2013 MERCEDES-BENZ G63 AMG. Click image to enlarge

Even with 2,550 kg of German steel to haul around, power is immense, immediate and always there. Mercedes-Benz claims that the G 63 AMG will officially go from 0–100 km/h in 5.4 seconds, but I think that is a bit conservative. Every time I fired up the Geländewagen, the mood struck me to unleash all 536 ponies for no other reason than to hear this AMG engine roar. After a week in the G-Class, I have concluded that every vehicle on the market needs dual side dump exhausts. The sound penetrating the cabin from the twin-blown V8 engine is euphoric. Nothing better than dropping the hammer on the highway and hearing that noise reverberating back into my cabin as it splashes off of the vehicles I pass. I spent most of the week with the rear windows open, even though it was very cold out, just to hear that sound.

Fun fact – the G 63 smells like various burning oils after driven hard. I think it raises the truck’s testosterone levels a few points.

Being what this truck is, I am not going to comment on fuel consumption other than to say that if I had a two-four of beer, and gave one bottle away for every litre of gasoline this truck used per 100 km, I would be left very, very thirsty and pretty well sober.

Even with the full AMG treatment and sporty 275/50R20 tires shod at all four corners, there is only so much sport that can be extracted from a vehicle with dual rigid axles. The G 63 handles no worse than the average family sedan, but any lunatic cornering is quickly quelled by the voice in your head thinking the truck will tip, roll or just continue straight. Further dissuading spirited driving is a bloodcurdling scream of trapped wind noise that invades the completely un-aerodynamic windshield at high speeds.

2013 MERCEDES-BENZ G63 AMG. Click image to enlarge

The steering is heavy at low speeds and provides the kind of feedback expected in a hardcore off-road truck. The ride is rough on all surfaces, and especially so on the highway, where it gets downright choppy. The AMG brakes, on the other hand, are most impressive and stop this urban tank with alarming authority.

But, as much as I try, evaluating this G 63 AMG on its merits alone is a futile effort. AMG has taken a truck whose sole purpose is off-road prowess, and then installed an engine, tires and exhaust system not meant for off-roading. It is a pure image truck lacking any real practical reasons for ownership. But when was the last time any of us bought a vehicle without a little emotion involved? It is pricey, heavy, inefficient, cramped and out of date, but man, is it ever awesome!

Pricing: 2013 Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG
Base price: $149,900
Options: $5,000 (designo Leather Exclusive), $2,500 (designo mocha black)
A/C tax: $100
Freight: $2,095
Price as tested: $159,495

2013 BMW X6 M
2013 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged
2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Crash test results
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

Connect with Autos.ca