The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, or G-Class, is the ultimate luxury SUV. AMG takes it over the top.
Yes, I said it, multiple times, because when you spend a week in the Mercedes-Benz AMG G Wagen its the song that runs through your head. We tested this beauty over a week and besides the fact that it may just be the coolest status symbol around, it’s also a blast to drive and a beauty inside and out.
But, before you get too excited to buy one for your own garage, note that these, even used, are currently selling above list price, and it may be impossible to get your hands on a new one until at least 2023. Mercedes-Benz has stated that there will be no V8s sold in all of their lineup in 2022 due to supply chain issues. So, if you get the chance, soak up every last mile in this masterful truck (that’s what I did).
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class starts at $131,750 USD or $154,900 CAD for the G 550 and this AMG G63 will set you back $157,500 USD or $211,900 CAD. As tested, this one’s list price is $179,150 USD or $233,850 CAD.
Gulp. Yes, that’s the price of a home in some cities.
Related: The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen: The Exclusive Celebrity-Mobile Gets a Luxury Upgrade and it’s Phenomenal
First dubbed the Military ‘Galendawagen,’ the Name Stuck
And you might feel like a military general, high and powerful on the mightiest horse, behind the wheel of the G Wagen. That’s how I felt so high up in the driver’s seat, and it was great. Just be sure pay attention when pulling into parking lots or underground garages, as it’s taller than most vehicles at 77.5″ tall – and it may not clear a garage ceiling.
The G-Class, which is built in Austria, is still fully off-road capable with permanent four-wheel drive and comes with 3 locking differentials. Our test model did not have the trail package and was sporting fancy 22″ wheels ($3,950 USD / $2,650 CAD), so I would not off-road this particular one.
Luxury? Yes, it’s All [Mostly] Here
While it’s not quite as luxurious as some other Mercedes-Benz models, the 2019 re-design of the G-Class brought with it Mercedes-Benz’s more modern technology like the digital dash and large MBUX media screen, but it’s not a touch screen, oddly enough. There are advanced driver-assist features, just not all that other models in the Mercedes-Benz line-up offer.
While the exterior of the G-Wagen may look pretty much the same as it has for years, the makeover did upgrade the look and feel on the inside. I heard many complaints about older versions of the G-Class with very basic and not-so-luxe interiors. But be assured, the new interior design is modern, beautiful and has plenty of soft surfaces, leather, wood and even cupholders – which apparently had been overlooked in older models which had net baskets as cup holders.
The seating in our test model was incredibly comfortable and I even loved the headrests. They were super soft and the leather, of course, supple and smooth. The quilted leather offers heated and ventilated front seats, with massage and heated rear seats.
There is No Shortage of Space
The boxy shape of the G-class gives you a ton of flexibility for cargo. There is 79.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, meaning you can fit all of your luggage, backpacks and a set of golf clubs or two for your weekends to the cabin.
At the same time, the shape also provides a ton of headroom for everyone. The first time I drove my teen and three of her closest friends in this, they commented that they could have someone sitting on their shoulders since the roof was so high.
@xoconniepetersBack seats in the 2021 Mercedes-AMG G 63 ##mercedesbenz ##benzlife ##luxury ##amg ##g63 ##luxurysuvs ##gwagen ##gwagon♬ G Wagon – Lil 9
The G 550 versus AMG G 63: How much G do you really need?
While I drove the AMG G 63–the performance version of the G-Class–the base G 550 is as beautiful and classic, just not quite as powerful. With a hand-built 4L twin-turbo V8, the AMG G 63 gets you from 0-60 mph in about 4.5 seconds from its 577 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. The G 550 generates 416 horsepower and beats out the other classic-style SUVs: the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has 285 HP and the Land Rover Defender has 395 HP. As large and heavy as the G-Wagen is, the front end really pops up when you accelerate quickly from a stop.
Other than that, the differences between the G 550 and the AMG 63 are subtle. In the US, the AMG has a standard brush guard around the front end; in Canada, that option is $1500. The AMG version also has quad exhaust with side pipes on each side but the G 550 does not.
Customization Options Abound
When you place your order for the Mercedes-AMG G 63, there are no shortage of options. The “G manufaktur” design options include paint finishes in 34 different exterior colors and 54 interior upholsteries.
Our test model featured a beautiful G manufaktur Deep Green non-metallic paint, an upgrade of $6,500 USD/ $4,500 CAD. Our interior color was Saddle Brown/Black and featured G manufaktur Black Fiddleback open-pore wood trim ($1000 USD), and it’s a stunning combination.
What We Loved
Quite honestly, I loved everything about the G 63 from the sounds it made, to the heavy doors, boxy shape and fantastic Burmester sound system (which I love in all Mercedes-Benz models). But when it comes right down to it, it’s how this car makes you feel. You just have no alternative but to feel like a million bucks driving this swanky ride. It’s so attention getting in fact, that my 16-year-old was mortified having to get in and out of it at her school and didn’t want anyone knowing it was ours for the week. I had to park as far away from the school entrance as I possibly could that week. (I’m sure it wasn’t just having her mom drive her to school!)
A few other things I thoroughly enjoyed:
- The solid thunk of the doors and locks
- The feeling of height
- Safety features to keep it solidly planted on the road
- The way the front end lifts when you push the accelerator a little hard
- The soft seats and headrests
- The spacious interior
- Advanced driver assist features
Related: Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35 Review: Classic Mercedes-Benz, Modern Luxury, AMG Performance, All in One Affordable Package
@xoconniepetersSaturday morning startup. Did you spot my slippers? ##gwagon63 ##mercedesamg ##gwagen ##amg ##g63 ##greentrucks♬ original sound – Connie Peters
What You Need to Know
With rising gas prices, keep in mind the AMG G-Class has a big thirsty tank and you’ll need premium fuel. The AMG G 63 gets about 14 MPG.
As is standard with it’s shape, wind noise and cornering are neither quiet nor smooth, so if hugging tight turns on the freeway is part of your daily, you may want something slightly more aerodynamic.
My week feeling like a rich celebrity ended with me pining for every G-Class I now see on the road. If you get the chance to drive one, go for it. For now I’ll be daydreaming until my lottery winnings plop into my bank account.
My YouTube video review is here:
*The Mercedes-AMG G 63 was provided by Mercedes-Benz Canada for this review