2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 Overview: The Path to Social Clout


Eliran Assa

You in all probability received’t be shocked to know that these of us on this automotive journalism business take a look at most automobiles inside a given section—exterior of maybe sports activities vehicles, supercars, and sizzling hatchbacks—as thinly sliced examples of similarity. There are definitely class leaders and losers, however stepping from a McLaren 720S Spider right into a Nissan Versa is what’s jarring; going from a Toyota Highlander right into a Ford Explorer isn’t.

And so distinctive automotive experiences aren’t available in new-car showrooms, particularly in the event you don’t have the monetary wherewithal to drive away in Maranello or Sant’Agata’s newest. I say all of this to emphasise simply how particular the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 feels. In the entire of autodom, there actually isn’t something fairly just like the Geländewagen.

There certain was. Earlier than the G was closely reworked for the primary time in 1990, it was a rough-and-tumble, mil-spec, granny-geared 4×Four constructed for cross-terrain excursions with exhausting plastics, painted metallic surfaces, and never a lot in the way in which of sound deadening, passenger consolation, or total refinement. In the course of the late 1970s and early 1980s, this utilitarian expertise wasn’t solely dissimilar from that of a Land Rover Defender or perhaps a home Chevrolet S10 Blazer, to some extent.

As most SUVs steadily transitioned from dingy, dented, weatherworn instruments into soft, unibody commuters, the G-class remained upright and aggressively utilitarian, whilst its leather-based and wood-lined interiors clashed with the warfront-ready working gear and rubberized exterior trim. Lastly totally redesigned for 2019 for the primary time in historical past, the newly refined and rather more livable G550 nonetheless stays in a category of its personal. It’s equal elements Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Land Cruiser, with the glue being Mercedes-Benz match, end, and appointments. In some regards, it’s the Hummer that everybody truly wished.

With its large ’ol tri-pointed star up entrance and a price ticket that doesn’t dip beneath the $125,000 mark, any G wields some severe social clout. Neglect the hushed whispers and silent resentment that accompany the sight of a rounded, soft-cornered Bentley Bentayga or the uptight long-wheelbase Vary Rover; everybody’s completely happy to see a G-class. Over per week spent with a 2019 G550, in every single place myself and two buddies traveled within the Emerald Inexperienced Metallic field, we had been met with huge quantities of consideration and recognition by bystanders. You’d assume in a metropolis as overrun with Benzes as Los Angeles, a non-AMG G-class wouldn’t garner a lot consideration, however between fixed thumbs up on the freeway to the craned necks on crowded metropolis streets, the G550’s swag is actual.

Inside, we’re having simply as a lot enjoyable. You’ve little doubt heard by now the brand new G is best and extra snug than the earlier technology, however I can’t stress how a lot the ergonomics are improved. A number of years in the past, after per week within the then-new Mercedes-AMG G65, my Achilles tendon was sore from the severely upright pedal placement, to not point out the shortage of fore and aft seat adjustment. Inside, every part was slab-sided and solely tangentially luxurious due to top-shelf supplies; contemplating the age of the platform, Mercedes did an admirable job of gussying up an inside initially designed for muddy fight boots and sweat-stained fatigues.

I’ll all the time love the previous G’s, however the brand new truck makes it exhausting to look again with no chuckle. The previous rig’s veneer of luxurious is changed with full-bore finery, as the brand new platform allowed Mercedes engineers to superimpose the present top-tier Merc inside language onto the G’s cockpit. No extra pinched nerves for me—so far as two-row SUVs go, it’s as roomy and passenger-friendly as most individuals will want. Nonetheless, whereas my average-built buddy didn’t have any complaints about rear lodging, it was a little bit extra cramped than the outside measurement suggests.

No matter. Undergo for magnificence, I suppose—there are worse locations to develop knee ache than behind a G550. Nappa leather-based, soft-touch surfaces, and each metallic and wooden trim greater than lived as much as the six-figure tag, and Mercedes’ glorious out there twin show screens create an effortlessly glossy and trendy setting. Tremendous element ending is ideal, proper right down to the backlit metallic steering wheel buttons and picket insert on the passenger-side sprint seize deal with. I’d say the latest purchasers of the 2018 G550 are feeling fairly down, however in the event you’re in that tax bracket to start with, I’d think about you upgraded to the brand new truck earlier than you had time to take the 2018 in for its first service.

Right here’s some extra clout; even in the event you discover the basest base G550, it will probably’t be had with something aside from eight-cylinders within the U.S. In an business section dominated by downsizing and hybridization, the G is kind of conspicuous in its consumption. The fabulously clean M176 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-Eight grumbles fortunately beneath the trapezoidal hood, backed by the most recent technology of the 9G-Tronic nine-speed automated transmission. Output figures of 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque ship a zero-to-60-mph dash someplace within the mid-five-second vary, a formidable scramble for one thing weighing greater than 5,500 kilos.

Although ours lacked any AMG {hardware}, it did arrive sporting the favored AMG Line look bundle, which amongst different issues, provides a sport exhaust system. This turns the muffled rumble right into a barely aggressive growl, and we singed the egos of GTI and Focus ST drivers when our inexperienced brick charged away from stoplights.

It truly is one of the best of all worlds. If that you must survey mineral deposits in your new desert property within the morning, choose up the youngsters from personal cooking classes within the afternoon, and make it to the orchestra and its pink carpet within the night, the G has you lined. It’s nonetheless a little bit of a blunt instrument when the street turns curvy, but when the last-gen was a river rock hot-glued to a splintery stick, the brand new W463-gen truck is a well-balanced, hand-polished, iron-tipped cudgel.

Ours had the non-compulsory adaptive suspension, which battened down the hatches (and physique roll) as a lot because it may with out stepping on the chrome wheels of the larger, badder Mercedes-AMG G63. Actually although, G-wagen house owners ought to focus extra on scaling canyons slightly than how briskly you’ll be able to slice by means of them. In addition to, you don’t have to be able to excessive lateral g’s when your main perform is being parked within the valet lot of the native Neiman Marcus.

Actually, the one points we bumped into had been peak and weight, however that was extra operator error. First, we navigated a good (and low) DTLA parking storage with literal centimeters to spare, necessitating each passengers to identify me as I handed by means of every threshold. The following morning, a visit to an area meals competition discovered us proper up towards the burden restrict of a distinct storage. Once more, this was a “me” drawback, however in the event you reside in a congested metropolis, maybe give the new-for-2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-class a glance as a substitute of this tank. It’s smaller and fewer cool, but in addition gives an identical enjoyable boxy vibe for lots much less cash.

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However this can be a nice truck. Mercedes managed to recreate the magic of the world’s favourite tacti-cool luxurious off-road romper for a brand new technology with out sacrificing a milligram of what made the it such a darling within the first place. It’s uncommon that redesigns of automotive icons don’t ship somebody dwelling crying, however the G is among the particular ones—and it makes ita driver really feel particular, too..

2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 Specs

PRICE $125,495/$141,545 (base/as examined)
ENGINE 4.0L twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8; 416 hp @ 5,250–5,500 rpm, 450 lb-ft @ 2,250–4,750 rpm
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automated
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, 4WD SUV
EPA MILEAGE 13/17 mpg (metropolis/hwy)
L x W x H 189.7 x 85.7 x 77.2 in
WHEELBASE 113.Eight in
WEIGHT 5,551 lb
0–60 MPH 5.Four sec (est)
TOP SPEED 130 mph

Eliran Assa