Performance SUVs are often mocked among the enthusiast community. For the most part, rightfully so. They’re typically too big and heavy to genuine performance machines and their attempts to be as such hinder them at being actual SUVs. So often times they’re just ‘tweeners that are never really great at any one thing. So, for the most part, enthusiasts prefer high-performance wagons, as they offer all of their performance needs while also being practical. However, performance SUVs are getting better and better and it’s becoming harder and harder for enthusiasts to make that argument. So what happens when you pit the latest and greatest of each, the Audi RS4 Avant and the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S against each other…on ice?
Well Top Gear decided to find out and took a trip to Sweden, with a ton of different performance machines. One of the matchups they performed was the very one in question and it’s also one of the most interesting. So which really is better, the high-performance, enthusiast-friendly wagon, the Audi RS4 Avant or the high-riding performance SUV, the Mercedes-AMG GLC63?
Oddly enough, TG chose the SUV, the Mercedes-AMG. And their reasoning is sound. In the snow, in the middle of the woods, where practicality and real-world logic are unnecessary and absent, a massively powerful SUV can be quite hilarious good fun. The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S sports a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 503 hp. That’s an obscene amount of power for a small SUV. So in the snow, with all-wheel drive and winter tires, that can be a proper hooligan. Especially if you’ve ever heard the thunderous roar of an AMG V8. Saying they’re raucous is a dramatic understatement. They’re fantastic.
So the Audi RS4 Avant, which is an incredibly brilliant daily driver, actually loses out a bit here. It’s very quick on the snow, probably quicker than the AMG, thanks to its lighter weight and gripper all-wheel drive system. However, it lacks a lot of that hooligan mentality of the AMG. Audi’s Quattro was designed to seek out every last inch of grip, even in the most treacherous conditions. So the RS4 Avant feels neat and tidy, even in the snow. It’s fast and fun but very clinical and very efficient.
On a wet road, Top Gear reckons, the Audi RS4 Avant would win. But out in the Swedish woods, covered in snow, the AMG is the car more people wanted to drive more often. So it wins.