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2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

$124,500 — $124,500 MSRP
SUV
5 Seats
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

There are really only a handful of vehicles on the planet that you could truly describe as "iconic": the Chevrolet Corvette, or the Porsche 911 - maybe the Ford Mustang or the Jeep Wrangler. Well, and this thing.

Spend any time in Southern California and you'll see one — not traversing the hills and streams of Malibu canyons, mind you, but crawling through traffic and rolling down shopping-mall parking decks. This is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, one of the most expensive, most capable and most distinctive SUVs in the world. And despite its amazing off-road prowess and capability, the vast majority of them are outfitted as super-luxurious, super-expensive family vehicles.

The G-Class's biggest markets globally are Southern California, certain Texas communities, New York, Atlanta and South Florida. For 2019, the "G-Wagen," as it was originally known (short for Gelandewagen, or "cross-country vehicle"), gets a significant update — an all-new interior, bigger dimensions and a revised suspension. It hits dealerships in late 2018 and competes with the Land Rover Range Rover and Cadillac Escalade.

Exterior
On the outside, it won't look like much has changed. Part of the G-Wagen's charm has always been that it looks like the shipping container that a Mercedes-Benz SL roadster comes in. But for 2019, some rounded corners and improved details keep the G-Class relevant and more refined, with better airflow for a quieter ride (fuel economy isn't as much of an area of emphasis in a class like this). The fenders are more integrated into the body while the grille and hood are slightly rounder.

But classic G-Wagen design elements remain, such as t...

Spend any time in Southern California and you'll see one — not traversing the hills and streams of Malibu canyons, mind you, but crawling through traffic and rolling down shopping-mall parking decks. This is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, one of the most expensive, most capable and most distinctive SUVs in the world. And despite its amazing off-road prowess and capability, the vast majority of them are outfitted as super-luxurious, super-expensive family vehicles.

The G-Class's biggest markets globally are Southern California, certain Texas communities, New York, Atlanta and South Florida. For 2019, the "G-Wagen," as it was originally known (short for Gelandewagen, or "cross-country vehicle"), gets a significant update — an all-new interior, bigger dimensions and a revised suspension. It hits dealerships in late 2018 and competes with the Land Rover Range Rover and Cadillac Escalade.

Exterior
On the outside, it won't look like much has changed. Part of the G-Wagen's charm has always been that it looks like the shipping container that a Mercedes-Benz SL roadster comes in. But for 2019, some rounded corners and improved details keep the G-Class relevant and more refined, with better airflow for a quieter ride (fuel economy isn't as much of an area of emphasis in a class like this). The fenders are more integrated into the body while the grille and hood are slightly rounder.

But classic G-Wagen design elements remain, such as the exterior door handles and protective strip, the exposed hood and door hinges, the fender-mounted turn signals and the externally mounted full-size spare tire on the tailgate. The biggest difference is in its size — the new 2019 model is 2.1 inches longer and 4.8 inches wider than the model it replaces, with the goal of increasing interior room.

Interior
And increase it they have: There's an inch-and-a-half more legroom for front-seat occupants and nearly 6 inches more for backseat riders. Shoulder room has increased by more than an inch front and back, and elbow room has increased by more than 2 inches. It should feel considerably more spacious inside than the outgoing model.

Mercedes-Benz took the opportunity of a larger interior to redo the entire cabin, bringing it fully up to date with the modern Mercedes-Benz showroom. While an analog gauge display is standard, optional is a widescreen digital dash. Two 12.3-inch displays side by side bring a new widescreen-cockpit look to the G-Wagen, just like the ones seen in the S-Class and E-Class.

A new dash with all-new air vents, controls and materials is also present, replacing the old-style interior with the tacked-on tablet-style display. New seats are fitted front and back, with the front ones featuring optional Active Multicontour functionality.

Under the Hood
Powering the new G-Class is Mercedes-Benz's carryover twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine pumping out 416 horsepower and 450 pounds-feet of torque in a model designated the G550 (more powerful AMG versions are expected to be shown later). It channels that power through a new nine-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels with permanent all-wheel drive and a system that offers three electronically locking differentials, controlled from the cabin. Switch any of those differentials to lock, and the vehicle enters a new "G-Mode," which changes everything from steering input to transmission shifting to throttle control in order to maximize off-road prowess.

The steering system is new, as well, with an electromechanical system replacing the prior model's hydraulic steering, which enables new parking assist features. The front suspension has also been changed; it's now an independent double-A-arm setup instead of a live axle for better handling on-road and articulation off-road. The rear axle is now suspended via four trailing arms on each side and stabilized by a Panhard rod. The G-Class should also benefit from a 375-pound weight reduction thanks to the incorporation of several grades of steel into the body shell, as well as aluminum for the fenders, hood and doors.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The G-Class received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker