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2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Review

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one of the most opulent and unapologetic luxury large SUVs on the market, but if you’re looking for a vehicle that can ferry a large family and their cargo, the G-Class is not a good choice. 

Pros & Cons

  • Opulent interior
  • Vault-like construction
  • Powerful engine
  • Fantastic off-road ability
  • Limited cargo and passenger space
  • Terrible fuel economy




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 6.3
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Overview

When it was new, reviewers praised the 2011 G-Class for its vault-like construction, luxurious interior and wealth of standard features. Even though most owners will never venture past the pavement, the G-Class was designed as an off-roading vehicle. Reviewers said this is evident in the G-Class’ somewhat sloppy on-road handling, but they tend to give it a pass, since there is nothing else like it. 

The base Mercedes G-Class, known as the G550, is powered by a 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8, which reviewers said provides plenty of power. But if you need more power, check out the high-performance G55 AMG. Full-time four-wheel drive is standard on the G550 and fuel economy is low, even for a large SUV. The G550 gets 11/15 mpg city/highway. The 2011 G550 is basically unchanged from the 2010 model, so you may be able to save some money by shopping for an older model.

The G-Class seats five in seats that reviewers found comfortable, though a bit cramped. The G-Class is loaded to the gills with standard equipment, including leather upholstery, Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system, Bluetooth and navigation. Maximum cargo capacity is 79.5 cubic feet, which is on the low end compared with other 2011 Large SUVs.

See the full 2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re interested in the G-Class, you should consider the 2011 Land Rover Range Rover as well. The Range Rover is also very capable off-road and delivers high levels of luxury. Reviewers generally liked its on-road handling better than that of the G-Class.

Another alternative to consider is the 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser seats up to eight and is more suitable as a family vehicle than the G-Class, but the Toyota is also quite capable off-road. While the Land Cruiser is luxurious, reviewers agreed that it isn’t nearly as fancy as the G550. However, they also said that the Land Cruiser handles well for such a big vehicle, and in many ways, the Land Cruiser is the more practical choice.

Compare the G-Class to the Range Rover and Land Cruiser »

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