Pros: Combines sports car power and go-anywhere ability; boxy styling never seems to get old; you'll probably never see another one on the road

Cons: Extremely expensive for an SUV; gas-guzzling V8 gets only 12 miles per gallon city/14 mpg highway; archaic interior with an upright seating position

What's new: The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG is all-new for the 2013 model year. It replaces the G55 AMG, which was last offered in 2011.

Overview:

The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG is the high-performance version of the boxy, high-end G-Class SUV. Developed in the 1970s as a military vehicle, the G-Class (affectionately called G-wagen for its original name, Gelandewagen, which means off-road vehicle) has transformed into a high-end luxury vehicle. It's been officially available in the U.S. since 2002.

The G63 AMG is replacing the G55 AMG for the 2013 model year. The G55 was last offered in 2011 and used a supercharged V8. The G63 is even wilder, replacing that powerplant with a larger twin-turbo V8. Power is a muscular 544 horsepower, which is transmitted to the ground through a quick AMG Speedshift 7-speed automatic. All G-Class models feature standard 4-wheel drive.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG starts around $135,000, which makes it one of the most expensive SUVs on the market. Competition comes from the Range Rover Supercharged (which starts around $100,000) and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo (which starts just under $110,000). For the G63 AMG model's buyers, it's likely that no other SUV offers the same bold styling and intense performance.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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