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2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Overview

Willis Kuelthau
Automotive Editor - January 23, 2019

Although you wouldn’t know it from the exterior, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a landmark redesign. The pricey, boxy SUV has enjoyed both cult fame and widespread derision, but in a history spanning nearly four decades, the G-Class never got a full makeover. The result? The flagship SUV is just as flamboyant, newly modern, and even more capable off-road – if you can afford the staggering price of entry.

What's New for 2019

The G-Class is (finally) all-new for 2019. Only five parts are shared with the outgoing model: the door handles, spare tire cover, sun visors, headlight nozzles, and an under-hood bracket.

Mercedes G Class

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Although the outgoing G-Class boasted three trims with three different engines, the 2019 lineup has been simplified (to start, at least). Just two trims remain, both using the same engine with different tunes.

That engine is a doozie. Even in base form, the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 packs 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. After Mercedes’ go-fast AMG department gets their hands on it, those numbers jump up to 577 hp and 627 lb-ft. A nine-speed automatic transmission replaces 2018’s seven-speed.

All 2019 G-Wagons ship with Mercedes’ suite of safety tech. Features include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise wontrol, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping assist, parking assist, a rearview camera, adaptive high beams, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

One of the biggest changes to the 2019 G-Class comes in the ride. Instead of a live axle, the front wheels now boast independent suspension. Three differential locks shuttle power where it’s needed, and ground clearance is 9.5 inches across all trims. The new G-Class is also 2.1 inches longer and 2.5 inches wider, resulting in an extra 1.5 inches of leg room in the front and 5.9 inches in the rear. Despite the size gains, the new G-Class is 375 pounds lighter than the outgoing model.

Traditionalists needn’t fear – fuel economy is still abysmal. Even the base-spec G-Class manages just an EPA-estimated 13 miles per gallon city, 17 mpg highway, and 14 combined. Mercedes compensates by installing a massive 26.4-gallon gas tank, but G-Class owners should be prepared to spend a small fortune at the gas pump.

That’s on top of the fortune already spent just to buy a G-Class. Features are divided across two trims, neither of which are cheap:

G550

Carrying the base-spec engine, the G 550 SUV starts at $125,495 (all prices include the $995 destination fee). Fittings are sumptuous, including leather upholstery, 10-way power adjustable front seats with memory settings, heated front and rear seats, automatic three-zone climate control, cabin air purification, and 64-color ambient lighting. Both the windshield and the side mirrors are electrically heated, and the glass is both heat- and noise-insulating. Technology is at the forefront, with keyless entry, push-button start, a central 12.3-inch infotainment display, navigation, dual USB ports, Burmester sound, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.

Five additional packages are available. The first is the AMG Line Package ($3,470), which bumps rims from 19 inches to 20 and adds exterior accents along with a sport exhaust system, red seat belts, and AMG lettering across a variety of surfaces. The Night Package (bundled with

the AMG Line package for a total of $5,370) adds gloss black to the entire exterior. Next up is the Seat Comfort Package ($2,200), which includes multicontour massage-capable front seats with rapid heating and ventilation. An Exclusive Interior Package ($5,000) upgrades to Nappa leather upholstery, a frameless rearview mirror, microfiber suede headliner, and contrast stitching. The Exclusive Interior Package Plus ($12,200) includes all the features from the Exclusive Interior and Seat Comfort packages plus unique diamond stitching and color schemes.

A heated steering wheel is an extra $250, and Mercedes will make wrap it in wood and leather for $600. A 12.3-inch driver display is available for $850, and an adaptive suspension costs $1,400.

G63 AMG

Rising $4,700 from 2018’s price, the G 63 AMG starts at $148,495. With the boosted engine, the G 63 gets from zero to 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds. As of writing, the G 63 AMG hasn’t officially hit dealerships (and it’s not on Mercedes’ online configurator), so we don’t know exactly what the option structure and pricing will look like. Expect a few trim upgrades over the G 550, more performance goodies, and plenty of AMG lettering.

CarsDirect Tip

Although the AMG versions usually outsell the G 550, we’d stick with the base trim here. The G 550 is luxurious by any standards, and no amount of AMG tuning will overcome the G-Class’ high ride height and body-on-frame construction. This is a vehicle that celebrates appearance more than performance.

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