Originally conceived for military service, the Mercedes-Benz G550 will take you back to a time when SUVs were all about fording rivers and skipping over sand dunes. While the exterior is utilitarian enough to intimidate city folk, the interior is stocked with every convenience and fine finish that Mercedes can muster.
What's New for 2015
The G-Class rarely changes, so the newly available rear entertainment system and all-weather floor mats are worthy of mention.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz G550
The G550 doesn't pull any punches in its quest to conquer the earth and its elements. Full-time four-wheel drive with low-range gearing comes standard, as do electronically locking front, center and rear differentials, the later with a limited-slip feature. The 5.5-liter V8 engine produces 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The big rig scoots from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.3 seconds.
As expected, the five-passenger cabin is festooned with high-quality leather, fine wood and sophisticated electronics like hard drive-based navigation and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system. You also get heated seats all around, 10-way ventilated front seats with driver memory and a sunroof. With the rear seats folded, there's 80 cubic feet of cargo space, about what you would expect in a full-size SUV built for off-road duty. To ensure your safety, every G550 comes with adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, an automated parking system and active collision mitigation with automatic braking.
With this level of standard equipment, configuring your G550 is simply a matter of personal taste. Among the handful of individual options are the new rear entertainment system, a heated steering wheel and carbon fiber interior trim. The biggest decision you will face is selecting from the pallet of available “designo” Nappa leathers and exotic woods, which have a mouth-watering effect on interior.
It's hard to overstate just how much premium equipment is packed into the G550. Such pampering stands in delightful contrast to the military-spec exterior. If that sounds good to you, you'll probably be as fascinated by this SUV as we are.