Overview & Reviews
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class was originally developed for military use back in the late 1970s as a heavy-duty four-wheel-drive conveyance. But over the intervening decades, Mercedes has continuously updated it for civilian use, adding more refinement and luxury features as time has gone on. Yet despite the heated seats and abundance of polished wood trim, there's no denying the G's utilitarian roots. At nearly 3 tons, describing it as an over-engineered, leather-lined rolling bank vault would be perfectly acceptable. It's tall with a healthy step-in height, its doors close with a reassuring clunk, space efficiency is unexceptional and its heft contributes to poor fuel economy and ponderous handling.
So is it practical? Not really. Capable off road? With three locking differentials? Definitely. Desirable? Oddly, yes. As such, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class isn't the best choice for a single or even two-vehicle household, but if you've got a multicar setup with spots for a variety of cars, the G-Class is one cool super truck to add to the fleet.
Current Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a five-passenger SUV offered in G550 and G63 AMG trims. Both come fully loaded with many of the luxury items found in most modern Mercedes, such as keyless ignition and entry, adaptive cruise control and a navigation system. There are no factory options, but one can sample from the extensive catalog of custom-order paints, leather colors and interior trim choices.
The G550 is equipped with a 5.5-liter V8 generating 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. The G63 AMG sports a turbocharged version of that V8 that increases output to 536 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. Power is transmitted through a seven-speed automatic transmission and a full-time four-wheel-drive system with lockable front, center and rear differentials. The G550 can run from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, while the muscle-bound G63 AMG does the same sprint in just 5.3 seconds. Both models earn an EPA-estimated 13 mpg in combined driving. What, were you expecting it to be thrifty?
The Mercedes G-Class masks its utilitarian nature well with a comfortable highway ride, but composure suffers when it's hustled around corners due to its tanklike mass. It can be a handful to drive in the city as well, meaning that suburbanites had better think twice before choosing it as the go-to vehicle for errands.
On the other hand, the G shines off road with old-school competence that can conquer just about any terrain you're brave enough to explore. Antiquated truck-based design is a hallmark inside, too, though it's less welcome. The G-Class's awkward ergonomics and space utilization can't match the friendlier controls placement and layout of newer rivals. It is luxurious, however, with excellent materials quality and finish befitting a vehicle with such a lofty price point.
Used Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class first officially showed up on American shores for 2002. It was originally only offered as the G500, sporting a 5.0-liter V8 good for 292 hp and 336 lb-ft of torque. The G55 AMG showed up the next year with its 5.5-liter supercharged V8 that produced 349 hp and 387 lb-ft of torque. It was upgraded to 469 hp and 516 lb-ft for 2005. A five-speed automatic was standard on both models until the G500 got a seven-speed auto for 2007.
Models produced prior to 2007 had lower-quality materials and less advanced interior controls. There were additional upgrades for '09, including slightly different exterior styling, a more advanced COMAND electronics interface and additional standard features like multicontour ventilated seats and an iPod interface. The G550 and its accompanying engine/transmission combo also supplanted the G500 that year, while the G55 AMG was bumped up to 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes discontinued the G55 AMG model following the 2011 model year, replacing it with the G63 AMG in 2013.
It's not out of the question to find a G-Class for sale that's from earlier than 2002. The G-Class was originally the offspring of a 1979 joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Austrian companies Steyr and Puch. The G-Wagen was imported on a "gray market" basis for two decades before officially arriving on U.S. shores. Powered by a variety of gasoline and diesel engines, early Gs were rugged utilitarian workhorses with a go-anywhere reputation.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 144.00
Best car on the road - 2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By My G-class - December 31 - 9:20 pm
Every since the late 80s when I first saw the car at a friends house (european version) I new this is a car I had to have. not wanting to pay the $130,000 that it cost then I waited till MB put it out themselves and have not been disapointed. No other car can hold a candle to the styling and off road performance of this monster. They havent had to change it since the 70s (something must be right)
save your money and buy one. - 2004 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By seagazer - December 29 - 2:00 am
this is a great car must drive to appreaciate it. solid as a rock, and safe.
Mercedes Benz G Wagon - 2003 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By email@example.com - December 29 - 2:00 am
Great vehicle, after the dealer removes all of the door rattles. For a hand made vehicle, Mercedes Benz needs to put effort in delivery of a rattle free vehicle, including wind noise. The dealership took care of all issues. Hopefully Mercedes Benz will take note of the money they are paying dealers to take care of factory issues. The more miles it has the better it drives, i.e., loosens up.
Good SUV - 2010 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By Bob - November 4 - 8:46 pm
This car is excellent off road, tackling anything that it comes upon. Roomy in all the areas except front legroom. Buttons arent that logically laid out either.
ok care for the money - 2004 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By BenzyMan01 - September 23 - 10:00 am
Purchased it about 5 months ago and its an overall great buy, but im not so happy with the reaction on it. people dont like the looks and I dont know if I do. I cant wait for the new generation G to come out.
g-500 - 2003 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By rafael medina - September 9 - 10:00 am
FIRST 10000 MILES GOT PROBLEMS WITH A WATER LICK INSIDE THE A/C PIPING.EVERY TIME YOU WASHED IT WATER WOULD COME INSIDE THE CAB. GOT IT FIXED. HAPPY OWNER
G-Wagon - 2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By abingdon - August 21 - 10:00 am
The G-Wagon is a superb all around vehicle. It is comfortable on the highway yet tough and powerful off road.It is an absolute joy to drive. The biggest drawback is fighting my wife over who gets to drive it (she has an Escalade).
G55 - 2004 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By JRWoodyard - July 16 - 2:00 am
Great Truck, VERY UNIQUE!
Worth Every Penny - 2004 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By E F - July 11 - 2:00 am
Interior is wonderful with plenty of room for big drivers. Engine and drivetrain are incredible, with plenty of power. Worth every penny.
2005 G 55 K - 2004 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
By G baby - June 25 - 10:00 am
I am actually writing regarding the 2005 G 55 K (you do not have a rating page for it yet). Edmund, I have to say that I respectfully disagree with your review of that truck. I own one of the first to arrive here in the US (if not the first one), and this truck is OUT OF THIS WORLD. This is the best looking, most trilling truck on the market. The drive is incredible, and uncomparable. The truck sounds like a sport car, speeds like one AND has everything you would want in a truck.