Mercedes Benz G-Class Review
The 2013 Mercedes Benz G-Class ranks 8 out of 10 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 2013 Mercedes Benz G-Class is ranked:
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class impresses with its bold styling, abundant power and excellent off-road capability, but test drivers agree that its unwieldy handling and poor fuel economy limit its appeal.
Reviewers say the V8-powered G550 has impressive acceleration and that the G63 AMG, with its twin-turbocharged V8, rockets down the road in a way that few SUVs can. The seven-speed automatic transmission in both models is praised for its quick, smooth shifts, although critics say it is occasionally hesitant to downshift. Most auto journalists mention that you feel most bumps on the road when riding in the G-Class, but agree that is a very capable off-roader. Criticized for its ponderous handling, slow steering and weak brakes, reviewers say that the G-Class can be a handful to drive on paved roads, and not especially fun to drive anywhere other than off the pavement.
The 2013 G-Class earns praise for its excellent cabin build quality, as reviewers say its doors close with an authoritative sound and its cabin is lined with top-notch materials. Critics note that the G-Class’ front seats are comfortable, but offer limited backward travel, which limits legroom for taller occupants. Test drivers add that outward visibility from the front seats is quite good. Since the front seats don't go back very far, reviewers write that rear-seat legroom is fairly generous, though an upright seating position means that the seats can get uncomfortable on longer trips. The G-Class has a bit less overall cargo space than many class rivals, and reviewers say that the side-hinged rear gate is heavy and can be a nuisance to open, adding that intruding wheel wells can make it difficult to load wide cargo. According to reviewers, the climate controls are a little hard to reach, but they say that the central controller for the navigation and audio systems is well-positioned. The G-Class does not offer any optional features as they are all 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.
- "It drives and handles every bit the trucky box it is, while being overly loud and extraordinarily thirsty. If those things don't matter and you crave its style more than anything else, by all means go for it. Otherwise, a Range Rover or Porsche Cayenne might serve you better." -- Consumer Guide
- "Its nearly unchanged visage is ironically awesome and the entire thing is handmade by human beings in an Austrian workshop. There's more craftwork in the 2013 G63 AMG than in every pair of Toms and every Underwood typewriter combined. What's not to love?" -- Edmunds
- "It's like that wind-up watch: all style, limited usability. Problem is, cars these days need to be so much more." -- Cars.com
- "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
Other SUVs to Consider
The Land Rover Range Rover has impressive off-roading skills as well as good road manners, according to auto journalists. The Range Rover gets better fuel economy than the G-Class, and reviewers say it has one of the most elegant and opulent cabins in the class.
The Lexus LX 570 seats eight and has a bit more overall cargo space than the G-Class. Test drivers agree that the LX 570 is a capable off-roader and has a smooth, comfortable ride on paved roads.
Details: 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 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 G63 AMG is reintroduced for the 2013 model year and the G-Class overall receives some styling updates, but is otherwise unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2013 and prior model years.