Colorado Adventure: Lexus LX570 vs. Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63 – Going Deep Into Wilderness

Lexus LX570 vs. Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63 photo: TFLtruck

The Lexus LX570 vs. Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63 comparison is more about adventure than dollars, although these two are high-end luxury machines. Andre Smirnov and I had the rare opportunity to drive both vehicles back-to-back on some rough terrain (just dirt roads for the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63 – the Lexus LX570 did some real off-roading), and we wondered which one we would prefer.

Remember: This was just for the hell of it.

Photo: Nathan Leach-Proffer

The Lexus LX570 has a 383 horsepower 5.7-liter V8 that makes 403 lbs-feet of torque. It comes equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and one of the most aggressive off-road systems available. Our tester’s MSRP was $88,905 and it was rated at 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. A full-time four-wheel drive with system with TORSEN® limited-slip center differential (with a manual-locking feature) comes with a fully adjustable suspension. The two row version we tested has a curb weight of 6,000 lbs.

Ironically, other than high “snoot” value, the only thing they match-up with is fuel economy ratings.

Photo: Nathan Leach-Proffer

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63’s engine is a handcrafted, 577 hp AMG 5.5L V8 biturbo that makes 561 lb-ft of torque. It’s hooked up to a 7-speed and a full-time 4MATIC® all-wheel drive features an AMG-specific transfer case with a permanent 40:60 front/rear torque split. It starts at $125,300 and it gets 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. According to Mercedes-Benz, the AMG GLS63 weighs 5,754 lbs.

Driving:

Photo: Nathan Leach-Proffer

As expected, each one excelled in its chosen environment. We had an opportunity to drive both back to back at the Rocky Mountain Redline Climb event. This event brings journalists and automakers upon to the scenic mountains surrounding Breckenridge, Colorado. Several vehicles (including the Lexus and AMG) are available to be driven on challenging roads.

Unlike the rest of the vehicles at the event, the Mercedes-Benz was permitted to be drive on dirt roads and none of the challenging trails. The Lexus is smooth on the road, but it’s tippy at the limit. On the other hand, it is a brute off-road and its bevy of electronic driver’s aids were impressive all-round.

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63 is an absolute cannonball on the road. Its beefy acceleration and firm, low stance makes for a feeling of a giant sports car. Still, if you back off of the power and macho engine note, it can become a docile mall-cruiser. Like the Lexus, you can see the big AMG coming a mile away; however, unlike the Lexus, you can hear the AMG coming a mile away.

Choices:

Nathan, “The Lexus LX570 is insanely capable and, for those of you who want a more luxurious version of the Toyota Land Cruiser, this may be your ride. I don’t like the tire and wheel combo, but the rest of the vehicle oozes class and capability. It’s a shame that most of these will never be taken off-road.

Andre, “The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63 is the one for me. It’s gangster-cool and it drives like a brute. The engine note alone is enough to set your hair on fire. I know it’s not an off-roader, but it is super cool. I wish it was more affordable.

Both impressed and we can’t wait to do a detailed review of each one.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.