsepower 2.0 litre, turbocharged inline four-cylinder. The mid-grade GLC 43 has 362 hp thanks to a 3.0 litre, biturbo V6. The second highest grade, the GLC 63 shares the GLC 63 S’s V8, but its version is detuned to 469 horsepower.

According to Mercedes, the GLC 63 S can do 0-60 mph in a swift 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 174 mph.

Matthew DeBord/BI

So, what’s it like to drive?

Matthew DeBord/BI

The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe really impressed up with quick its quick handling, composed demeanour, and muscular V8.

The GLC drove exceptionally well for what is effectively a 4,500-pound luxury SUV. The grippy rubber, all-wheel-drive system, and advanced air suspension teamed up to make the GLC 63 S a truly competent handler around the twisty bits.

The car felt well balanced and rather tossable. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it sports sedan good, but it was rather enjoyable.

And then there’s the engine. Few out there do V8s quite as well as AMG. And the handbuilt motor in our test car was an absolute marvel. With the sports exhaust engaged, the rumble is reminiscent of an old school muscle car.

Power on demand is the name of the gave and the motor’s 503 horsepower seemed to be on tap all-day everyday. Any time you need to dial up some speed, it seemed ready and willing to offer it up.

Our verdict.

Matthew DeBord/BI

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe is terrific. It’s powerful, luxurious, and a joy to drive.

It is, in my opinion, the perfect execution of a flawed concept. At the end of the day, fastback look of the Coupe doesn’t contribute to the GLC’s excellence. It only manages to make less useful in everyday life by robbing the car of cargo room and passenger headroom.

If you really want a high-performance German luxury muscle SUV, the Mercedes should definitely be high on your list of candidates. But don’t buy this Mercedes. Buy the non-coupe Mercedes-AMG GLC 63. It’s got less power with 469 ponies, but it’s only 0.1 seconds to 60 mph slower. It’s also $US10,000 cheaper with the same go-fast goodies and a heck of a lot more interior space.

It’s also a lot better looking.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.