2019 Mercedes-Benz G 550: How the Autoblog staff would configure it
How we want our G-WagensThe configuration tool for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G 550 is finally here. And being a high-end Mercedes-Benz, there are plenty of ways to make the mega Merc a unique expression of opulence and wealth. So several editors on the Autoblog staff created one to each of their preferred specifications. You can check them out in the next slides for some inspiration, and then play with the configurator yourself at this link.
Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski
If I'm going to drive a G-Class, you'd better believe I'm not intending to blend in. So I went with Designo Yellow Olive Magno paint with a matte finish, then blacked out everything else with the AMG Line Night Package. I'm not sure if I'd actually choose this color if I were ordering this Benz for real, but I like the way it looks online so I'm going with it.
Inside, I again dipped into the Designo bucket and chose Nappa leather in Espresso Brown and Black, highlighted by Light Brown Sen wood for both the trim and the heated steering wheel. I added a digital instrument cluster and adaptive suspension to round out the build.
Total cost comes in at $151,670. Could be worse.
Associate Editor Reese Counts
I love the G-Class. I know all of its flaws and I simply don’t care. It’s wonderful because it’s not perfect. Nothing on the road has quite the presence or IDGAF attitude a the G-Wagen. You drive a G-Wagen because you want to, not because it’s the best or most practical choice. If you’re spending this much money on an SUV, you’re buying based on your gut, so why not go with something that looks and sounds cool?
This is all play money, so why not check every box? My G 550 is designo Olive metallic over designo Red/Black Nappa leather. While I don’t usually like piano black trim, Mercedes does it better than anyone. There might be a nice wood to accent the red leather, but I’d have to see it in person. I’ve got 20-inch wheels, black exterior accents and sport exhaust. I also added massaging and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a digital instrument cluster and a number of other small options. All in, my G-Class rings up for $156,055.
Senior Green Editor John Snyder
There’s no way in hell I’d buy one of these. But we’re being hypothetical here, so if I must, I’d go a slightly different route. I’d head to Austria and get in touch with the folks at Kreisel Electric. That all-electric G-Wagen they built for Arnold Schwarzenegger was actually pretty impressive.
Since we’re dealing with the U.S. configurator, I’d start with a G 550 in Brilliant Blue Metallic with five-spoke wheels. Since leather is the only option, might as well get the $400 Designo Yacht Blue/Black Nappa interior (which also adds the $5,000 interior package) with light brown sen wood trim. I like what Mercedes does with its digital instrument clusters, but Kreisel adds their own instruments for the EV swap, so I’d pass on that $850 option. That totals $129,900.
From there, I’d have Kreisel swap the biturbo 4.0-liter V8 (maybe I could get something for it) for a pair of electric motors providing about 482 horsepower and 80 kWh worth of batteries. In Arnold’s car, that was good for a 0-62 mph time of 5.6 seconds, so it’d be about an even trade in terms of acceleration. I have no idea how much that would cost, but if alternate-universe John has G-Wagen money, he probably has the dough to do the Kreisel swap.
Managing Editor Greg RasaSilver cars are boring. But every once in a while a certain silver is really deep and interesting, and Iridium Silver appears to be like that. Or maybe Mojave Silver is better — would have to compare them in person. The color seems right for the utilitarian vibe of the car, and the chrome is a nice accent. I stuck with the base G 550, as it's a relative "bargain," and kept things simple inside — black Nappa leather with red seatbelts (or maybe Yacht blue with black) and Designo woodwork is simple, right? Nothing fancy. Just your average $140,000 grocery getter.
Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale
Unlike Reese, I'm really not a fan of the G-Class, particularly in its gaudy, overpriced American specification. It's too flashy and expensive to take off-road, and it handles too poorly to take advantage of the huge amounts of power under the hood.
But if I had to have one, I might pick one like this. I also went with the base G 550, because 416 horsepower is more than enough for this brick on stilts. Going with a bigger engine is just going to waste fuel. I also stuck with the basic wheels with chunkier tires because I'd like to have at least some sidewall if I do attempt to reach the truck's limits off road.
As for the color combo, I picked Rubelite Red metallic, mainly because of its similarity to my dog's name, Ruby. To go with the dark red, I went with a dark, but warm interior consisting of natural-finish walnut wood and diamond-stitched designo Espresso Brown and black Nappa leather seats. This was one of very few options I picked, but as it required the Exclusive Interior Package Plus, it was one of the most expensive at $12,200, roughly 10 percent of the base MSRP.
The other options were pretty basic and reasonably priced. I added a heated steering wheel for $250, the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel for $850 and the adaptive suspension for $1,400. All told, my G 550 comes to $140,195.
Assistant Editor Zac Palmer
I stuck with the non-AMG G 550 for my build. It’s significantly cheaper than the G 63 or G 65, and you don’t lose much in terms of straight-line speed because it still has a twin-turbo V8. Still, speed wasn’t my concern — off-road ability and a luxurious cabin were my two main priorities. For that, I stuck with the smallest wheel option and picked a nice dark brown paint to sling mud up at. Normally I’m all in on the wild colors, but something about a muddy brown G-Wagen appeals to me. The interior is my contrast to the brown, with a designo blue/black leather package and light-colored wood trim — I see it as a bright and cheerful departure from the brown paint. This leather forced me into the $7,850 “Exclusive Interior Package,” but I’m fine with that because it comes with plenty of other luxury accoutrements too.
Other options I went for include the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster ($850), adaptive dampers ($1,400) and all-season floor mats ($200). My final add-on was a Mercedes in-car WiFi subscription for $20/month. I recently experienced how great in-car WiFi is while off-roading in the middle of nowhere sans phone signal — this makes WiFi a must in my off-road G 550. It all added up to $137,120, just a few thousand dollars short of an AMG G 63.
Contributing Editor James Riswick
The car you see here is designo Olive Metallic. I'm pretty sure the G 550 I drove during the G-Class First Drive was Emerald Green Metallic. I'd happily take either, as I'm usually of the opinion that green is the correct answer. The fact that Emerald looks way too black on MBUSA's configurator left me choosing Olive for this exercise. I also picked the Night package, since that big brush guard looks goofy in chrome (it wasn't on the G's I drove in France) and as my mother said of the Night package's various glossy black bits and pieces, "they look bad ass."
Inside, I adore the Yacht blue leather so much that I would happily live with a color combination I can only describe as "Utah Jazz."
I would also get the $2,200 Seating package because in this scenario I'm not a poor person, and would therefore also not blink at getting the adaptive suspension and giant all-digital instrument panel.
Oh, and despite not being poor, I stuck with the G 550. Having driven both, I actually think it's better. The AMG power advantage is hard to appreciate, the ride is worse and the handling ... who cares, it's a G Wagen.