BMW X6 M Competition vs. Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S: Asphalt Carvers

We love driving quick. We like SUVs. Whenever you merge these two collectively, you get quick and highly effective SUVs. Appears like enjoyable, no?

BMW’s M division and Mercedes-AMG are each recognized for his or her efficiency coupes, however recently they’ve been crafting sporty SUVs with the purpose of delivering the identical go-fast expertise you’d anticipate in certainly one of their high-performance automobiles. Positive, SUVs are greater, taller, and heavier, however whenever you add a robust engine, retune the suspension, and add all-wheel drive, the result’s an exhilarating expertise. The BMW X6 M Competitors and the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S are two gripping SUVs whose job is easy but troublesome to realize: enchant the motive force. The 2 automakers share the identical goal, however every goes in regards to the execution in its personal manner. Which one does it finest?

Categorical Your self

Don’t let the BMW X6’s form throw you off—the fastback’s bizarre proportions may not be classically fairly, however you’ll quickly neglect about that when you get behind the wheel. With 617 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-Eight by no means appears to get drained. Mated to an eight-speed computerized, the powertrain is easy and responsive. One of many issues we like about driving SUVs is the upper journey, and the X6’s 8.5 inches from terra firma is greater than sufficient to offer the motive force a commanding view. With an as-tested value of $132,745, this X6 M Competition doesn’t appear that costly. In spite of everything, this (together with the X5 M Competitors) is probably the most highly effective BMW SUV you should purchase in the present day.

BMW and Mercedes have all the time had an in depth rivalry, and the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S is a robust adversary to the X6 M competitors. Powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-Eight engine underneath the hood, this GLE places out 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. One massive distinction, nonetheless, is Mercedes’ EQ mild-hybrid system, which consists of an electrical motor that delivers 21 hp and 184 lb-ft. In addition to serving to its go-fast numbers, it might probably additionally shut off the engine and cruise utilizing electrical increase solely. In comparison with the BMW, this Mercedes provides an additional gear, however it didn’t really feel as fast to reply. The Mercedes’ appears to be like are beautiful from each angle, however it lacks its Munich counterpart’s aggressive stance. The Mercedes’ as-tested value of $133,075 falls proper in keeping with the Bimmer’s.

Though their appears to be like may be utterly completely different, this duo is making an attempt its finest to impress. It’s uncommon that we get two rivals so intently matched inside a hoop.

On the Asphalt

Angeles Crest Freeway, among the finest roads on the planet, served because the stage for this faceoff. Its twisty roads, hill climbs, and descents are good for anybody who loves driving.

The X6 M demonstrated that it likes to do the work. It pulls and pulls with out getting drained. “It’s massive, brutish, and highly effective,” options editor Christian Seabaugh stated. It’s so punchy that you simply neglect about its dimension; it doesn’t really feel heavy, its journey consists, and it likes to lean into the corners with out hesitation. You’ll really feel vertical motions when driving on damaged pavement, although. The journey isn’t as stiff as different M SUVs (suppose X3), however highway vibrations can disrupt the peacefulness contained in the cabin. Thankfully, the motive force can tune the engine, chassis, steering, and brake response to their liking. A lot of the judges most popular setting the engine in Sport Plus and conserving the suspension in Consolation, which made an enormous distinction within the journey high quality.

However, the AMG is paying homage to the GT R we drove on the identical roads just a few weeks again. “I actually sensed the AMG GT roots with that motor, transmission, and steering,” highway take a look at editor Chris Walton stated. “How is that this doable in an SUV?” However an digital concern sparked combined reactions within the judges. For some, the steadiness management system would minimize energy randomly—typically through the worst doable second, making use of the brakes throughout a nook. The problem was random and occurred a few instances when going up or down the mountain highway. When the AMG’s pc determined to cooperate, although, the SUV delivered.

The air suspension makes the journey very snug, and even when pressed exhausting, it all the time managed to remain managed. Seabaugh stated the AMG felt supple over bumps, and Walton described its physique management as higher than the X6’s. Mercedes engineers exactly tuned its suspension to ship a sporty journey with out beating up any of the occupants.

Whereas the Mercedes excels in journey high quality, it misses in energy supply. The transmission took some time to downshift, affecting the fast torque supply. “Even in Race mode, it upshifts too early and would typically downshift seemingly at random midcorner,” Seabaugh added. And when the increase is there, the AMG doesn’t really feel as quick because the X6 M. However, the BMW by no means quits; its powertrain labored flawlessly, delivering the punch every time the motive force requested for it.

In the long run, we have been break up on how the AMG dealt with. Some felt there wasn’t sufficient increase; others praised the engine for its sportiness. However the consensus was that its steering, although correct, didn’t actually present any suggestions.

“The X6 is a monster, a mutant freak,” options editor Scott Evans stated. “It’s like a Porsche with out the refinement.” It felt at house operating up and down Angeles Crest Freeway, sticking to the twisty slopes and carrying on like there was no problem. BMW engineers actually centered on the small print to make the X6 a fun-to-drive SUV. Its V-Eight felt easy and appeared to do every thing proper. The transmission is exact and easy, and its steering is correct. “You may go deeper into corners than the hulk and bulk of the car initially suggests to you,” senior options editor Jonny Lieberman stated. “The factor simply retains on turning.”


Similar to their exteriors, every SUV has a special enchantment inside. The Mercedes appears to be like very polished and options a big show and hidden buttons, whereas the BMW’s bucket-like seats and M badges on the middle console, seatbacks, steering wheel, and shifter point out that you simply’re inside a high-performance SUV. The GLE additionally has an AMG badge on the steering wheel, however the cabin doesn’t really feel that completely different than the common GLE’s.

Each designs circulate effectively, however the Mercedes feels extra luxurious than the Bimmer. Its structure is opulent with out being too extravagant, and every thing feels prefer it’s in the proper place. We’re not large followers of its touchpad controls; you must dig by means of menus to navigate the infotainment system. However the total look is premium and wealthy, with tender supplies in all places that make you’re feeling such as you’re truly driving one thing that’s value north of $100,000.

BMW’s newest iDrive system is less complicated to make use of than the GLE’s touchpad because of less complicated menus and simpler entry. With wi-fi Apple CarPlay, you solely have to attach your cellphone as soon as, and it’ll robotically reconnect each time you activate the engine. Though you will need to use a wire to make use of CarPlay within the Mercedes, the GLE 63 S will get further factors for having Android Auto compatibility, one thing the Bimmer lacks. (Beginning this summer time, BMW will add Android Auto to its vehicles.) Like within the GLE, whenever you enter the X6, you’re feeling you’re in a particular cabin, and relying on the colour mixture, the X6 feels distinctive—particularly whenever you get the Ametrin Metallic exterior paint, a sublime eggplant shade.

Each SUVs really feel fairly spacious, with loads of legroom and headroom. Even within the BMW, the place its “coupe” form would possibly intervene with headroom, the designers made certain to depart loads of house for tall passengers. The coupe profile additionally helps the Bimmer really feel cavernous; with the seats folded flat, the X6 can match lengthy objects and a bunch of different stuff. The GLE’s cargo capability can also be excellent, however it doesn’t really feel as spacious because the BMW’s.


In our comparisons, like in baseball, we all the time decide a winner. Thankfully, the match didn’t go into further innings, because the BMW X6 M Competitors clearly took the W. With its punchy powertrain, athletic dealing with, and proper steadiness, the X6 felt at house on twisty roads. On the freeway and in regular driving, it combined a go-fast really feel with a contact of consolation.

Though the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S can also be exceptional, a few of us felt it was lacking the hype. On a post-comparison drive in a wholesome unit, Evans stated the high-performance Mercedes felt like its youthful sibling, the AMG GT four-door. Nonetheless, he stated that though the GLE is extremely competent, “the X6 M is simply much more enjoyable.”

BMW take the prize on this match with the efficiency and dealing with of the X6 M Competitors. But when the rear simply seemed a bit higher …

2020 BMW X6 M Competitors 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63S 4Matic+ SUV
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Entrance-engine, AWD Entrance-engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPE Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads, plus electrical motor
VALVETRAIN DOHC Four valves/cyl DOHC Four valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 268.2 cu in/4,395 cc 243.Zero cu in/3,982 cc
POWER (SAE NET) 617 hp @ 6,000 rpm 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm (fuel), 21 hp (elec), 603 hp (comb)
TORQUE (SAE NET) 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm (fuel), 184 lb-ft (elec), 627 lb-ft (comb)
REDLINE 7,200 rpm 7,000 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 8.Eight lb/hp (MT est) 9.1 lb/hp (MT est)
0-60 MPH 3.5 sec (MT est) 3.4 (MT est)
TRANSMISSION 8-speed computerized 9-speed computerized
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.15:1/2.02:1 3.27:1/1.96:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar Management arms, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 13.0:1 Not but accessible
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.6 Not but accessible
BRAKES, F; R 15.6-in vented, drilled disc; 15.0-in vented, drilled disc, ABS 15.8-in vented, drilled, disc; 14.6-in vented, drilled, disc, ABS
WHEELS 10.5 x 21-in; 11.5 x 22-in, cast aluminum 10.Zero x 22-in; 11.Zero x 22-in, cast aluminum
TIRES 295/35R21 107Y; 315/30R22 107Y Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (star) 285/40R22 110Y; 325/35R22 114Y Michelin Pilot Sport 4S M01
WHEELBASE 117.Zero in 117.9 in
TRACK, F/R 66.9/66.5 in 66.7/67.7 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 195.Zero x 79.5 x 66.7 in 190.Zero x 79.Four x 70.2 in
GROUND CLEARANCE 8.Four in 7.5-8.1 in (MT est)
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 18.2/20.7 deg 18.0/19.Eight deg
TURNING CIRCLE 42.Zero ft 40.7 ft
CURB WEIGHT 5,400 lb (MT est) 5,500 lb (MT est)
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 51/49% (mfr est) 56/44% (MT est)
TOWING CAPACITY Manufacturing unit hitch not accessible in U.S. 3,858 lb
HEADROOM, F/R 39.3/37.5 in 40.5/39.6 in
LEGROOM, F/R 40.4/35.7 in 40.3/40.9 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 60.0/57.7 in 59.3/58.Three in
CARGO VOLUME, BEH F/R 59.6/27.Four cu ft 74.9/33.Three cu ft
BASE PRICE $119,595 $114,945
PRICE AS TESTED $132,745 133075.0
AIRBAGS 10: Twin entrance, f/r facet, f/r curtain, entrance knee 9: Twin entrance, f/r facet, f/r curtain, driver knee
BASIC WARRANTY Four yrs/50,000 miles Four yrs/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY Four yrs/50,000 miles Four yrs/50,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE Four yrs/Limitless miles Four yrs/50,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 21.9 gal 22.5 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 13/18/15 mpg 14/18/15 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 259/225 kW-hrs/100 miles 241/187 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.40 lb/mile 1.25 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium


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