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Car Review

2013 Mercedes-Benz G550: Overview

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author photo by Doug DeMuro

What's new: The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G550 is heavily revised for 2013. In addition to new LED lights outside, the interior is completely overhauled, adding a COMAND controller, a new steering wheel and a new center stack.

Pros: Incredible off-road prowess -- possibly the best; boxy styling never seems to get old; finally, a more modern interior graces the G-Class

Cons: Even if you don't get the AMG, the G-Class is pricey; also expensive to run thanks to heft and thirsty engine; even updated interior still looks and feels very old

Overview:

The Mercedes-Benz G550 is the entry-level version of Mercedes' ultra-luxury G-Class SUV. Born as a German military vehicle in the 1970s, the G-Class (or "G-wagen" for its original name, "Gelandewagen," meaning "off-road vehicle") is now a high-end boulevard cruiser that rarely sees rough roads. But it's supremely capable, thanks to three differential locks and impressive ground clearance.

The original G-Class debuted as the G500 for the 2002 model year. An engine update in 2009 earned it the G550 moniker. Power comes from a 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8, which is mated to a 7-speed automatic. Zero-to-60 comes in around seven seconds. All G-Class models have full-time 4-wheel drive.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G550 starts around $113,000, which makes it one of the most expensive SUVs available. The only SUV with a higher base price is its own high-performance version, the G63 AMG. That model, which is new for the 2013 model year, features a 544-horsepower twin-turbo V8 and reaches 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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