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2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

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2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.7

It may be hard to fathom, but one of Mercedes-Benz’s most expensive and rugged vehicles is also one of its oldest. Now entering its 38th year of production, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV (better known as the G-Wagen) has seen many improvements since the original, but at its core remains the same rugged beast. Not as refined as a Land Rover Range Rover, nor as spacious as a Cadillac Escalade, the 2017 G-Class confounds logic as the go-to vehicle for the ultra-rich wishing to impress their friends and enemies. Of course, most will never need or use the G-Wagen’s abilities. However, those who do venture off-road will find themselves behind the wheel of one of the world’s most capable off-road warriors.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you fancy yourself more Richard Branson than Bill Gates, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is the vehicle you’ll want to take on all your exotic adventures. Powerful, luxurious and built to withstand punishment, the G-Class may not get you there as comfortably as a Lexus, but it will get you there.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite its luxury name and trappings, Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class for 2017 isn’t as comfortable or safe as a Porsche Cayenne or Bentley Bentayga. If you’re looking for a combination of rugged go-anywhere credentials and the latest in safety and luxury, a 2017 Land Rover Range Rover makes a much better choice.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 5.7
  • 4.9
  • 6.1
  • 6.1
  • 3.5
  • N/A
How It Ranks
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Low/wide front photo What's New for 2017

Mercedes-Benz’s 2017 G-Class luxury SUV gains a new off-road trim dubbed the G550 4x4. This model is raised 17 inches and widened by nine inches and features portal axles, three locking differentials and a permanent all-wheel-drive system. On the standard G-Class, improvements are limited to smartphone, designo and AMG package upgrades.

Driving the G-Class
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

From a capability standpoint, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV for 2017 will take you almost anywhere you want to go, from a secluded sandy beach to the most...

... remote trailhead. However, if you’re expecting to ride to these places in comfort and quiet, well, that just ain’t gonna happen. Lacking the refinement of the Land Rover Range Rover, the G-Class nevertheless is every bit as capable. Power is supplied by a twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 416 ponies, readily available at the tap of the accelerator. Two AMG variants, the G63 and G65, offer even more horsepower as well as better handling and braking abilities, and all the G-Class SUVs clock a zero-to-60-mph time in the 5-second range. The G-Class’s upright greenhouse and squared-off lines argue loudly with the wind, but off-road you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more desirable place to be than in the G-Wagen’s ample cabin.

UNAPOLOGETIC ATTITUDE
While most luxury SUVs only hint softly at their off-road ability, the 2017 MB G-Class screams it proudly from the highest peak. You won’t find a sedan-like ride or ultra-quiet cabin in the G-Class, but you will find a tenacious off-roader that will make you the envy of the Moab set.

V12-POWERED AMG G65
The idea of wedding the track-performance genius of AMG with a nearly 40-year-old SUV might seem like lunacy, but we like it. The twin-turbocharged V12 provides more power than any off-roader could ever want, but on the street it simply furthers the G-Class’s cred.

2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Details
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Though brutish on the outside, the 2017 MB G-Class's 5-passenger interior is another story. This is still a Mercedes, after all. Its cabin is almost entirely handcrafted, featuring premium leather on the seats and dash. Polished wood and chrome accents abound. Controls are a fine mix of utilitarian (the three prominent locking-differential buttons displayed front and center) and elegant (a crisp, 8-inch tablet-style command screen). The G's squared shape means headroom is practically unlimited, but taller occupants may wish for more legroom. Cargo capacity is generous: over 45 cubic feet behind the 2nd-row seats and over 75 with them folded.

Exterior
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class photo

While even Range Rovers have softened their lines, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class retains the boxy, upright look it has had for decades. Aerodynamic it's not, but the G-Wagen's design is honest, masculine and pragmatic. At just 187.5 inches long, the G is actually shorter than the Mercedes GLE midsize SUV. Instead of an upward-rising tailgate, the G-Wagen has a big, old-school swing-out door. LED daytime running lights, electrically folding mirrors and a new instrument cluster add touches of modern, but for the most part the G remains the boxy beast it's always been. You’ll either be enthralled or repelled by its machismo.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even if you spend the least on a "base" G550, you're still getting a luxury SUV befitting its $120,000 price tag. Highlights include power sunroof, dual-zone climate control and Mercedes' COMAND system that bundles navigation, harman/kardon audio system and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Other safety and convenience features include blind-spot monitoring, rearview camera, Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking, heated and ventilated front seats, and leather and wood interior. Also standard: the intangible confidence/ego gained from driving a vehicle that could crush almost any environment.

Optional Equipment

The AMG G63 adds a more powerful V8 engine, 20-inch wheels (vs. 19 on the G550), high-performance braking system and sport exhaust and supple designo wood and leather interior. The King Kong AMG G65 boasts a V12 engine, AMG front seats and designo-exclusive Nappa leather interior and 21-inch wheels. Other options include a rear-seat entertainment system with twin LCD monitors, heated steering wheel, and electronically adjustable suspension in the G550. Also available are subscriptions to mbrace, Mercedes' suite of mobile apps, concierge and other services.

Under the Hood
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Engine photo

The G550 and G63 both use a twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The G550 employs a 4.0-liter powerplant that makes 416 horsepower, while the G63 retains a 5.5-liter handcrafted V8 that spits out 563 horsepower. The AMG G65 model uses a V12 of 621 horsepower and a ridiculous 738 lb-ft of torque. All models use a 7-speed automatic transmission, with the AMG performance models issued AMG Speedshift Plus versions. The G-Class is a real-deal off-roader with low-range gearing, and center, rear and front locking differentials. Despite the G550 and G63 having an Eco start/stop feature that cuts engine power at idle, there isn't much eco going on here, with fuel economy that can't break 14 mpg.

4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 (G550, G550 4x4)
416 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/14 mpg

5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (AMG G63)
563 horsepower @ 5,500
561 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,000
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/14 mpg

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 (AMG G65)
621 horsepower @ 5,000-5,300 rpm
738 lb-ft of torque @ 2,300-4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/13 mpg

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class luxury SUV is over $123,000 for the G550 and over $142,000 for the AMG G63. Pricing for the G550 4x4 has not yet been announced. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG G65 starts just shy of $221,500. Add in the AMG Performance Studio Package, and that's another $20,000 alone. At these prices, the G-Wagen is among the most expensive SUVs out there, but those with money to burn can also easily spend $100,000 to even $200,000 on a super-luxe Range Rover or Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The new Bentley Bentayga, also a 12-cylinder SUV, is expected to start around $230,000. Because even the prosperous enjoy getting the best deal, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their new G-Class. The G-Wagen's resale value has traditionally held up well over the years.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

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