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Last year's dropping of the G55 AMG performance model suggested to many the end was near for Mercedes' beloved but quirky G-Class. But no. A facelift, new interior and a better-yet new G63 AMG hyperformance model shows the 2013 Mercedes G-Class is healthy as ever.
Now entering its fourth decade of production, exterior changes to the 2010 G-Glass are limited to a few cosmetic upgrades and a new, sport-tuned exhaust. Inside, driver's will find newly designed 14-way power seats, a leather-capped dash, a heated wood and leather steering wheel and a 115-volt receptacle in the cargo area.
The G550 replaces last year's G500 model and features a 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8. Along with its new engine, the GL550 receives a new three-bar grille and chrome grille guard. All G-Class models include the new COMAND system with built in six-disc CD changer and Bluetooth capability. The G55 AMG gets a bump in power, too, now up to 500 horsepower.
One word best describes the Mercedes-Benz G-Class: extreme. Fit for use as a military vehicle, the 2014 G-Class is among the most capable SUVs ever created. Affectionately called the "G-Wagen," from the German Gelandewagen ("cross-country car"), it is rugged to the max, boasting three locking differentials and the ability to climb or descend an incredible 80-percent incline. Inside, though, Mercedes' ultimate off-roader is as luxurious as you'd expect for an SUV costing over $115,000. Like the Range Rover or a high-end Porsche Cayenne, most buyers will never use their G-Wagen to a fraction of its capabilities. But such rationale matters little. For this elite set, the reason to own a Mercedes G is much like the vehicle itself: It's all about being extreme.