2023 Mercedes-Benz G 550 Road Test Review: Should you cave to the crave?

When you locate yourself with a craving for one thing, perhaps a favored junk foodstuff or movie, only that particular issue will do the trick. No remake, update or substitute will do. It has to be that factor. And it is really for that cause that the Mercedes-Benz G-Class exists and carries on to prosper. You can find literally absolutely nothing else that comes near. Mercedes itself understood that when it did its to start with ground-up redesign of the SUV for the 2019 model year, producing certain that quintessential G-Class issues were being preserved, from the all round brick-like style to the old door latches that clacked. With out them, it just wouldn’t be a G. Like a lot of factors we crave, nevertheless, they are not normally the very best for us, and depending on your demands, you could be regretting caving to the crave.

Our take a look at machine is the “lowly,” “humble” G 550. This entry-amount G-Class starts off about $140,000. And for the funds, you are obtaining one particular of the rare vehicles that can unironically be called legendary. Even while every overall body panel was transformed with the redesign, it still looks just like the SUV that was introduced in the 1970s. The authentic giveaways are the LED headlights, the built-in brush guard and a lot more elegantly built-in reflectors.

Thankfully, the inside is basically really diverse from the previous versions. This is most evident in the packaging. You will find so significantly extra legroom than the past generation, in which your knees tended to be jammed up in the dash and heart stack. Your tallest hats will also match beneath the sky-substantial roof, irrespective of your have prodigious (or not-so-prodigious) top. The much more spacious location also means the steering wheel just isn’t put awkwardly. The rear seat is also more accommodating, nevertheless it however has considerably less legroom than other SUVs of the G’s cost tag and exterior proportions. Even with the superior driving posture, the G continues to have its trademark substantial seating position with small sills and the potential to see each and every corner of the motor vehicle. Quite a few folks tout a “commanding look at of the road” as a critical rationale they ordered an SUV, and it’s tough to get more commanding than the G. The front seats themselves are effectively sculpted and have lots of adjustment, but they are oddly business, which can get a minor tiresome on prolonged drives. Cargo house is copious, as well, significantly in top, nevertheless it truly is disheartening that the rear seats really don’t fold flat with the cargo floor, and there is nowhere to place the privateness deal with when taken out.

Mercedes-Benz G 550Mercedes-Benz G 550

Apart from the packaging, the interior showcases wonderful materials at every corner. It truly is all leather and real wooden trim, even on the dash’s signature seize take care of. The glance is still modern day with the big twin screens for devices and infotainment. And of system oodles of comfort and ease functions are on supply this kind of as massaging seats.

Now, when this might be the “new G,” it is nonetheless four years aged, which in regular vehicle terms, would be on the again conclude of its lifecycle. In that way, it is starting off to display its age. It however makes use of an infotainment program and controller which is a technology outdated, one particular operated largely by a handle knob in the middle console, with infotainment graphics at least a era more mature. This wouldn’t essentially be a poor matter, but it runs a little bit slow as opposed to the newest design, and with such layered menus, it can choose a even though to navigate with the knob. On the additionally side, Mercedes hasn’t changed the handy bodily controls for weather and audio program. Even extra appreciated is the simple fact that the aged steering wheel with actual physical controls is nonetheless listed here, and not the new one particular with touch-delicate buttons. Occasionally, getting driving the periods can be much better.

Mercedes-Benz G 550

As for the driving knowledge, the obvious spotlight is the standard twin-turbo 4.-liter V8. It makes 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, and is paired to an eight-pace automated transmission and complete-time four-wheel drive. They are good quantities, although acceleration is … nicely, it is not bad, but it can be not exciting, both, apart from the low, rumbly, intimidating exhaust observe. It feels quite par for the luxury SUV class. It appears insane, but, sure, the AMG does make a situation for by itself if you want a thing that will hustle more durable, at least in a straight line. While, if you really system to use a G for off-roading, the 550 does not have the AMG’s aspect pipes and lessen-profile tires that counteract the monster abilities provided by each and every G’s reduced-assortment gearing, and front, middle and rear differential locks.

Handling, despite the fact that drastically improved above the preceding generation, is however unimpressive by modern day criteria. As a substitute of experience a little sketchy in corners at close to 30 mph, it starts off experience sketchy in corners close to 50 mph. It really is just so tall and top-large, it will scare you for all the erroneous good reasons. Or perhaps it is really a protection function. It’s going to warn you prior to you do something horribly stupid. Related, the steering is remarkably large, which is fitting for these a heavy truck, but it does signify that driving around town requires a whole lot additional hard work than you are possible applied to. Immediately after a couple dozen parking whole lot battles, it may possibly get aged. Even though you may perhaps have some beautiful new muscle tone.  

Mercedes-Benz G 550

So too could the trip high-quality, which isn’t really soft-delicate in exchange for that mediocre managing. It’s truly rather stiff. You are going to be bumped close to much more than in just about any Mercedes this aspect of a hardcore AMG sporting activities vehicle. Fortunately the body is fantastically effectively designed and helps prevent rattles and creaks from ruining the ambiance. Wind sound does commence to creep in at freeway speeds, which just cannot be astonishing when you are driving something with the aerodynamic profile of a brick wall.

But the issue is, these disadvantages are aspect of the attraction for G-Course supporters. It’s like the sugar in a cake or the grease in a burger. It is not essentially “great,” but it wouldn’t be the same devoid of it. These “troubles” retain the G-Class emotion like an outdated-school pickup truck, even with significant advancements. And no other automaker offers anything at all with the same mix of posh inside, strong construct top quality, and vintage seems and really feel. You have to glance at commissioning restomods to occur close, and the G-Course will come with a dealer network. There are automobiles that are objectively superior and honestly, it would be smarter to obtain a single of individuals. But if what you crave is a G-Class, absolutely nothing else will do.

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