Buyer's Guide

2021 Mercedes-Benz G-class
Select a Different Model (2 Available): G550
Fuel Economy $ 17 / 19 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 38/69 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 416@5,250
See All Specs
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2021 Mercedes-Benz G-Class MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Awesome boxy design
  • Off-road capability
  • Decent on-road performance

Cons

  • Complex off-road aids
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Not as spacious as most competitors

The mighty G-Class (or G-Wagen) is one of the oldest models in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, having been developed in the mid-1970s as a rugged off-roader. For 2019, the German automaker redesigned the G-Wagen for the first time in decades, retaining the model's legendary off-road capability and adding modern conveniences. The G-Class competes against other high-dollar off-road SUVs including the Land Rover Range Rover, Lexus LX, and Toyota Land Cruiser.

What's New

  • New 20-inch wheel option
  • New interior and exterior customization options
  • Wireless chagrin now standard on G 63
  • AMG Night Package Magno available on G 63

What We Think

Although the new G represents an objective improvement over its predecessor, our 2019 SUV of the Year evaluation shows it lost some of the old car's old-school charm. One major improvement in this off-roader is its performance on-road; the new car is significantly more comfortable, more refined, and the steering is much more direct.

A large infotainment screen and matching available instrument cluster display work in concert with the G's modernized, more luxurious interior. The interior design feels more appropriate in an S-Class, and although it detracts from the old model's character, it certainly helps justify the G-Wagen's sky-high price point.

Of course, the modern G is excellent off-road, as evidenced by its second-place finish in our hardcore off-road comparison. That said, its off-road features were not as accessible as those in the Jeep Wrangler that took the crown. It's also worth noting the G 63 is a raucous riot, even if the G 550 is more congruous with G-Wagen heritage.

As a package, this character-filled off-roader finally justifies its price and is decent to drive on the road. If its awful fuel economy and newly modernized appeal ever so slightly detracts from the charm, so be it.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Every G-Wagen is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, but its output depends on which variant you go for. At work in the standard G550, it develops a healthy 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. Those after maximum performance and swagger in their off-road luxury machine should opt for the Mercedes-AMG G 63, whose boosted V-8 kicks out 577 hp and 627 lb-ft.

Although 5.4 seconds to 60 is mighty impressive for a vehicle of this size, the AMG accomplishes the same deed in just 4.1 seconds. The G 63 doesn't carry much of a fuel economy disadvantage, either. Both cars return an unimpressive 13 mpg city, and the G 550 achieves 17 mpg highway compared to 15 mpg in the G 63.

Safety

Although the G-Class has not been crash-tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA, Mercedes-Benz includes a host of driver-assist content as standard. Adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, driver attention alert, active park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking are included on all models.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Despite a higher price point than the GLS-Class, the G-Wagen seats five passengers to that SUV's six or seven. Legroom measures 40.7 inches up front and 39.5 inches in the back seat. Cargo volume behind the rear seats is rated at 38.1 cubic feet, although folding the seats down expands capacity to 68.6 cubes.

Technology

The G-Class features the last-gen Mercedes-Benz COMAND infotainment interface instead of the newer, over-complicated MBUX. A 12.3-inch touchscreen display is standard, and a matching 12.3-inch instrument cluster display is available as a standalone option. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, and 15-speaker Burmester audio are included on all models.

Key Competitors:

2021 MERCEDES-BENZ G-CLASS SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
Engine Name
Engine: V8 Turbo 4.0 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 9G-TRONIC 9 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
Trim
G550
Class
Luxury Utility
Horsepower
416@5,250
Standard MPG
17/19
Body Style
SUV/Crossover
Drivetrain
AWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Premium
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
50,000
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
48
Powertrain Warranty Miles
50,000
Full Warranty Miles
50,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
48
Full Warranty Months
48
Roadside Assistance Miles
50,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
48
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated