Mercedes-Benz originally designed the G-class as a military truck for the German army, replacing a Volkswagen design that was similar to the United States Army Jeep from World War II. The G-class remains popular enough as a luxury SUV that Mercedes-Benz continues to produce it and export it around the world. This version is enhanced by Mercedes-Benz's high-performance AMG division, giving it better on-road performance.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
1
of 22

As an example of the collision of old and new in the G-class, it retains the round headlight casings originally designed for incandescent lamps, but they now house smaller HID lamps.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
2
of 22

The hand-built AMG engine is a direct-injection 5.5-liter V-8 using twin turbos. It produces 544 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
3
of 22

Part of the G-class' appeal is its legendary off-road capability. Its body-on-frame architecture gives it a rigid platform for the axles, full-time four-wheel drive, and three switches that lock the center, rear, and front differentials.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
4
of 22

The G-class is not as comfortable as some luxury SUVs on the road, and its low fuel economy makes it a poor choice for road trips.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
5
of 22

The G63's dimensions enhance its off-road capability. Although it looks massive, it is less than 15.5 feet long. The driver position is higher than in most vehicles, and the hood is low, giving the driver good forward visibility.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
6
of 22

The height gives it a big cargo area, although it is not particularly wide.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
7
of 22

Mercedes-Benz gives the interior a luxury treatment, an odd fit in this utilitarian truck.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
8
of 22

The rear bench sits a little higher than the front, affording rear-seat passengers a good view.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
9
of 22

With no cupholders built into doors or console, Mercedes-Benz fits this odd little hoop in on the passenger side.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
10
of 22

As part of its old-school heritage, the G-class uses hydraulic power-steering boost, rather than an electric system, as in most newer cars.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
11
of 22

The gauges are enhanced with a center LCD showing driver-configurable information, such as trip data, audio source, and turn-by-turn directions.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
12
of 22

The G-class has an electric shift lever for engaging drive modes. The cabin tech control dial sits behind it.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
13
of 22

Mercedes-Benz makes the vehicle's entire manual available on the main LCD, so the driver can look up useful information such as how to operate the differential controls.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
14
of 22

Mercedes-Benz fits the G-class with its standard navigation system, featuring very nicely detailed maps.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
15
of 22

Mercedes-Benz also has an apps feature, but it runs very slowly, which can be a little frustrating.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
16
of 22

The G-class also features a weather forecast as part of its connected suite.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
17
of 22

The radio has this classic-looking interface for station tuning.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
18
of 22

There are many audio sources available, including the truck's own onboard hard drive.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
19
of 22

The digital-media interface shows album art, when available.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
20
of 22

Mercedes-Benz also implemented this Cover Flow-like means of selecting music, which works very well.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
21
of 22

The audio system is from Harman Kardon, and produces a much more civilized sound than you would expect from this big truck.

Get Your Local Price
Read Full Review
Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
22
of 22
Up Next

Six generations of the Ford Mustang (pictures)