While the M badge represents the high performance BMW, the Alpina logo represents the high-speed luxury GT. And in 2021, it will appear in the SUV series of the German brand BMW Alpina XB7. But if you want to hit the road in comfort, there’s also the equally expensive 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63. So, which of these premium SUVs did it best? The YouTube Throttle House team decided to investigate the matter.
TheMercedes-AMG GLS 63 and the 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 are very fast and very luxurious.
2021 BMW Alpina XB7 | BMW
BMW is not making an M version of the X7. So the 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 is the next best thing. But when you consider that the starting price is $141,300, over $66,000 more than the base X7, that’s certainly no consolation prize.
The 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 weighs about 5,900 pounds and is not exactly a lightweight. But it still goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds, reports Motor1. This is made possible by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 612 hp and 590 lb-ft, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. And BMW may not be good at acceleration – BMW estimates the SUV will go from 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds.
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 | Mercedes
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63, priced at $132,100, isn’t exactly slow, though. Under the hood is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that produces 603 hp and 627 lb-ft. Combined with all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission, the GLS 63 goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, according to Car and Driver. But while Car and Driver thinks the Alpina XB7 can reach 60mph, the Mercedes SUV wins the 0-100mph race.
Given their price, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 2021 and the BMW Alpina XB7 are obviously both well equipped. Both three-row SUVs feature leather upholstery, full ADAS suites, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, full ADAS suites and power-opening trunk lids, reports Roadshow. They also feature adaptive air suspension, rear-wheel steering and active stabilizers, reported Roadshow and The Drive.
Alpina XB7 2021 front interior
The Alpina XB7 also has heated front armrests and heated and cooled cup holders – these are standard on the Mercedes. And it offers an optional LED headliner that simulates a starry sky, reports MotorTrend. However, the GLS 63 has optional heated and ventilated massage seats in the second row and heated seats in the third row. They’re not on the XB7.
What is it like to drive those six figure SUVs?
Front interior of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 | Mercedes-Benz
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While amenities are undoubtedly important, buyers of SUVs over $100,000 aren’t just looking for technology. The $330,000 Rolls-Royce Ghost, for example, doesn’t even have Android Auto, reports Motor1. For example, the 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 and Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 have many infotainment features, but focus more on material quality and driving experience.
Both SUVs are fully capable of doing so. The GLS 63 feels impregnable, MT reports, a quiet, comfortable and fast fortress of solitude. By comparison, the Alpina XB7 is less theatrical, reports Road & Track, but no less competent as a big, eerily fast but quietly luxurious tourer.
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But while the overall quality of materials is excellent in both cases, Throttle House found the GLS 63 to be a bit creaky on the inside. However, it also has more screens, a more intuitive infotainment system, and its power-adjustable second-row seats are easier to control.
The rims on the X7 were slightly better in the base configuration. And according to Throttle House, which mostly sticks to AMG comparisons with the Alpina. The GLS 63’s transmission can be a bit sluggish in comfort mode, and the turbo is a bit slower. But it also shifts faster and takes corners with less sway.
What’s better? 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 or Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 ?
Unfortunately, if you want to get your hands on a BMW Alpina XB7, you’ll have to be patient for a while longer, as the 2021 models are sold out. On the contrary: You can buy the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 2021 today. Do you have to?
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In terms of road holding, the GLS 63 outperforms the XB7 in terms of exhaust noise and sharp cornering. But overall, Throttle House found the Alpina SUV to be a more luxurious pleasure. Where you spend that six-figure sum depends on your priorities.
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