2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class First Look | Edmunds

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class First Look

New G-Wagen, Same Presence


Love it or hate it, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an automotive icon. It was originally developed as a military vehicle on the suggestion of the shah of Iran in the 1970s and later adapted for civilian use. It wasn't until 2002 that the Geländewagen officially became available for purchase in the U.S. through Mercedes (though many gray market examples had been secreted into the country before). It became a go-to choice for affluent buyers looking to make a statement, despite the many sacrifices to comfort and drivability that accompanied this giant box on wheels.

Finally, after four decades, the G-wagen has received a redesign to address its long-standing drawbacks. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class maintains the familiar boxy shape of its predecessor, but it has the potential to deliver the kind of ride quality and interior refinement that is expected of a luxury vehicle costing over $100,000. A new independent front suspension should significantly improve comfort and drivability, and it should be helped by modern rack-and-pinion steering. Overall, the new model is 2.1 inches longer and 4.8 inches wider. Passenger space also increases a few inches here and there, with the most significant gain of 5.9 inches for rear legroom.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Inside, the new G-Class looks the part of a contemporary Mercedes. The optional wide dual-screen panel that stretches from the instrument panel to the center of the dash has hints of the current S-Class sedan, as do the multicontour seats with massage functions. The latest COMAND infotainment system is also present, though we are somewhat miffed that the hot new MBUX interface shown at CES 2018 won't be available. Standard features include 19-inch wheels, selectable drive modes, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seats, ambient interior lighting and a Burmester premium audio system. Also included are a host of advanced safety features such as the Pre-Safe system, forward collision warning and mitigation, a traffic sign reader, a drowsy driver warning system, and lane keeping assist. Available options include an adjustable suspension, a rear entertainment system, and a wide array of interior material choices.

Under the hood is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission sends that power to all four wheels with Mercedes' 4Matic system. Low-range gearing and three locking differentials keep the G-wagen's off-road credentials intact, with Mercedes claiming that it will meet or beat the previous G-Class in every all-terrain metric.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

We fully expect to see AMG variants with ridiculous power output figures and accompanying price hikes to satisfy more select shoppers' extreme tastes in the future. Keep checking back with Edmunds for more information as we close in on the late 2018 launch date.

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