2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
- Iconic design is instantly recognizable
- Outstanding forward visibility
- Unusually quiet when driving on-road
- Lots of cosmetic customization potential
- Awful steering, handling, drivability and fuel economy
- Difficult to get into and out of
- Poor interior packaging leaves little useful space
- Compromised off-road ability
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which G-Class does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating2.5 / 5
The G-Class is at its core a nearly 40-year-old military vehicle that's been gradually metamorphosed into a luxury vehicle. Ultimately these mutations have resulted in something that's optimized for neither luxury nor off-road adventure. The G-Class is hilariously hard to get into and out of, steering inputs are met with indifference, and the usefulness of its cargo and storage areas is limited.
Yet this iconic truck has experienced a boost in popularity in recent years that has defied logic. In European markets the G-Class is offered in a somewhat rational configuration with a diesel engine and tires with taller sidewalls. There, you could reasonably take a G-Class off-road and expect it to perform admirably, what with its full complement of locking differentials, high ground clearance, and steep approach and departure angles.
Here in the U.S., however, the G-Class offsets these purpose-driven attributes for the trappings of a luxury vehicle — powerful engines that demand plenty of fuel, relatively low-profile all-season tires (and high-performance summer tires on AMG variants!), acres of leather and precariously low-hanging exhaust pipes. AMG variants offer more power but only modest increases in swiftness. The G-Class is dripping with character but finds itself in a no-man's land of compromise. Maybe that's part of its appeal, twisted though it may be.
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class configurations
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a five-passenger SUV that is offered in four trim levels: G550, AMG G63, AMG G65 and G550 4x42 (as in "squared"). All versions are equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission, live axles at both ends, full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case and three locking differentials, and they can tow up to 7,000 pounds. The G550 is entry-level only in a relative sense. It's extremely well-equipped — beyond its prodigious drivetrain hardware, it has leather-upholstered 10-way power-adjustable and heated seats, heated backseats, power-folding and heated mirrors, adaptive cruise, dual-zone climate control, navigation and premium audio. It's equipped with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 (416 horsepower, 450 pound-feet of torque).
Stepping up to the AMG G63 nets you a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 (563 hp, 561 lb-ft of torque), 20-inch wheels, larger brakes and a performance-tuned suspension. It also grants access to the AMG Performance Studio, whereby near-endless customization is available. The next step in the G-Class lineup goes from merely silly to truly absurd: the AMG G65, which slots in a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 (621 hp, 738 lb-ft of torque) and adds 21-inch wheels and revised upholstery.
Then there's the G550 4x42, for which words do not do justice. This has the 4.0-liter V8 but swaps the standard axles for portal axles, which dramatically increase ground clearance. It also adds 22-inch wheels, larger-diameter tires, twin coilover-damper assemblies at each wheel, wider fender flares and skid plates.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG (5.5L twin-turbo V8; 4x4; 7-speed automatic).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current G-Class has received only minor, mostly cosmetic revisions and the addition of the G550 4x4² trim level. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's G-Class.
Noise & vibration5.0
Ease of use3.0
Getting in/getting out1.0
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite G-Class safety features:
- Mbrace2 Emergency Telematics
- Includes automatic collision notification, an emergency response button, stolen vehicle location, and remote locking and unlocking.
- Blind-Spot Assist
- Provides a visual cue if a car is traveling in an adjacent lane and sounds an auditory alarm if you switch on the turn signal.
- Parking Assist
- Provides visual and auditory indications of parking distance to cars or objects located in front and rear.
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class for Sale
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has maintained largely the same shape for decades, and it's become an iconic profile. There's no mistaking a G-Class on the road, and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is no exception.
The designers who first worked on the G-Class, which was initially built as a variant of a European military service nearly a half-century ago, had no inkling of the cultlike following this midsize luxury SUV would develop decades later among civilians in certain affluent corners of the U.S. — where it’s also referred to as the Geländewagen by those in the know.
The result is a unique vehicle: a high-riding off-roader loaded with luxury and gifted with massive power. In the end, the G-Class doesn't excel at either on- or off-road performance. Of course, its appeal doesn't lie in its capabilities but its impressive extremes — a fact Mercedes-Benz understands very well.
The new-for-2017 G550 4x42 is a perfect example of the G-Class' appeal. It's been raised even higher thanks to a reworked suspension, and given skid plates, larger tires, a roaring, quad-tip side-exit exhaust and a twin-turbo V8. It's the G-Class, only bigger.
Two AMG versions of the G-Class are also available. The AMG G 63 and AMG G 65 are definitely road-going vehicles, with sticky tires with low sidewalls. The former's 563-hp twin-turbocharged V8 and the latter's 621-hp twin-turbo V12 might be thought of as the poster children for automotive overkill. But overkill is what the G-Class is meant to do. EPA fuel economy estimates are about what you'd expect, with the entry-level G550 rated at 13 mpg combined (13 city/14 highway) and the fire-breathing AMG G 65 returning 12 mpg combined (11 city/13 highway).
The G-Class passenger cabin is nicely turned out in top-quality leather upholstery and wood trim. It's also a surprisingly quiet place, save for those times you decide to turn all those AMG-produced horses loose to gallop freely. It also features a user-friendly technology interface and well-sized functional knobs for the climate control system.
This is an old vehicle underneath, having mostly carried over for 40 years, which shows through in handling and interior space. The G-Class design is known for being difficult to get into and out of, for starters. Once inside, both front and rear seat passengers of anything more than average height are bound to feel crowded. There's not even as much cargo room as you might expect in an SUV that makes such a great pretense out of its practicality. The entry-level G550 will tow a 7,000-pound trailer, which is at least some concession to utility.
Ultimately, the G-Class is a love-it-or-hate-it proposition, but either way it's undeniably eye-catching, and Edmunds can help you find the right 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class for you.
2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Overview
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is offered in the following submodels: G-Class SUV, G-Class AMG G 63, G-Class AMG G 65. Available styles include G 550 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 7A), AMG G 65 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 12cyl Turbo 7A), AMG G 63 4dr SUV 4WD (5.5L 8cyl Turbo 7A), and G 550 4x4 Squared 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 7A).
What do people think of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 G-Class 1 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 G-Class.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 G-Class featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Classes are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.