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2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Review

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class ranks near the top of the luxury large SUV class. It combines a sumptuous cabin and comfortable seats with off-road mastery and a lineup of brutish engines.

Pros & Cons

  • Lavish, cavernous cabin
  • Adept off-roader
  • Powerful engines
  • Small cargo hold
  • Terrible fuel economy
  • High base price

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class's #2 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Large SUVs category. Currently the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 11 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.8
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Mercedes-Benz G-Class?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

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

Yes, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a great luxury large SUV. It’s one of the best off-roaders you can find, and it blends a rugged, adventuring spirit with coddling luxury and top-notch refinement. Further bolstering this vehicle’s appeal are its muscular powertrains, smooth-shifting transmission, and generous list of features. There are a few shortcomings, such as a small cargo hold and poor fuel economy estimates, but those probably won’t dissuade many G-Wagen shoppers.  

Should I Buy the Mercedes-Benz G-Class?

There are many reasons to like the G-Class, but a high price tag is not one of them. Even in a class with many SUVs starting in six-figure territory, the G-Class’ price is exorbitant. The Lincoln Navigator may have an even more luxe interior, while the Land Rover Range Rover and the Toyota Land Cruiser can go toe-to-toe with the G-Class in an off-road setting.

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

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

Mercedes-Benz redesigned the G-Class for the 2019 model year and made no major changes for 2020. Because of the similarities between these models, you may want to focus your search on the 2019 G-Class to potentially save some money.

You can find a previous-generation model for even less. However, you’d miss out on some major updates. For its 2019 redesign, the G-Wagen gained a nine-speed automatic transmission, a 14-horsepower bump in the AMG G 63 model, and a bevy of standard driver aids, including a driver condition monitor and a park assist system. This latest generation also introduced an available 12.3-inch Widescreen Cockpit digital instrument cluster.

If you’re considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 G-Class, 2018 G-Class, and 2019 G-Class reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 G-Class »

We Did the Research for You: 9 Reviews Analyzed

To make our car rankings and reviews as consumer-oriented as possible, we do not rely on our personal opinions. Instead, we analyze hard data such as cargo space dimensions, horsepower specs, and predicted reliability, as well as the opinions of the automotive press.

This 2020 G-Class review draws on nine reviews and incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

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

The entry-level G-Class 550 has a base MSRP of $127,650. That’s far and away the highest starting price in our luxury large SUV class. Not only that, but the top trim of every rival except the Land Rover Range Rover retails for less than the base Mercedes-Benz, let alone the high-performance AMG model.

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 Toyota Land Cruiser?

Although the Toyota Land Cruiser matches the G-Class' off-road chops, the Mercedes-Benz is the better vehicle. It has a more modern cabin design with newer tech features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and its steering isn’t as heavy as the G's. The Mercedes V8 engine also produces significantly more horsepower and torque than you’ll get with the Toyota. However, keep in mind that the G-Class is significantly more expensive. The Land Cruiser's base price is around $42,300 less than that of the G-Class.

Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz G-Class or Mercedes Benz GLS?

Redesigned for 2020, the Mercedes-Benz GLS ranks neck and neck with the G-Class. The GLS has potent engines, including a turbocharged V8 that’s stronger than the G-Class’ base V8. Despite having standard all-wheel drive, the GLS gets great fuel economy estimates. It also touts three rows of seats and more cargo room than the G-Class. However, the G-Class has even more engine power with the Mercedes-AMG model, and it boasts superior off-roading capability. Choosing between these two Mercedes vehicles comes down to personal preference.

Compare the G-Class, Land Cruiser, and GLS »

G-Class Interior

How Many People Does the G-Class Seat?

The 2020 G-Class seats up to five people on standard leather upholstery. This Mercedes is one of the few luxury large SUVs that is not available with third-row seating. All models come with power-adjustable front seats and heated front and back seats. Available upgrades include multicontour massaging front seats, ventilated front seats, Nappa leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel.

Interior room and comfort are highlights of this vehicle. Whether you sit in the front or back, you’ll find plenty of room to stretch out. The seats are well-cushioned and supportive, making them comfortable even on daylong drives.

G-Class and Child Car Seats

The G-Class has two full sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats.

G-Class Interior Quality

The 2020 G-Class has a luxurious cabin full of premium materials and soft leather surfaces. Unlike in prior generations of the G-Class, the seats in the newest iteration offer all-day comfort.

G-Class Cargo Space

This two-row Mercedes has 38.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. That’s less than you’ll find in other luxury large SUVs. With the rear seats folded down, the G-Wagen has a total of 68.6 cubic feet of space, which is also subpar compared to rivals, most of which are three-row SUVs. It’s also worth noting that the liftgate doesn’t open upward like a traditional SUV. Rather, it swings out to one side.

G-Class Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard equipment in the G-Class includes a sunroof and the COMAND infotainment system with a touchpad controller, a 12.3-inch display, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, a 15-speaker Burmester stereo, two USB ports, Bluetooth, and satellite radio.

Available tech upgrades include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a rear-seat entertainment system with two 10-inch touch screens, and remote start.

The display lacks touch capability. Instead, the infotainment system employs an easy-to-use console-mounted touchpad and knob. The large screen displays crisp graphics and clear text. A state-of-the-art 12.3-inch digital cockpit is also available. It replaces the traditional gauge cluster and makes it easier to monitor settings without taking your eyes off the road.

Read more about interior »

G-Class Performance

G-Class Engine: Great All-Around

There are two engine choices in this Mercedes-Benz. Regardless of the engine you pick, you’ll get a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Standard in the base G 550 is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that makes 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. The AMG G 63 has the same engine but squeezes 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque out of it.

The transmission executes smooth, responsive shifts. Both engines are powerful, and they sound amazing. AMG models can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That rivals some sports cars.

G-Class Gas Mileage: Gas Guzzler 

The G-Wagen gets an EPA-estimated 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. The AMG returns the same 13 mpg in the city but 15 mpg on the highway. Those figures make this Mercedes one of the least fuel-efficient vehicles on the road.

G-Class Ride and Handling: Quiet and Composed

This vehicle has a mostly smooth on-road ride. Despite its truck-like body-on-frame construction, it remains quiet and composed on the pavement. Body lean is kept to a minimum around corners, but there’s some steering resistance at lower speeds.  

G-Class Off-Road Performance

Few competitors rival the G-Class’s adventuring capabilities. This Mercedes has 9.5 inches of ground clearance and comes standard with four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case, and three locking differentials.

Read more about performance »

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Reliability

Is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class Reliable?

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Warranty

Mercedes-Benz backs the 2020 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 2020 G-Class, which is common for high-end luxury vehicles.

G-Class Safety Features

Standard safety features in this Mercedes-Benz include rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic high-beam headlights, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, parallel and perpendicular park assist, adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera, traffic sign recognition, a driver attention monitor, and Mercedes’ Pre-Safe pre-collision passenger protection system.

There are no available driver aids, save for Mercedes’ Car-to-X communication. This allows properly equipped vehicles to “talk” to each other through radio-based exchanges about upcoming obstacles or traffic infrastructure.

Read more about safety »

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Dimensions and Weight

The G-Class is between 15.8 and 16 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 5,554 to 5,845 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Built?

Mercedes-Benz builds the 2020 G-Class in Austria.

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

Mercedes-Benz offers the G-Class in two main trims: G 550 and AMG G 63. The base G-Class features a luxe interior with a rich bounty of high-tech standard equipment. The main reason to go for the AMG model is its stronger powertrain, but the nearly $25,000 price jump makes it less attractive to many shoppers.

Mercedes-Benz G 550

The G 550 has a base MSRP of $127,650. It features a biturbo 416-horsepower V8 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, and alloy wheels. Inside, you’ll find a sunroof, a 12.3-inch display, a touchpad controller, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a 15-speaker Burmester stereo, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, power-adjustable front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, and an in-cabin air purifier.

Standard safety features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a driver condition monitor, parallel perpendicular park assist, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control. 

A Wi-Fi hot spot is available for $20. A rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10-inch touch screens is available too.

You could also opt for the Seat Comfort package, which adds ventilated and massaging multicontour front seats for $2,220. The Exclusive Interior package costs $5,000 and comes with upgraded Nappa leather upholstery and a few other interior enhancements. AMG Line packages include sport steering wheel, larger alloy wheels, and a sport exhaust system.   

Mercedes-AMG G 63

The AMG trim starts at a whopping $152,500. It gains a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, but its main claim to fame lies in performance. The AMG’s twin-turbo V8 engine puts out 577 horsepower. Other sporty upgrades include an adaptive damping suspension and a high-performance braking system.

Many of the same options and packages from the G 550 are available in the G 63.

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 2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class pairs upscale refinement with off-road ruggedness. Its spacious cabin showcases a vast array of modern tech, safety, and comfort features, and the G-Class rides smoothly on most surfaces. This vehicle has a higher base price than many other luxury large SUVs, and it gets subpar fuel economy estimates. If price isn’t much of a concern, this Mercedes is worth a look. That said, there are many rivals that will give you more bang for your buck.

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

  • "Although it was new from the ground up last year, the G 550 retains a very familiar silhouette, one that has impressed the world with its off-road ability and dogged reliability for over four decades. Still built in the same Austrian town that gave birth to the first G-Wagen, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV features a body-on-frame chassis with an independent front suspension, a front, center and rear locking differential and a 416-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2019)
  • "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 (2019)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: July 16, 2020

Low Sales: The G-Class currently sits in the bottom half of the luxury large SUV sales rankings. Sales have dropped this year by 11.8 percent compared to the same period in 2019. 

Research more buying advice »
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2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

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