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Blog 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon: Still an Icon?

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon: Still an Icon?

May 6, 2020

For the first time since 1979 the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Glass gets a total makeover. Is it worth the price tag?

When Mercedes-Benz built the very first G-Wagon back in 1979 they never expected it to become one of the most iconic Mercedes’ ever. Now, nearly 40 years later, they have redesigned the G-Wagon for the very first time from the ground up and the result is an even more luxurious, off-road capable, and impressive vehicle that will take you everywhere from the wilds of Rodeo Drive to the shifting sands of the California Desert – all for a price starting around $125,500.

What is the Mercedes G-Wagon?

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class or G-Wagon is a boxy, tall, large SUV that is capable both on road and off and has garnered massive popularity amongst the well-to-do crowd including famous actors, politicians, and artists. It has been around since 1979 and the 2019 edition is the first full redesign of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon. Mercedes says that the G-Wagon is the grandfather to all the SUVs it makes today – combining off-road capability with on-road comfort and performance.

What does a 2019 G-Wagon look like?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon looks almost exactly like the previous generation of G-Wagon with some subtle updates that may not be totally apparent to the untrained observer. It is boxy and tall with very minimal front and rear overhangs that help it have a better approach and departure angle when going off-road. It does not look like a raised wagon, but it is slightly larger than the previous generation and has a number of subtle updates that improve the overall package – yet the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon still maintains it’s traditional shape and characteristic, beefy, good  looks. In fact, the all-new G-Wagon has only 3 parts that carry over from the previous generation. According to Mercedes-Benz, the three pieces of the new 2019 G-Wagon that are exactly the same as the previous generation include:

Everything else on the 2019 Mercedes G-Wagon is totally new. There are two versions of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon:

Visually the two vehicles can be told apart because the bull bar at the front of the vehicles are in different spots. The G 550 gets a higher bull bar while the G 63’s is lower on the vehicle.

Why are G-Wagons so popular?

To understand why G-Wagons are so popular you have to go back in time and understand the history of the vehicle. What began as a military workhouse has since become an iconic vehicle with style and capability unrivaled by any other on the market. In fact, these vehicles are so popular that Mercedes was loath to change much about the appearance and says that the G-Class is “stronger than time.” Some of the reasons that Mercedes-Benz G-Wagons are so popular include:

In addition to these reasons, the new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon is much more comfortable to drive and ride in than its predecessor. Because the G-Wagon is purpose-built as an off roader, the early iterations tend to be rough riding, loud, and somewhat cramped, despite the tall appearance. They also tend to guzzle gas, not that anyone who buys a G-Wagon is concerned about fuel efficiency.

What does the new 2019 G-Wagon get?

The results of these updates mean that the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon is:

What’s the 2019 Mercedes G-Wagon like to drive on-road and off?

The 2019 Mercedes G-Wagon is an incredible vehicle to drive both on-road an off. The improvements to the front suspension make it a lot more comfortable on rough roads or cruising at highway speeds and the additional interior space and updated technology from the S-Class and E-Class make it that much better. The G-Wagon’s slab sides and front make it a bit like a “flying brick,” as the G-Class Product Manager Matt Bowerman says. That means that wind noise is noticeable at both high driving speeds on the road and when you happen to be hustling the vehicle over the top of Mount Laguna in the middle of a rare torrential Southern California wind and rain storm. In any other vehicle, the crossing might get a bit tricky with gusts of up to 35 miles per hour, but the G-Wagon is a sure-footed and steadfast companion. Driving the G-Wagon is like stepping through the looking glass and getting a glimpse of how the 1% lives. Swathed in luxurious leather and technology that cushions drivers and riders from the outside world, whether its paparazzi or a sudden sandstorm in the desert, you barely notice the external elements as you ride high above the rest of traffic. You get looks from fellow drivers and passers-by as you roar past in the tall boxy vehicle, but in Southern California a G-Class is a common sight. According to Mercedes, more than one-third of sales come from California with more than half of those originating in the Southern California area.

Off-Road is where the G-Wagon simply astounds, however. The conditions at the Ocotillo Wells off-road park were questionable at best, sandstorms raged as the wind coming down off the mountains brought the first rain in more than two years.

We took the G550 up sideways across steep, soft, sandy slopes and worked it carefully both up and down craggy rock faces using various combinations of the three differential locks. The center lock can only be engaged under 50 miles per hour and the driver has to punch buttons in the right order to get the differentials to lock before hustling up the next hill. When locking the rear and then the front diff, the driver has to slowly roll forward and back, turning the wheel lock to lock-position to get the mechanical differentials to engage before plowing forward. Off-road, the G-Wagon does all the heavy lifting thanks in part to the differential locks, but also as a result of the solid rear axle and increased ride height. At one point we perched the G-Wagon on the precipice of a rock hill letting the rear wheel hang in mid-air. The blustery weather only made for a more out-of-body experience as we drove the $125k-plus vehicles across the lunar-like landscape. It was incredibly capable and inspired confidence as we moved with ease from one obstacle to another all while cocooned in soft leather and heated massaging seats.

How much is the 2019 Mercedes G-Wagon?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class comes in two available models, the G550 and the Mercedes-AMG G63. The G550 starts at $125,495 including destination. The G63 starts at $148,495 including destination.

When will the 2019 G-Wagon be available?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 is currently on sale in U.S. dealerships and the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 will arrive in dealers in early 2019.

Is it worth upgrading to the 2019 Mercedes G-Wagon?

In a word, yes, it is absolutely worth upgrading to the 2019 Mercedes G-Wagon. The technology and comfort alone make the upgrade worthwhile and considering that the vehicle hasn’t been completely redone since it was first brought to market in 1979. It is simply one of the most iconic, capable and comfortable SUV’s on the market.