there’s a real danger when updating an iconic car. Designers and engineers have to weigh the needs of purists that worth the charm and character that yesteryear with the wants a continuous evolving market. While tiny in sales volume, the press of redesigning the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen to be surely immense.

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2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 an initial Drive: Brute Goes to Finishing college
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2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 Review: access time The clues

Fortunately, the latest G-Wagen marries the old and new almost perfectly. In fact, after a main of testing, the just shortcomings I might find were things that, had Mercedes attended to, would result in a automobile that isn’t a G-Class.

Pros:

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The G-Wagen’s armed forces roots have actually no impact on the deluxe on display screen in that cabin. This is a beautiful ar with ultra-high-quality leather, wood, and also metal almost everywhere you look. That clean and also lovely. Also the slab housing the twin 12.3-inch screens (one because that the tool cluster and another for the infotainment system), which normally feels out of ar in other Mercedes models, is far better integrated right here thanks to its leather-wrapped surround.

It’s the tiny touches, though, the highlight both how great the G-Class’ cabin is and also how careful Mercedes has been in adapting a luxury cabin to off-road duty. Small bits that stitching here and also there are one thing, however the nifty knee padding on the transmission tunnel, the neatly combined grab take care of on the dash in prior of the passenger, and also the simple, subtle steel buttons for the locking differentials marry Mercedes deluxe with robust functionality. If friend dislike selection Rovers due to the fact that luxury overshadows off-road credentials, the G-Wagen is the vehicle for you.

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If excess is all you treatment about, then by all way buy the Mercedes-AMG G63. But at least take the G550 because that a rotate first, due to the fact that the conventional twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 has actually an AMG’s personality, also if its 416 horsepower and also 450 pound-feet of talk (relatively speaking) lacks the punch of the G63’s 577 hp and also 627 lb-ft. The base engine revs every little bit as brutally as its uprated sibling, with a baritone exhaust note and unending acceleration. Deploying the 4.0-liter’s strength is a little like ordering a four-wheeled artillery barrage.

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while the G-Wagen’s reputation has been sullied by fact stars, socialites, and also other assorted douchebags, it somehow continues to be undeniably cool. The recent update just reinforces that fact, with little aesthetic upgrades the perfectly modernize a classic piece that design. I dig the circular LED running lights, the tiny taillights, the substantial cover because that the preventive tire, and the hood-mounted revolve signals. I love the door guards and also the exposed gutters on the roof. It’s all perfect.


And then there room the bits you can’t see.

The door handles have a perfect mechanically feel. Press the button to open one of them and also you feeling the internals functioning to lift the latch from the catch. Slam the door and the sound the comes the end is ideal described together a majestic “thwump.” Finally, hit the button on the fob come lock the doors and the G-Wagen go a good impression the a bolt-action Mauser rifle.

Cons:

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The G-Wagen’s brick-like shape and upright windows have an unfortunate next effect: in ~ night, there’s consistent glare from the displays and also cabin lighting. It’s irritating, particularly with the ambient lighting device engaged. The bigger, more painful annoyance comes on sunny days, wherein the upright windshield seemingly has the reflective qualities of a mirror.


I discovered this, to my regret, ~ the car virtually blinded me. The sunlight was shining straight onto the windshield, which reflected its rays with my dining room window and on to the wall. When I turn the edge into the room, the off-road-capable death ray blasted me directly in the eyes. It additionally happened multiple time while ns was photographing this gallery.

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This one yes, really goes without saying: the G550 is silly expensive. Prices begin at $124,500, when the car featured here demands $139,945. That is a helluva many money once you think about the number of vehicles that can enhance the G-Wagen off-road, have equally beautiful cabins, or have as undeniable a cool factor. That said, getting all of those features in a solitary vehicle isn’t easy. When the G550 costs a nice penny, by and also large, that feels worth the price.

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Again, this isn’t also surprising. Pairing a 400-plus-horsepower V8 through brick-like aerodynamics will certainly never an outcome in great fuel economy. The G550 earns 13 miles per gallon city, 17 mpg highway, and also 14 mpg combined, per the ecological Protection Agency. That said, much like the price tag, if you considering a G-Wagen, fuel economy isn’t most likely on her list of purchase priorities.