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MSRP: $124,500 - 147,500

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 8.5
Safety: TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Review

The redesigned 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class finishes in the top half of our luxury large SUV rankings. This SUV has always been incredibly capable, but it now offers the refinement and technological prowess of a premium luxury vehicle.

Pros & Cons

  • Incredible off-road ability
  • Powerful engines
  • Top-notch cabin
  • A true gas guzzler
  • Sky-high price tag

Is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class a Good SUV?

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a good SUV with plenty of power, and it makes a marvelous off-roader. It handles well enough on the road too, providing a smooth ride. Inside, it looks the part of a luxury SUV across every inch, and the seats are supremely comfortable. There are a ton of standard features, including many more driver assistance features than the outgoing G-Class. The big strike against the G-Class is its pathetic fuel economy, but we're guessing that most G-Class shoppers won't even notice such a thing.

Should I Buy the Mercedes-Benz G-Class?

The new G-Class has a lot to like, but you'll pay a premium for it. This Mercedes costs much more than most other luxury large SUVs, so it's not a great value. You should check out some rivals and see how they stack up against the G-Class to make sure it’s the best choice for your needs. The Land Rover Range Rover is another off-road dynamo, and the Lincoln Navigator is a premium luxury ride.

Compare the G-Class, Range Rover, and Navigator »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mercedes-Benz G-Class?

Mercedes rolls out a completely redesigned G-Class for the 2019 model year. The redesigned model gets a new nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing the outgoing model's seven-speed automatic. It also has several new standard driver assistance features, including rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and driver drowsiness monitoring. The high-performance AMG G 63 gets a smaller engine, but it produces 14 more horsepower. As of this writing, there is no information about iterations of the V12-powered AMG G 65 or 4x4 Squared model for the new generation.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars with a used model, but you'll miss out on the 2019's many updates. If you are interested in a used G-Class, check out our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 G-Class, and scroll through our Used Car Deals page to learn about the savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 G-Class »

We Did the Research for You: 8 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Mercedes-Benz G-Class Cost?

The base G 550 starts at $124,500. That's far beyond the starting price of most class rivals. The same is true at the other end of the spectrum, where the performance-oriented AMG G 63 starts at $147,500.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz G-Class or Land Rover Range Rover?

The Land Rover Range Rover is one of the few SUVs that can rival the G-Class's off-road prowess. It's also one of the most expensive luxury large SUVs, though its base price still sits about $35,000 below the Mercedes'. The Range Rover offers a wider array of engines than the G-Class, with V6, V8, diesel, and plug-in-hybrid powertrains. It also gets better gas mileage and handles well on the road. Both SUVs are upscale inside, though the Mercedes is more stylish, and both have ample room for passengers in both rows. However, the Mercedes comes with far more tech features. These are both good SUVs, but the Mercedes is a slightly better SUV overall. Still, you may decide that the Range Rover's lower price makes it a better value.

Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz G-Class or Lincoln Navigator?

The Lincoln Navigator features arguably the nicest interior in the class, which is saying something. It comfortably seats up to eight people, whereas the G-Class only seats five. The Navigator also has more cargo space, and while the G-Class comes with more features, almost everything you can get in the Mercedes is available in the Lincoln. The G-Class is unquestionably the better off-roader, and the Navigator doesn't have anything to match the Benz's AMG model. But the Navigator is a comfortable cruiser with a stronger, more fuel-efficient twin-turbo V6. Throw in the Lincoln's starting price, which is about $50,000 less than the Mercedes', and the Navigator is the easy choice here.

Compare the G-Class, Range Rover, and Navigator »

G-Class Interior

How Many People Does the G-Class Seat?

The G-Class seats five people in sublime comfort. The front and rear seats have enough head- and legroom for adult passengers to fit easily. These seats also remain supportive on long drives.

G-Class and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats.

G-Class Interior Quality

The Mercedes G-Class looks and feels the way a luxury SUV should inside. It uses high-end materials across every surface, and it looks stylish to boot. This is one of the best interiors in the class.

G-Class Cargo Space

Mercedes has not yet released cargo dimensions for the 2019 G-Class. The outgoing model provided about 38 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and roughly 79 cubes with the rear seats folded down.

G-Class Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the G-Class include a sunroof and the COMAND infotainment system with a 12.3-inch display screen, a touchpad controller, navigation, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a 15-speaker Burmester audio system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. A Wi-Fi hot spot and a rear-seat entertainment system are available.

The G-Class doesn't feature a touch screen, and you may need some practice to master the COMAND system's touchpad controller. Once you get the hang of it, however, the system is intuitive and user-friendly.

Read more about interior »

G-Class Performance

G-Class Engine: Horsepower to Spare

You have two V8 engine choices in the G-Class, and both move this big SUV with aplomb. The base engine puts out 416 horsepower, and the high-performance Mercedes-AMG model features a 577-horsepower setup. In addition to making the G-Class feel strong and fast, both V8s also have excellent engine notes.

G-Class Gas Mileage: BP Execs Love This SUV

The G-Class is one of the least fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. It earns just 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. The Lincoln Navigator, which features a twin-turbo V6 engine, gets 16/23 mpg city/highway. Even other V8-powered SUVs tend to get better mileage. A good example is the Land Rover Range Rover, which returns 16/21 mpg with a V8 engine.

G-Class Ride and Handling: Built for Off-Roading, but at Home on the Pavement

The redesigned G-Class has better on-road handling than the outgoing model. This Mercedes is quiet and composed on the pavement, by contrast. While it lacks the ultra-refined ride or solid agility of luxury SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne, the G-Class feels smooth over most road surfaces and relatively composed for its size.

G-Class Off-Road Performance

This Mercedes-Benz can tackle any terrain you want to take it over, thanks to its excellent ground clearance and many off-road features. It handles steep inclines, declines, and lateral slopes as easily as other cars drive through a parking lot. Few rivals have the kind of off-road ability the G-Class offers.

Read more about performance »

G-Class Reliability

Is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class Reliable?

The 2019 G-Class earns a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Warranty

Mercedes-Benz covers the G-Class with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

G-Class Safety

G-Class Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2019 G-Class.

G-Class Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and driver drowsiness monitoring. Every model also comes with active brake assist, which helps you apply appropriate braking pressure, and Mercedes' Pre-Safe, a system that automatically tightens the seat belts and rolls the windows up when the vehicle detects and impending collision.

Read more about safety »

Which Mercedes-Benz G-Class Model Is Right for Me?

Like a few other Mercedes models, the G-Class is so high-end that almost all of its comfort, convenience, and active safety features come standard. Still, there are some available upgrades. With that in mind, most buyers will do well to stick with the base G 550. The major difference between it and the AMG G 63 is the powertrain, and for most shoppers, it's not really worth an extra $23,000 or so to shave a little more than a second off the G-Wagen's zero-to-60 time.

Mercedes-Benz G 550

The G 550 carries a base price of $124,500. It features a 416-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive. Standard features include leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a sunroof, and the COMAND infotainment system with a 12.3-inch display screen, navigation, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a Burmester audio system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, park assist, and driver drowsiness monitoring.

There are several option packages that include styling upgrades as well as features like an adaptive suspension, Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. These packages range in price from around $2,000 to more than $12,000.

Mercedes-AMG G 63

The AMG G 63 starts at $147,500. It features a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that puts out 577 horsepower. Features-wise, the AMG model is nearly identical to the base G 550.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

See 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Mercedes G-Class feels fresh after its redesign for the 2019 model year, and it deserves its spot in the top half of our class rankings. This SUV has always been rugged and capable, but now it comes with enough comfort, convenience, and driver assistance features to make it feel like it belongs in the 21st century. Its high price tag and dismal fuel economy may scare off some buyers, but if budget is no concern, the G-Class is sure to be an intriguing option.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "While competitors have constantly worked to make their towering SUVS feel like a sedan, the G has remained suitably truckish. It has no interest in pretending to be a car. The team behind the all-new G-Class had the unenviable job of improving the vehicle without spoiling the elements that have made it one of the marque's signature models. The result is a larger SUV with a touch more civility that hasn't sacrificed any of its capability." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The original 1979-2018 G-Class is a tough act to follow. But it seems like Mercedes spent four decades thinking about how to reinvent its icon for modern regulations and sensibilities, while still following the formula that made the first edition such a success. It was time well spent. The 2019 G-Class drives the fine line between evolution and revolution, capturing the spirit and personality of the original, while improving in just about every way. It may be more modern and refined than the original, but it's still unmistakably a G-Wagen - which is unquestionably the biggest compliment it can get." -- Motor Trend
  • Let's be honest, the G-Class is as much a status symbol as it is anything else these days. For every G-Wagen climbing an Alpine slope, there are at least five street-parked in Beverly Hills. Good thing, then, that the 2019 G-Class has improvements that'll be appreciated by both types of buyers. For those who seek its rugged capability, it's far easier to control off road without sacrificing anything in the way of outright prowess. For the on-road boulevard set, it's significantly nicer to drive at all speeds, not to mention far more luxurious, tech-forward and outright comfortable than before. The G-Class' biggest update yet clearly positions it for future success. Here's to the next 40 years." -- CNET

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: May 3, 2019

Flourishing Demand: The redesigned Mercedes G-Class currently is hovering in the middle of the pack of the luxury large SUV sales rankings. However, sales have ballooned well over 110 percent this year compared to the same span last year. Even so, the class sales leading Cadillac Escalade is outselling the G-Class by nearly 3 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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