2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

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2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Review

Luxury for those who actually drive off road.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview
Mercedes-Benz currently offers a wide range of SUVs and crossovers, but with roots going back to military use and a four-wheel drive system with three locking differentials, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is arguably the most off-road capable of the bunch. After more than three decades, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (referred to as the Gelaendewagen in Europe) remains largely untouched, with its durable body-on-frame construction and iconic box shape. Over the years, the G-Class has received a few cosmetic, engine, and transmission tweaks to maintain its appeal in the market. For 2012, the G550 model of the G Wagen will still be powered by the 5.5-liter, naturally-aspirated, V-8-engine rated at 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. This year also marks the deletion of the G55 AMG from the G-Class mix, which was fitted with AMG performance bits and was powered by a potent 5.4-liter, supercharged, V-8-engine, rated at 500 hp. New for this year is the "Edition Select" package, which adds AMG fenders, sidepipe exhaust, silver-painted wheels, and three color choices: Black, Arctic White, and Iridium Silver. Edition Select also includes two-tone Designo black/porcelain interior trim, and piano black wood trim.

The Range

Body style: SUV
Engines: 5.5L V-8
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic
Models: G550

What's New

The G55 AMG -has been dropped for 2012, making the G550 the lone choice in the G-Class family. The G550 is available with the "Edition Select" package, which includes a few AMG touches such as silver-painted, five-double spoke sport wheels, exhaust sidepipes, AMG fenders, and carbon-look side molding. Edition Select interiors will feature Designo, two-toned upholstery in black/porcelain with contrast stitching, Designo floor mats, black piano lacquer wood trim, and illuminated door sills. The 2012 G-Class is fitted with an updated COMAND head unit that features Bluetooth, voice control, and high-definition radio.

Exterior

The 2012 G-Class retains its iconic and distinctive box-shape. The front features two round headlights that flank a grille with an oversized, three-pointed star emblem; amber turn signals sit atop the flat front fenders. A covered spare tire dominates the rear end, accented with small, rectangular taillights. An optional Edition Select package adds a few AMG touches such as silver-painted wheels, AMG fenders, carbon-look side molding, and exhaust sidepipes. Edition Select G550s will come in three paint choices: Black, Arctic White, and Iridium Silver.

Interior

The original G-Glass was equipped with a very spartan and durable interior made for the rigors of the battlefield. Today, The G-Wagen can be had with many of the luxuries found throughout the Mercedes-Benz lineup such as power adjustable and heated front seats, wood trim, leather, navigation, automatic climate control, and premium, Harmon Kardon sound. A new Edition Select package adds a distinct look with Designo two-toned black/porcelain upholstery with contrast stitching, Designo floor mats, black piano black lacquer wood trim, and illuminated door sills.

Performance & Handling

While most V-8-powered Mercedes have switched to more-efficient, turbocharged engines, the G550 continues with the naturally-aspirated, 5.5-liter unit rated at 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque; the seven-speed gearbox is also a carryover. With a body-on-frame chassis, the G-Class has never been the most nimble or agile vehicle on the road. Instead, it's most known for its off-road capabilities and sports heavy duty axles and three locking differentials, one for the front, center, and rear.

Safety

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550 comes with eight airbags standard, which include dual front, dual front side-impact, and side curtain airbags for both front and rear passengers. Also standard are corner-illuminating fog lamps, rain sensing windshield wipers, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake assist system, tire pressure monitoring system, and electronic stability control. The G-Wagen also features a four-wheel electronic traction system for added grip and control on dirt or slippery roads.

EPA Fuel Economy

G550: 12 mpg city/15 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Off Road Capability
  • Unique Shape
  • Durability

You Won't Like

  • Fuel Economy
  • Rough Ride

Sum Up

Luxury for those who actually drive off road.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Land Rover LR4
  • Lexus LX 570

See the New 2014 G-Class.

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