New 2019 Mercedes‑Benz G‑Class SUV
Mercedes‑Benz G‑Class SUV
With the new 2019 G550, Mercedes’ rugged warrior has one to finishing school. It’s as capable as ever, but a far better everyday machine.
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Pricing
For Sale Near 20146
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class KBB Expert Review
There’s an all-new Mercedes-Benz G-Class for 2019, available as a G550 and an AMG G63, the latter a substantially more powerful model that we cover elsewhere. While the rugged new 2019 G550 retains a boxy profile and looks much the same as before, Mercedes says only three parts are carryover: the door handles, spare-tire cover and headlight washers. More significant, this go-anywhere Mercedes SUV, still built in Graz, Austria, has a stronger and all-new body-on-frame chassis with independent front suspension replacing the former G’s live front axle. Three locking differentials (center, rear, front) ensure that the new G can still tackle legitimately tough terrain. Moreover, the new G550 has lost about 375 pounds, thanks to revised materials and a lighter body. Much of the new body is steel, but the fenders, hood and doors are aluminum. Varied competitors include the Land Rover Range Rover, the Jeep Wrangler, the Lexus LX 570 and the Toyota Land Cruiser.
You'll Like This Car If...
Even with its military heritage and legitimate go-anywhere capabilities, the luxurious 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 comes across as more Beverly Hills than Baja. No matter, it’s at home in either environment. If you find its dual-purpose nature appealing, the G550 may be for you.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you prefer sleek aero designs that cheat the wind and are whisper-quiet on the highway, the G, which has a fair amount of wind noise related to its flat windshield, is not for you. Nor is this high-riding box on wheels your friend at the gas pump.
What's New for 2019
Everything. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is all-new from the chassis up, with a strengthened frame and independent front suspension. The G550 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 416 horsepower. One transmission is available, a 9-speed automatic.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 cruises comfortably down the highway, with plenty of power for easy passing. At light throttle, the 9-speed automatic shifts smoothly. With more throttle, the shifts get crisper. Electric-assist steering, light at parking-lot speeds, firms up nicely on the highway, where there’s none of the wander you might expect from such a large truck. Even though the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a high-riding vehicle, body roll is kept in check by its well-damped suspension with anti-roll bars. The flat-plane glass windshield, so much a part of the G’s character, makes it easy to see the road ahead, and the prominent fenders, topped by large directional signals, help the driver sense the front corners of the G550. One downside of driving such a blocky-shaped vehicle on the highway is a fair amount of wind noise. Off-road, the 2019 G550 unquestionably is one of the most capable SUVs. With three locking differentials, excellent power and stout suspension, it makes light work of tough trails and climbs that would be impossible in a crossover SUV.
THREE LOCKING DIFFERENTIALS
Via three buttons on the dash, the G550’s center, rear and front differentials can be locked, but only in that order. This gives the G550 an ability to climb hills like a mountain goat.
DYNAMIC SELECT DRIVE MODES
This system has five modes: Slippery, Individual, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Basically, the response of the G550’s engine, transmission, steering and stability control can be tailored to meet driver preference.
Luxury has been heightened considerably in the 2019 G550, thanks largely to the use of top-quality leather and attractive wood veneers. We’re glad Mercedes retained the prominent grab bar for the front passenger, and we also like how the traditional instruments have been replaced by an attractive and easy-to-read digital screen. The dashboard, with four prominent circular air vents, also features a push-button starter and an integral analog clock, this last item adding a touch of traditional ambience. The new G550 is 2.8 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase also increased by 2.8 in. As a result, Mercedes has found nearly six inches more rear legroom than before, plus an extra 1.5 inches up front. There’s also 4.8 inches more shoulder room inside the new G. All this extra space is much appreciated, as is a new rear bench seat that folds and splits 60/40.
Mercedes has succeeded with the look of the new G550. This new Mercedes SUV remains as boxy and upright as ever, still military in appearance and not mistaken for any other vehicle. Items such as the flat glass, exposed door hinges and external spare tire add a back-to-basics feel, and even though the new G550 is a larger vehicle, it doesn’t look that much bigger. A high-mounted tubular grille guard, unique to the G550, adds to the rugged look.
Notable Standard Equipment
If the twin-turbo V8, 9-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system with three locking differentials aren’t enough, consider that the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 is also equipped with LED headlights and taillights, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a sunroof and a handy 360-degree camera that helps a bunch when parking the G in tight lots. Also standard: Brake Assist, Lane Keep Assist and Dynamic Select with five driving modes (Slippery, Individual, Comfort, Sport and Sport +).
Notable Optional Equipment
The 2109 Mercedes-Benz G550 is available with a $12,200 Exclusive Interior Package that includes diamond-stitched Nappa leather, a Designo headliner and front seats with active bolsters and built-in massagers. You can also get a $3,470 AMG kit that includes AMG body styling, flared wheel arches, a sport exhaust and brake calipers emblazoned with the words “Mercedes-Benz.” If you’re looking for a blacked-out G550, the $1,990 Night Package should satisfy with exterior mirrors, spare tire cover, grille, brush guard and wheels all done in black, plus black-tinted headlights and directional signals.
Under the Hood
Under its aluminum hood, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that produces 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. That’s good for a 0-60-mph sprint of 5.6 seconds. Of note, the powerplant is a bit unusual in that its turbochargers are atop the engine, in the vee of the aluminum block as opposed to outside of it. One transmission is available, a 9-speed automatic that occasionally skips ratios for added efficiency during acceleration.
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
416 horsepower @ 5,250 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 6,175 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 mpg
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550, which takes 100 hours to hand-assemble at the factory in Austria, has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $124,500, plus a destination charge of $995. Ordered with several options such as the Exclusive Interior Package, a G550 can touch $150,000. Take note: That exceeds the base price of the almighty 577-horsepower Mercedes-AMG G63, which starts at $147,500. Rest easy, though, because the desirability of a G-Class (and therefore its resale value) holds strong and steady over time. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new truck.
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