For 2009, Mercedes-Benz has replaced the G500--a former military vehicle--with the 382-horsepower G550. It also boosted the G55 AMG's supercharged engine to 500 hp. Mercedes-Benz focuses largely on road-going manners with its M-Class SUV, but the G-Class is a hard-core offroad machine that comfortably seats five people. Competitors include the Hummer H2 and Land Rover Range Rover.
What's new for 2009
More-powerful G55 AMG version and new grille with grille guard.
This distinctive SUV's strictly utilitarian appearance is somewhat softened by body-colored bumpers and rocker panels and a stainless steel spare-tire cover. At 185.6 inches long overall on a 112.2-inch wheelbase, the G-Class is 3 inches shorter than the 2006 M-Class, but it stands 6.3 inches taller.
- New grille with grille guard
- New 18-inch five-twin-spoke wheels on G550
- New 19-inch five-spoke wheels on G55 AMG
Leather upholstery is complemented by burl walnut or maple wood trim. Standard equipment includes automatic climate control, power windows and locks, DVD navigation, 10-way power front seats with three-position memory, and rear parking assistance.
- New multimedia head unit with advanced audio and video controls and features
- Alcantara leather headliner in G55 AMG
- Rear-passenger reading lamps
- Optional HD radio and Sirius Real-Time Traffic
Under the Hood
Depending on the model, there are two engine options that can be teamed with a five- or seven-speed automatic transmission.
- G550's V-8 produces 382 hp and 391 pounds-feet of torque and teams with a seven-speed automatic
- G55 AMG's supercharged V-8 has been boosted to produce 500 hp and is teamed with a five-speed automatic
A variety of safety features are standard, including:
- Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist
- Electronic stability system
- Side curtain airbags