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#8

in Luxury Large SUVs

MSRP: $114,200 - $135,700
Invoice: $106,206 - $126,201
MPG: 12 City / 15 Hwy
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Mercedes-Benz G-Class Review

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz G-Class ranks 8 out of 9 Luxury Large SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is ranked:

Test drivers agree that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz G-Class' meager cargo capacity, excessive body lean in turns and low fuel economy limit its appeal, but many are drawn to its powerful engines, opulent interior and excellent off-roading capability.

The Mercedes-Benz G550 has a V8 engine that helps deliver quick acceleration, according to reviewers. They say the G63 AMG, with its twin-turbocharged V8, is even faster, with incredible power that belies its size and weight. The seven-speed automatic transmission in both models is praised for its quick, smooth shifts, though critics find it occasionally hesitant to downshift when more power is needed. At an EPA-estimated 12/15 mpg city/highway, the G550 gets poor fuel economy for the class. Auto journalists write that the G-Class has a firm ride over highway imperfections and exhibits quite a bit of body lean in turns, and as a result, generally feels clumsy on paved roads. Others mention that it requires fairly long distances to bring it to a complete stop. Still, reviewers say the G-Class has impressive off-road capability, and can tackle nearly any trail it is put on.

Reviewers say the G-Class has superb cabin build quality and first-rate materials. Critics mention that the G-Class’ front seats are comfortable, but have somewhat limited legroom. Others mention that legroom in the rear seats could be better as well. The G-Class offers less cargo space than many rivals, and reviewers say that the rear wheel wells can get in the way when loading wide cargo. Test drivers agree that the standard COMAND infotainment system takes a while to master but is generally easy to use once learned. Most features on the G-Class come as standard equipment, including a Harman Kardon stereo system, navigation, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, Bluetooth, leather seats, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Upgraded leather and a heated steering wheel are optional.

  • "… we'll concede that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz G550 and G63 AMG have solidified their spot at the top of the automotive heap. This boxy Benz may be a relic from a bygone era, but for buyers with the requisite means, it still doesn't get much better than a G-Wagen." -- AutoTrader
  • "With styling that seems to have been drawn up on graph paper, fuel mileage that will have owners thinking there's a significant fuel leak and the cornering prowess of a top-heavy shopping cart, the Mercedes G-Class is hardly a rational choice among any number of modern sport-utility vehicles. Even when you consider its strong acceleration, incredible off-road capabilities and fine interior materials, it's hard to overlook the G's many drawbacks." -- Edmunds
  • "One word best describes the Mercedes-Benz G-Class: extreme. Fit for use as a military vehicle, the 2014 G-Class is among the most capable SUVs ever created. Affectionately called the 'G-Wagen,' from the German Gelandewagen ('cross-country car'), it is rugged to the max, boasting three locking differentials and the ability to climb or descend an incredible 80-percent incline. Inside, though, Mercedes' ultimate off-roader is as luxurious as you'd expect for an SUV costing over $115,000. Like the Range Rover or a high-end Porsche Cayenne, most buyers will never use their G-Wagen to a fraction of its capabilities. But such rationale matters little. For this elite set, the reason to own a Mercedes G is much like the vehicle itself: It's all about being extreme." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It might even be one of the most rugged cars you can buy today. This is one case where the car is greater than the sum of its numbers. So it doesn't handle? So it doesn't stop? The fuel consumption would be easier measured in gallons per mile than miles per gallon. The G63 is an army tank from a different time. The sheer fact that we can still buy one of Merc's crowning achievements from the 1970's as a new car today makes it worth every penny." -- Jalopnik (2013)

Other SUVs to Consider

The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class comes standard with a turbodiesel engine that test drivers agree makes ample power and helps the GL350 return great fuel economy for the class. Additionally, critics like the GL's spacious, upscale cabin and composed ride quality, and the GL can seat more people and has more cargo space than the G-Class.

Reviewers agree that the Land Rover Range Rover has impressive off-roading skills, poised handling and a compliant ride. The Range Rover gets better fuel economy than the G-Class, and test drivers write that it has one of the most elegant cabins in the class.

Compare the G-Class, GL-Class and Range Rover »

Details: 2014 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz G-Class seats five and is available in two trims. The G550 has a 5.5-liter V8 and the G63 AMG has a twin-turbocharged version of the same engine. A seven-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive are standard. The G-Class is largely unchanged for the 2014 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2014 and prior model years.

See full 2014 Mercedes-Benz G-Class specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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