Like all normally aspirated 63 AMG cars I've driven, the 2011 ML63 has a superbly addictive engine note, one that makes you rev and rev the engine, just to hear the sound. The big engine almost helps you forget the fact that this ML weighs 5100 pounds, but when you go to turn a sharp corner, it's hard to forget, as the ML is more prone to understeer than I expected. Still, for a mid-size SUV like this, it's hard to top the ML63, at least as far as the performance numbers are concerned, as we found out in 2007 when we conducted an extensive test pitting an ML63 against four other hot haulers.
Since then, however, the ML has gotten new seats that have the lumbar and bolster controls tacked onto the inner corner of the driver's seat cushion, where it constantly rubbed against the back side of my upper calf. Dear Dr. Zetsche: the ridiculous location of this control is an unforgivable oversight, and it would most certainly be a dealbreaker for this reviewer if I were ever considering buying an ML63. The new SLS AMG's driver's seat has a similar (identical?) control that rubbed against my leg even more severely when I drove that car. Seriously, Mercedes, did you ever have anyone around five-and-a-half-feet tall drive your cars before you put them on the market?!
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor