• 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

“Sensual Purity” Redesign Means The G’s Spirit Is Still Baked In

LISTEN 13:14

For the first time since its introduction 40 years ago, Mercedes has given the G-Class a complete makeover. But unlike other “makeovers” that plaster a new body onto an existing chassis, Mercedes went in the opposite direction.

The all-new 2019 G-Class retains its iconic looks while receiving a new, longer frame; independent front suspension; and an interior befitting the Mercedes S-Class sedan. And yet despite its modernization, the G stays true to its off-road roots. It comes with a full-time 4WD system, three locking differentials, skid plates, and proper ground clearance. Among the updates is a new G-Mode that further improves the SUV’s go-anywhere capability with electronic aids.

But let’s be honest – 99 percent of G-Class owners will never trek over anything more challenging than wet grass or a snowy road. That’s why Mercedes injected high levels of luxury into the new model. The wheelbase is two inches longer and 4.7 inches wider for a more planted on-road feel and more interior room. The G will undoubtedly be a smash hit around the world, even with its starting price of €107,040 in Germany – roughly $130,900 U.S. dollars.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    Seven-Speed Automatic (Est.)
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    416 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    450 (Est.)
  • Energy:
    biturbo
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L (Est.)
  • 0-60 time:
    5.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, AWD w/ Low Range
  • Price:
    125000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.8/10

Exterior

  • New design stays true to heritage
  • Longer by 2.0 inches
  • Wider by 4.7 inches
  • Ground clearance of 10.6 inches
  • Improved approach, breakover, and departure angles
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 760943
Changes noticeable by the untrained eye are minimal for 2019

The G-Class, otherwise known as the Geländewagen or G-Wagen, has been around for 40 years. It’s served in Germany’s military forces, traversed terrible terrain all across the world, and even conquered the sophisticated streets of Rodeo Drive in California. Yep, the G-Wagen has been everything from an army grunt’s get-around to the go-to vehicle of the rich and famous.

Mercedes has kept that status with the all-new G-Wagen thanks to an evolutionary design change rather than something revolutionary. It’s like the Jeep Wrangler; the round headlights, seven-slot grille, wide fenders, and overall shape have been around since 1941 (save for the 1986 – 1995 Wrangler YJ’s square headlights).

Changes noticeable by the untrained eye are minimal for 2019. Beside the length, the new G-Class drops the vents on the front fender, has new LED headlights, a restyled grille and front bumper, and the hood is slightly longer and more flat than before. Around back, new LED taillights and a restyled third brake light above the rear window are the biggest changes. Familiar elements include the tailgate-mounted spare tire, the rub rails along the body, and the push-button door handles that look almost identical to the outgoing version.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Exterior
- image 760944
Overall ground clearance between the axles has improved a quarter-inch to 9.4 inches

In keeping with the G’s functionality, the new body boasts improved clearances. Overall ground clearance between the axles has improved a quarter-inch to 9.4 inches; the approach and departure angle improve by one degree to 31 and 30, respectively; and the breakover angle improves by one degree to 26 degrees, despite the added length.

Interior

  • S-Class inspired interior
  • G-Class cues hint at its past
  • More legroom and elbowroom in both rows
  • Available Multicontour Seat Package with massaing
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Interior
- image 760933
Unlike the outside, Mercedes completely revamped the G-Wagen’s interior

Unlike the outside, Mercedes completely revamped the G-Wagen’s interior. Gone is the 2000s-era dash with dozens of buttons. Mercedes’ new glass cockpit-style interior finds its way from the S-Class and E-Class and into the G-Class. Twin, 12.3-inch displays shows a digital gauge cluster for the driver and the standard barrage of navigation, vehicle settings, and menus on the center screen. The gauges can be configured into one of three styles at the driver’s whim. They include Classic, Sport, and Progressive.

Mercedes’ current infotainment controller resides on the center console and offers haptic feedback when selecting menu options. The rotary dial makes easy work of scrolling. Controls on the steering wheel allow for operating menu screen on the driver’s gauge cluster.

Like with other Mercedes vehicles, the HVAC system is logically controlled via the bank of toggle switches on the center stack. Dual zone climate comes standard, of course, and heated and vented front seats make for a comfortable trip. Speaking of the seats, Mercedes makes these thrones almost infinitely adjustable and accompanied by memory settings.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Interior
- image 760969
Controls on the steering wheel allow for operating menu screen on the driver’s gauge cluster.

Optionally, Mercedes offers its Multicontour Seat Package in the new G-Class. It includes upgraded front seats with both heated and ventilation, massaging, and air-filled side bolsters that change firmness depending on the driving style. Apparently the seats are so comfortable and supportive, they are recommended by a German spinal health organization.

While the G-Wagen’s interior is completely new, it has subtle hints at its past. The passenger side grab handle has been a staple in the G and the center-mounted buttons for the locking differentials has been around for decades. It’s clear Mercedes didn’t just slap an S-Class dash in the new G.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Interior
- image 761007
The front seats have an additional 1.5 inches and the rear seats get nearly six inches extra

Legroom in both rows has increased thanks to the G-Wagen’s added length. The front seats have an additional 1.5 inches and the rear seats get nearly six inches extra. What’s more, elbowroom has improved 2.6 inches in front and 2.2 inches in the rear thanks to the G’s wider stance.

Description Difference (vs. previous gen)
Legroom in the front +1.5 in (38 mm)
Legroom in the rear +5.9 in (150 mm)
Shoulder room in front +1.5 in (38 mm)
Shoulder room in rear +1.1 in (27 mm)
Elbow room in front +2.7 in (68 mm)
Elbow room in rear +2.2 in (56 mm)

Drivetrain

  • G500 powered by 4.0-liter biturbo V-8
  • 422 horsepower
  • 450 pound-feet of torque from 2,000 to 4,750 rpm
  • Full-time 4WD
  • Front, center, and rear locking differentials
  • New G-Mode off-road setting
  • Adaptive suspension dampers
  • New independent front suspension
  • Revised solid rear axle and multi-link suspension
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
- image 760848
Mercedes chose the familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 as the debuting engine for the G-Class, though more are expected in the future

Mercedes chose the familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 as the debuting engine for the G-Class, though more are expected in the future. Named the G500, the V-8 kicks out a very respectable 422 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque that peaks at only 2,000 rpm and stays strong until 4,750 rpm.

A new nine-speed automatic transmission and its torque converter were unique tuned for the G500 to meet both on- and off-road driving situations. Mercedes says the gearbox has quicker shift times thanks to a dedicated software application. And thanks to the nine speeds and wide overall ratio of gears, the V-8 can move the G-Class down the highway at very low revs, which helps conserve fuel. Mercedes is estimating the G500 will achieve 21 mpg combined.

A big part of the G-Class’ story is its 4WD system. Like before, the G comes with a full-time 4WD system equipped with low-range gears and locking differential in both axles, as well as in the transfer case. New for 2019 is G-Mode. This drive mode engages when the low range is selected or one of the lockers is turned on. G-Mode adjusts the throttle response, holds gears longer, and softens the adaptive dampers within the suspension.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 760938
The Dynamic Select rocker switch allows the driver to choose between Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual modes

When it comes to on-road driving, the G-Class also has modes for that, too. The Dynamic Select rocker switch allows the driver to choose between Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual modes. Things like transmission tuning, throttle response, suspension firmness, traction control, and stability control are all tailored to each mode. Like in other vehicles, Individual mode lets the driver customize the settings for each parameter and save the setting for quick selection.

A massive change for the 2019 G-Class also happens under body. The suspension has been completely redesigned to better handle the G’s wide range of driving. Gone is the solid front axle – replaced with an independent suspension system using a double wishbone design mounted right to the frame. A strut tower brace adds rigidity to the front suspension for better cornering. The rear axle remains the solid type, but is now held in place with a four-link setup with a panhard bar that controls lateral movement.

Pricing

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Exterior
- image 760961

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G500 starts at €107,040 in Germany. That converts to $130,900 U.S. dollars at current exchange rates and represents a roughly $8,000 increase over the outgoing model. Details on option pricing haven’t been announced, but should become available closer to the G-Class’s on-sale date later this year.

The Competition

Land Rover Range Rover

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 737761

The Land Rover Range Rover is perhaps the best-known luxury off-roaders in the world. Its heritage stems back to Brittan’s Imperialistic days of exploration, forging paths though thick jungles and trekking across the wild planes of Africa. This modern, high-tech interpretation is far removed from the low-tech ‘Rovers of yesteryear. The current Range Rover rides on an aluminum monocoque structure with independent suspension fitted with air ride and powered by sophisticated engines like Jaguar Land Rover’s supercharged 5.0-liter V-8.

That air suspension allows the Range Rover to tackle rough terrain one minute and hit triple digit speeds on the highway the next. This versatility is nearly unmatched in the industry.

Pricing reflects that functionality, however, with the “base” Range Rover starting at $84,940. Opt for the high-end SVAutobiography model with the extended wheelbase, and you’re looking at $200,000.

Read more about the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover.

Lexus LX570

2016 Lexus LX 570 High Resolution Exterior
- image 640410

In relation to the G-Wagen and Range Rover, the LX570 seems downright humble. That’s far from the truth, however, as Lexus gave this SUV a full makeover for 2016. It shares the same underpinnings and powertrain as the highly respected Toyota Land Cruiser, which was also all-new for 2016. The Lexus obviously appeals to a wealthier subset, making it the proper choice in this competition.

Power comes form the venerable 5.7-liter V-8 making a meager 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. Like the Range Rover, it can tow 7,000 pounds. Its top speed is limited at 137 mph, down from the 155-mph governed speeds of the G-Wagen and Range Rover. The Lexus also features a full-time 4WD system with a Torsen limited-slip center differential that splits power between the front and rear axles.

Pricing for the 2018 Lexus LX570 is technically lower than in years past thanks to a new two-row version. By deleting the third row, customers save $5,000. The two-row LX starts at $84,980 and the three-row version starts at $89,980. Select all the options and the price jumps to roughly $99,000. That’s a bargain compared to the Merc and ‘Rover.

Read more about the 2018 Lexus LX570.

Conclusion

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Exterior
- image 760960

Mercedes has clearly done its homework with the new 2019 G-Class. It retained the iconic, boxy design while vastly updating the G’s interior, underpinning, off-road capability, and on-road performance. That’s a tall order, but the German automaker pulled it off. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel and see these improvements first hand.

The new G-Class will definitely be a massive hit with wealthy elites looking to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Expect to see everybody from Russian oligarchs to Hollywood’s A-list crowd rocking the new G within a short time.

  • Leave it
    • Likely too utilitarian for most
    • Prices expected to rise

References

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit!
- image 758373

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit!

2013 Mercedes G-Class High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 448949

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

no article
- image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

no article
- image 743625

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

2022 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Edition 550

2023 Mercedes-AMG G63

2023 Is Mercedes Finally Bringing a Baby G-Class?

2023 Can The Jeep Wrangler Outperform The New Land Rover Defender And Mercedes G350 Off Road?

2021 Mercedes G-Class by Delta4x4

2021 With The New Off-Road Trim, Mercedes G-Wagon Returns To Its Military Roots

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: