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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 EV First Drive: The Electric G-Wagen Rules

A fully electric powertrain makes the G-wagen better both on- and off-road

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 EV driving
  • The G 580 is a fully electric version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
  • Its quad-motor setup delivers a whopping 579 horsepower and 859 lb-ft of torque.
  • It's a formidable off-roader, thanks to electronic crawl control, the ability to lock individual wheels, and — of course — its super-fun G-Turn feature.

This could've gone horribly wrong. Remember when Mercedes-Benz set out to make an electric S-Class? We got a pretty sweet luxury flagship that's derailed by anonymous-lozenge-shaped styling. Now, imagine Mercedes took the same approach when designing the fully electric G-Class. If we got some electro-blob-ified kinda-sorta G-wagen, you can bet there'd be hell to pay.

The particulars

The new G 580 with EQ Technology — yes, that's really its name — is a G-Class through and through. It just happens to be electric. Mercedes-Benz integrated a 116-kWh battery pack and four electric motors into the G's ladder frame, and the end result is a Geländewagen that makes 579 horsepower and 859 lb-ft of torque and can still ford 33.5 inches of water. Fun fact: That's actually 5.9 inches deeper than what a gas-powered G 550 or AMG G 63 can handle. Battery power for the win.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 wheel and tire

What's interesting is that, while the G 580 EV is the most powerful version of the G-Class by a long shot (the AMG G 63 makes 577 hp and 627 lb-ft), it's not necessarily the quickest. Mercedes-Benz estimates 0-to-60 mph takes 4.6 seconds, which is certainly not slow by any means, but it splits the difference between the base G 550 and the aforementioned AMG. Obviously, installing a 116-kWh battery pack in the G's architecture results in a huge weight penalty, though Mercedes-Benz hasn't released an official curb weight just yet. That said, the G 580 EV's gross vehicle weight rating is more than 700 pounds heavier than the base G 550's, so … yeah. Use that for reference.

Super nice to drive

The extra heft is definitely noticeable on the road, but not really in a bad way. Keep in mind, the G-Class is a tall vehicle prone to being blown around in crosswinds, so a bit of extra ballast on the low end helps to keep the G 580 stable and planted while cornering. It's not as good as the AMG G 63 with its fancy new active anti-roll suspension option, but the G 580 EV handles twisty roads with greater poise than the six-cylinder G 550.

The G 580 even sounds better than the G 550, which is a weird thing to say for an EV, but stay with me. The sound profile that Mercedes-Benz pipes in through the speakers is meant to conjure up the experience of driving a V8-powered G-wagen, and I have to say, it's somewhat convincing. (The name G-Roar is kind of dumb, though.) I'm normally the type to turn this tech off immediately, but I rather like it in the G 580 — especially compared to the six-cylinder G 550. Besides, driving this thing in fully silent operation really amplifies the G's excessive wind noise. Sure, the 2025 G-Class was redesigned to be a wee bit more aerodynamic, but this is still a vehicle with the drag coefficient of a warehouse.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 EV driving

Dynamically speaking, the G 580 drives, well, like a G-Class. The steering is somewhat light and there are pronounced fore-aft motions during braking and launching. Here's some good news, though: Unlike Mercedes' other EVs, the G 580 doesn't do the stupid thing where it moves the brake pedal to "match" the effort of the regenerative braking (which is adjustable, by the way).

Off-roads like a champ

By now, you've probably seen the G 580's rad G-Turn feature, where you can spin the car in place to either get yourself out of a tricky situation or make your friends puke (take your pick). But I promise, there's more to this SUV's off-road cred than that. Having four individually controllable electric motors — one at each wheel — gives the G 580 incredible on-the-fly torque transfer adjustability. The amount of power distribution available is equal to that of the gas-powered G's with their locking differentials.

Along a pretty darn tough off-road course, anything the G 550 can do, the G 580 can handle, too. Serious wheel articulation, low-range rock crawling, high-speed dirt-track running … you name it, the G 580 EV can tackle it with aplomb. It has 9.8 inches of ground clearance — 0.3 inch more than the G 550 — and the battery pack is covered by a thick shield made of a carbon-fiber composite. Mercedes-Benz reps say it's nearly impossible to damage, but in the weird event that you do, it's a solid piece that can easily be replaced.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 EV driving in water

Crawling along in the electric G-wagen is a cinch. You can activate low-speed crawl control that works on flat surfaces as well as hills, and will even drive the G 580 backward if you put it in reverse. The electric power is super easy to manage — much more so than the G 550's gas engine, in fact — and because each wheel is controlled individually, the G 580 can even lock one of the rear wheels as needed to drag it around a turn, making it a piece of cake to handle ridiculously tight maneuvers.

Spec the G 580 EV with all-terrain tires and it's honestly the best off-roader of the G-Class lineup. Its 32-degree approach and 30.7-degree departure angles are slightly better than the G 550's, and while it won't do the crazy rally truck stuff that the AMG G 63 can manage, electric power once again proves its mettle as a formidable companion for low-speed dirty deeds.

Range and pricing are still unknown

For the 2025 model year, Mercedes-Benz will exclusively offer the G 580 EV in Edition One trim in the U.S., meaning it'll pretty much be fully loaded. It has all the other upgraded niceties found in the rest of the G-Class range, like MBUX infotainment tech with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an expanded suite of driver assistance features.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 EV interior

Pricing hasn't been announced, but I'm expecting this to be one of the costlier G-Class models, probably with an MSRP similar to the AMG G 63 — whatever that ends up being. It's also unclear what sort of electric driving range the G 580 will have, though Mercedes-Benz is currently estimating somewhere between 240 and 250 miles, with the ability for the G-wagen to recharge at speeds up to 200 kW when plugged into a DC fast charger.

That range won't blow the doors off other EVs, but honestly, I don't imagine any future G 580 EV owner will care. People will buy it because it's an electric G-wagen, and that's really the only criteria.

Edmunds says

We're super glad the G 580 keeps all of the usual G-Class rhythms intact. Mercedes-Benz could've screwed this one up, but instead, the Germans got this one exactly right.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 EV driving