We drove the $136,000 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon and finally understand why it's an automotive legend
- The Mercedes-Benz G550 starts at $122,400 while our test car cost $136,375.
- The G-Wagon debuted in 1979 as a utilitarian off-roader, but it has evolved into a plutocratic runabout.
- Even though it's far from flawless, the G-Wagon is just effortlessly cool.
As an auto journalist, I drive more than 70 cars a year . And yet, there are few vehicles I've been more excited to experience than the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen. Or as it's more commonly known, the G-Wagon.
(Technically, Mercedes-Benz retired the G-Wagon moniker in favor of the G-Class designation in 1998, but to its fans, it's still the G-Wagon.)Which is why we simply couldn't say no when Mercedes-Benz dropped off a 2017 G550 clad in an eye-catching paprika metallic paint job. For the past four decades, the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen or the G-Wagon has been one of the true standard bearers for what a true SUV should strive to be.
However, the high-price luxury SUV we know today came from decidedly humble beginnings.
In that time, the G-Wagon has found itself on the battlefields of Europe and the Middle East
Even though its roots are planted firmly in the mystique of its uncompromising off-roading prowess, the G-Wagon has now become the SUV of choice for the posh suburbanite or the Hollywood starlet looking for something "different."
In many ways, the G-Wagon is a rolling contradiction. It's a vehicle made famous for its ability to survive and thrive in some of the world's most inhospitable conditions. Yet, these days, it's most likely to be found driving around the palm-tree-lined boulevards of Southern California decked out in fancy wheels and a custom paint job.
The Mercedes-Benz G550 starts at $122,400 while our test vehicle drove off the dealer lot at $136,375.Here's a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon:
Photos by Hollis Johnson unless otherwise credited.