With 7 in their lineup, Mercedes-Benz knows that it pays to offer as many different SUVs as possible. But if you want the one at the top of the food chain, pay you will.
Starting at over $125,000 including destination the G 550 is a hardcore off-road vehicle with on-road capability. Because of its iconic design, you may not be able to discern that this is the all-new 2019 model – its appearance hasn’t changed much since the late 70s.
Though this next generation G-Class may look familiar, Mercedes says each part and every bolt came under close scrutiny. Retaining its body-on-frame construction, the main focus of engineers was to increase vehicle rigidity. To further that effort, the G-Class has shed around 375 pounds, utilizing aluminum for the fenders, hood and doors.
The roof of the G-Class is connected to the body structure by laser welding – resulting in better surface quality and higher body strength. The side and rear doors have a protective foil cladding on the inside, so that no water can enter when fording. And the surfaces of the frame, vehicle floor and body are specially treated to withstand even the most severe influences.
For the first time, all the fixed windows are adhesive bonded to the body, again increasing torsional rigidity while making the window frames more resistant to corrosion. A new independent front suspension helps make the G-Class even better off-road and more dynamic on-road, according to Mercedes.
Its critical 4X4 measurements have all been upgraded for even more capability while the new chassis means the G550 is significantly more agile, dynamic and comfortable on the tarmac. The new G-Mode is a holistic driving configuration that automatically activates when one of the 3 differential locks has been activated or when the LOW RANGE has been selected. Mercedes says this perfectly sets the vehicle up for off-roading, swallowing rough ground so easily that the driver is able to enjoy inch-perfect maneuvering.
Power is sourced from a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 delivering 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a 0-to-60mph time of 5.6 seconds while a new 9-speed automatic, specifically adapted for off-road work, transfers the power. At this price its fuel economy likely won’t scare you, rated at 14mpg on premium.
Inside, there are larger dimensions with a whopping 6” more legroom for rear seat passengers while a host of cutting edge safety features including an off-road display that provides the driver with comprehensive data, builds security and confidence.