Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
Expert Reviews 2 of 7
By Larry Printz
The Morning Call and Mcall.com
June 23, 2002
Say you've got a fat wad to blow on an SUV. Lexi are too common. Ditto Escalades. Humvees are old news.
How to show the neighbors a couple acres away in the next McMansion that you're hot stuff?
Maybe a Mercedes-Benz G500 is your
The G stands for Galaende-wagen. That's German for ''cross country vehicle.''
Originally designed for use by the German army to patrol borders, its boxy shape dates to sometime after the first energy crisis.
in Graz, Austria, by Steyr-Daimler-Puch, the G500 is finally being imported by Mercedes-Benz after years of gray market imports. Two-thousand a year will enter this country at a starting price of $72,500. That's a bargain compared to the $135,000-plus
tariff asked by some importers.
Still, is this four-wheel-drive automotive brick really worth it?
Depends on how insecure you are.
The G500 driver sits high in the saddle, with a roof so high, even the Kaiser's pointed
helmet could fit without brushing the headliner. It has the Mercedes bank vault feel when you slam the doors, giving the impression that this vehicle could outlast the next war, not to mention the next battle over a parking space at Wal-Mart.
The G500's imposing slab sides and tall stance provide an incredible feeling of space inside the vehicle that belies its relatively short 183.5 inch length. This also means slowing down for corners, as rollovers are a hazard for such high-profile
vehicles. However, the Electronic Stability Program helps keep things on an even keel.
Power is quite strong. The 5-liter V-8 is rated at 292 horsepower, fed through a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Four-wheel-drive
is constantly engaged, with a high and low gear as well as front, center and rear locking differentials.
The ride off-road is firm, but quite good. Most owners will never take it any farther off-road than the bush at the end of the driveway.
Still, this off-road alacrity is tempered by a highway ride with a jiggle. It has loads of ground clearance and a very tight turning radius.
Inside, Mercedes-Benz has tried to endow the G500 with luxury accoutrements. That means the usual dose
of wood and leather. It certainly helps. But there's too much hard plastic and squared-off edges to fully hide its military past. There's an industrial feel to the interior.
The gauges and controls come straight from the C-Class, the
Mercedes-Benz least-expensive line. The instrument cluster's half-moon shape is every bit as easy to understand in the G-Class as it is in the lesser C-Class. Ditto the simple automatic climate controls.
But the Mercedes-Benz ''COMMAND'' center
can be just as daunting to figure out as it is elsewhere. ''COMMAND'' combines controls for the navigation system, cell phone and stereo in one unit. While the audio controls are simple enough, the rest of it can be tough to
figure out without instructions. Without a manual, I couldn't figure out how to map a course to State College, necessitating a call via Mercedes-Benz's Tele-Aid. I was then informed that it would cost $2.95 plus airtime to answer one simple question.
Well, at least it was cheaper than filling the tank.
Normally, I accept an SUV's lousy gas mileage as part of the equation. These vehicles are built for tough tasks, not fuel efficiency. But the 9 mpg in the city, 14.5 mpg on the highway
and overall average of 13 mpg was a bit eye-opening. Keep in mind my final stint in the G500 returned a mere 7 mpg on premium fuel.
But this vehicle is all about standing apart, uh, make that above the crowd. The Mercedes-Benz G500 is for those
who find conformity uncomfortable and subtlety unsavory.