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Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding off-road ability
  • Luxurious, well-built interior
  • Clumsy on-road handling
  • Low fuel economy for the class
  • Cramped second-row seats




Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.7
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

2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Overview

Reviewers said the 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550's powerful V8 engine delivers impressive acceleration for such a large SUV. They mentioned that its seven-speed automatic transmission executes quick shifts. The 2012 G550 has standard full-time four-wheel drive and gets an EPA-estimated 12/15 city/highway, which is low for the class. Test drivers agreed that the G-Class is an incredibly capable off-roader. However, they said that the G-Class is a handful to pilot on paved roads, citing its vague, slow steering, clumsy handling and harsh ride.

Automotive journalists reported that the 2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class has a well-built interior with first-rate materials. The G-Class seats five people in two rows. Most reviewers said the G-Class’ front seats are comfortable and mentioned that outward visibility is very good, but they wrote that its rear seats don’t have enough legroom. The G-Class has 79.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, which is small for the class, though many rivals are larger and have three rows of seats. Critics noted that the controls for the infotainment and climate systems are mounted a bit low. When it was new, the 2012 G-Class came standard with features that were options on many rivals. Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, front seats that are heated, ventilated and power-adjustable, heated rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system, navigation, Bluetooth, HD Radio, voice command capability, a rearview camera and a Harman Kardon audio system.

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers said the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover has superb off-road performance and comfortable, composed handling on pavement. They also noted that the Range Rover has a richly appointed, luxurious interior.

According to test drivers, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class has a gorgeous interior, composed on-road handling and a smooth ride. The diesel-powered GL350 gets excellent fuel economy for the class. It also has more cargo space than the G-Class and reviewers said all of its seats are spacious.

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

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