European ClassicsMercedes

The 7 Reaons I sold my Mercedes G Wagon

I bought the brand new 2019 Mercedes G550 in December of 2018. 2019 was a major improvement for the Mercedes G Wagon, in fact, it was the first major top down update since the G Wagon came on the market in 1979.

The boxy Mercedes is legendary. You can see it coming from a mile away, and they hold their value incredibly well. Much like a Land Rover Defender, their production numbers are limited, and they start at over $100k.

I had been dreaming of owning a G Wagon since high school, but in high school, I wasn’t looking for a new one. I was looking for a 1985 300GD with the bullet proof diesel engine and manual transmission. The color I wanted was red, and with barn doors in the back.

Image Source:

I remember once seeing the exact car for sale on Ebay, but I couldn’t afford it. The image above is a 2 door, but I wanted the long wheel base 4 door.

I didn’t have much interest in anything other than 80’s era G-Wagons with a diesel engine and manual transmission. The G-Wagons from 2000-2018 didn’t interest me at all. I dislike the chrome brush bars, I thought the way they added an iPad looking infotainment system was painfully unattractive. And this isn’t even to mention the well know reviews that they handle terribly and get 10-15mpg.

The 2018 G550 and G63

Fast forward to 2018, and we get the big reveal that Mercedes has been working on a ground up revamp of the G-Wagon, it will feature a wider wheel base, upgraded engine, suspension, infotainment, everything. When I first saw the design, with the halo front lights, I was hooked.

I’ve been a Range Rover driver since 2015, and while I love the Range Rover, I wanted to test out life in a G Wagon. I tried to pre-order a G Wagon in Emerald Green with Black Interior, but Mercedes said it was 12-14 months lead time. I decided instead to buy one off the lot. Unfortunately, most dealers only had black, silver, or white.

Mercedes G63 2018

I put a deposit on a G63 when a New York dealership was allocated one, but pulled the deposit when I found out the first edition was matte black with red trim. Not my style.

I found a dealership in New Jersey with a Red one in stock, that included the night package and the AMG package. The downside was that it had red leather interior, not something I really wanted, but beggars can’t be choosers.

The list price was around $145k. I traded in my E63 drove the G550 back to Massachusetts, and got a speeding ticket on the way home. It’s been a while since I drove a red car.

First Impressions of the G550

My immediate impressions from the G Wagon were that it handles much worse than the Range Rover. There is no air suspension, and as a result, the ride is rough. You feel the bumps. It feels solid, but it bounces around. I also realized pretty quickly that it didn’t feel as stable at higher speeds than the Range Rover.

One of the first orders of business was to remove the brush bars. I certainly like black better than chrome, but I didn’t like how they are curved.

Removing the Brush Bars

If I was committed to keeping the car, I would have removed the spare tire cover and replaced all 5 tires with larger all terrain tires.

I’ve owned the car for over a year, but this last week, I shipped it to California to somebody who wanted to buy it from me. Given the limited number of Red G-Wagon’s available, the value has held up extremely well. In fact, some are selling with 5-10k miles for as much as I paid brand new. So I’m out of the G Wagon and ready for something new.

The 7 Reasons I sold my G Wagon

Below are is the laundry list of what I disliked about the G Wagon. It’s not that any single issue was a deal breaker, but the combination made for a less than enjoyable experience.

  1. Poor handling, rough ride.
  2. Annoying technology that you can’t permanently disable (Lane Assist, Braking Assist, Parking Assist).
  3. No convenience technology such as Auto Unlock doors on approach, Soft Close Doors, Air Suspension.
  4. Doors are difficult to close.
  5. Back Seat is small and uncomfortable.
  6. Infotainment isn’t a touch screen.
  7. Poor gas mileage (15mpg avg)

I decided to take the money I had into the G Wagon (I owned it outright) and put it towards something old. That’s right, a classic car. Something that I expect will hold it’s value better over a 10 year period, and be more enjoyable to drive. I’ll keep the Range Rover for highway travel.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button