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2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

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2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.2

Though the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has long been rumored to be on the chopping block, demand has managed to keep the vehicle, often called the "G-Wagen," alive for 2012 at least. The elimination of the G55 AMG model for 2012, however, doesn't bode well for the G-Class's future. One of the more storied production vehicles still available, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class was adapted from an iconic military-only off-roader. Over the years the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has progressively become more luxurious and technologically advanced. However, the G-Wagen's classic boxy styling and rugged performance have never strayed far from the original's intent. The Land Rover and Porsche Cayenne may be listed as competitors, but there's nothing quite like the 2012 Mercedes G550 SUV.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you get a childlike smirk when you look at the 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550 SUV you'll probably love it.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're expecting the big-sedan comfort offered by most modern SUVs, the Mercedes-Benz G550 is not for you.

What's New for 2012

The AMG-tuned G55 is no longer available, but Mercedes has created a new "Edition Select" package for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550.

Driving the G-Class

Driving Impressions Like its predecessors, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550 SUV is no corner carver. Its sheer bulk and boxiness don't lend the butch SUV to turning on a dime. It is giggle-inducing...

quick in a straight line, however. Though few will ever see muddy trails or rocky paths, the 2012 G-Class is a formidable off-road machine. In everyday highway driving duty the G-Class feels like a lighter SUV.

Sculpted Bucket Seats
The seats in the Mercedes-Benz G550 SUV are excellent. They offer versatile adjustment options and a firm grip for the driver.

It Lives
Even if it's only for one more year, it heartens us to see an iconoclast such as the 2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class survive in an era where too many designs are almost indistinguishable.

2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Details
Interior

With a price of more than $100,000, you'd better believe there are plenty of modern conveniences packed into the 2012 G550. Features include the Mercedes-Benz COMAND system with its computer-mouse-like control and LCD monitor, leather seats and sunroof. Cargo room is as good as you'd expect and headroom is outstanding. Taller drivers and passengers, however, will wish for more legroom.

Exterior

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550 SUV is one of the most immediately identifiable vehicles in the world. Its broad shoulders and high stance make a clear statement. Mercedes has advanced the looks of the G-Wagen just enough to make it recognizable as a modern vehicle, rather than a compromised version of a military workhorse. It doesn't hurt that every panel of the G-Class screams "solidly built."

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550 comes with 4-wheel drive, a 7-speed automatic transmission, three locking differentials, traction and electronic stability control, heated and ventilated power front seats, rearview camera and 18-inch wheels.

Optional Equipment

For 2012, the Mercedes G-Class is offered with no options, except for the Edition Select Package, which includes AMG-design dual exhausts and fender flares, special wheels, a leather dashboard, and special wood trim.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550 SUV keeps its impressive 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8. Those who venture off-road will appreciate its gargantuan 391 lb-ft of torque, which is reached at a low 2,800 rpm. The 2012 G-Class will accelerate from rest to 60 mph in about six seconds, which is amazing for such a heavy vehicle.

5.5-liter V8
382 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
391 lb-ft torque @2,800-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/15

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2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 47 Ratings for the 2002 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Best SUV on the market

By on Wednesday, January 06, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Nothing like it, Amazing resale value"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my second G. I bought my first new in 2004 and traded it in two months ago for a new 2015. The last one had just under 100K miles and it was always a rock solid car. This was/is the families work horse!!! It goes through any weather and is the only Mercedes still built like the old S class tanks from the 80's. It is a vault!!! At the same time its the car that the valet will keep in front of the restuarant. This is a special car. There is no other way to put it. Its hand made and its just down right awesome. It may not be the quickest, or the most tech savoy, but there is nothing else there quite like it. It has a charm that no other vehicle can match. Furthermore the resale value is second to none. After 11 years and nearly 100K miles, I recieved more then 50% of the initial purchase price in a trade in. I probably could have gotten another 5K for a private party sale. I plan on keeping this one for another 10 years and I highly recommend this vehicle."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Power, Great Uncomfort

By on Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: maintenace

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Absolute power, great retro look, tank like build"

Cons: "uncomfortable, high maintenance bills"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I had this car for 6 years before I sold it. I can easily say it tops the list as one of the most powerful SUV's I have driven. It is based on a 30 year old design, but I think they follow the motto that goes: "if it ain't broken, don't fix it". Engine sounds like a beast, and that is exactly how the car drives too. Absolutely stable for such a car of its size, that is also shaped like a brick. Handling is surprisingly good, but the sell off is here. It is built like a tank, and is as uncomfortable as one. The suspension is so stiff, you will feel like you worked out after long drives. This car is very uncomfortable, don't let the Benz badge misguide you other wise. The final painful part that pushed me to sell was the post warranty maintenance. You will see some bills that are relevant to the price of this car. Don't be shocked to get $5000 bills. I had to fix AC, Supercharger, and coils, the bills stacked up and it just made sense to sell the car than keep paying."

66 people out of 102 found this review helpful

Best Ever

By on Friday, July 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "go any where, pull the boat, look"

Cons: "paint job"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the 3rd G-wagen I have: 1994, 2004, 2009 G55AMG. Total mileage I had on 1994 - 120000 mi, 2004 - 212000 mi and on 2009 now is about 100000 mi. Only minor problems. This is really one of the most reliable and fun to drive truck."

24 people out of 48 found this review helpful

I've kept my G longer than any other car

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Performance, Style, Fun, Unique, great off-road"

Cons: "price, window regulators fail, ac weak in back"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have a 2002 G wagon that I am just now finally going to be allowed to be pried away from me in order to get a newer one. The vehicle is among the most fun and satisfying to drive of any I have ever owned (a dozen plus cars so far) and I have kept it longer. Why? - Go anywhere, anytime any weather confidence in a vehicle that is perfectly acceptable for business meetings as well - Feels different from any other car I've driven, more solid and capable, and decent handling and pickup considering that its a massive SUV weighing over $5K pounds - Overall quality and reliability has been excellent, I have 120K miles on it with nothing more than regular dealer maintenance, no major failures - More capable off road with stock rims and tires than my friend's "built" off road vehicles - Distinct from all the other cookie cutter SUV's out there and UNLIKE a new rover, Escladade or GL is actually a hard-core off road vehicle - one trip on rough road in the others will blow out your poncey air suspension (speaking from experience) CONS - Rear AC is mediocre - looks bigger outside than it is inside but still big enough, I'm a size 3xl - Window regulators are a weak spot and often break, not ok in a $100K car - the G's don't get the state of the art electronics that the S and GL class do - this is stupid on the part of Mercedes HOW TO BUY By a used one (ideally a lease return) from the Benz dealer that qualifies for "certified" status then pay for the extra FACTORY (not aftermarket) warranty that adds up to 3 years and UNLiMITED MILES to the originally warranty, this both saves you 30% on the price of a new one and gets you a perfect car with a better than new car warranty. I'm VERY picky about what I buy and Mercedes has beautiful lease return cars that have been driven gently all the time - the smartest option dollar for dollar on any MB car."

18 people out of 31 found this review helpful

My favorite vehicle so far

By on Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great off road"

Cons: "lack of cup holders, needs more back seat room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great to drive, capable on any surface. I have the factory towing package and it pulls like my F350 when loaded below 7,000lbs. Great sound, great heritage rough but refined."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Awesome...

By on Monday, September 03, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "safe, fast, fun to drive"

Cons: "cup holders, keyless go not standard"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"A cut above the rest. in a world where range rover is at every corner the G really stands out. It is a great car for the family and in the city. I feel comfortable knowing my 5 year old is riding in the back of this tank. i have S550 as well. The G is luxorious but not luxory especially if you have an S class Benz."

17 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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