As misunderstood and misused as they are, I love the G-Wagen. What started as a utilitarian military vehicle has now evolved into pieces of sheer opulence. One of those early examples of that decadence was the G55 AMG. Mercedes and AMG were throwing the supercharged M113 engine into anything with a Mercedes badge and, common sense be damned, they put it in the G-Wagen. At almost 470 hp and even crazier 516 ft·lb of torque, this G hits 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds. A mere 5.5 seconds in something that weighs over 5,500 pounds. Thank goodness for AMG brakes that come in the package, too!
Model: G55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 95,775 mi
Price: $42,999 Buy It Now
Model: 2005 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Horsepower: 469 hp
Towing capacity: 7,000 lbs
Curb weight: 5,540 lbs
MPG: 12 city / 14 highway
Engine: 5.4 L V8
Torque: 516 lb-ft
Dimensions: 186″ L x 71-73″ W x 78″ H
First off, what a great use of the DVD function in the aftermarket headunit to show a scene with George Costanza in Seinfeld while shooting the photos for this G. I think the seller knew exactly what they were doing and had a little chuckle doing so. Speaking of the photos, these are outstanding. But they are basically all for naught when you write zero description in your listing. Seriously, this listing tells me nothing about what is going on with this G55. You spend the time and effort to go shoot all these photos and follow it up with nothing. This looks like a great W463, but I can’t assume that. I realize that if you are really serious you pick up the phone to call the seller to really dig into what this thing is all about, but it drives me nuts the lack of effort to sell something this expensive. The only thing a littler odd is the black rear tire cover, which isn’t factory. The correct matching cover is only a $200 part, so it is a little odd to keep the black.
How expensive? $42,995. To me, that is a really fair price for what looks like a real winner. The G55 is a rare beast and I generally prefer the M113K paired with the 722.6 5-speed automatic transmission as a proven combination over the later models. Like every G, the residuals are unmatched in the luxury SUV segment and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Yes, the market will soften over time as more and more of these make their way onto the used market, but I think demand for these will almost always be greater than the supply. Maybe it’s just my own terms of justification on this, but I feel like when you sink money into a G, it’s not like you are throwing it down the hole never to be seen again. I don’t mean putting 24 inch wheels on them, I mean spending the money on proper maintenance and repairs. You can buy one of these and drive it for a few years then turn around and sell it without losing five-figures in deprecation. And if you need one that has 470 horsepower, well go right ahead.
I have a love-hate relationship with the G-Wagen, the 4×4 from Mercedes first introduced in 1972 as a military vehicle. I think that the contemporary, blinged-out AMG versions driven by celebrities and Hollywood moguls are an abomination, a crime against motoring humanity. But on the other hand, I’m quite partial to the older, more humble trucks on which they’re based. (I clearly have a thing for boxy old SUVs: I adore vintage Range Rovers, and used to own a Jeep Cherokee XJ, though the less said about that the better.) The original trucks are honest in a way the modern behemoths are not. The G-class was never supposed to be nice to drive, luxurious or a status symbol of wealth and conspicuous consumption. It was a spartan, utilitarian vehicle intended to transport soldiers across inhospitable terrain or, when sold to the public, farmers across boggy marshes.
Sometimes a vehicle can be best summed up by numbers. There’s a few to remember with this truck, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6:
6: Number of wheels
37: Tire size in inches
20: Capacity in liters of the four air tanks that inflate aforementioned tires
18: Ground clearance in inches
7.8: 0-60 mph time
561: Number of torques the 5.5 liter twin-turbocharged V8 produces
And most importantly, 9,050. That would be the curb weight of this beast. If any truck was going to make the Lamborghini LM002 look rather pedestrian, this modified G-wagen would be it. From the land that gave us the V8 Supercars race series, those nutters down under were partly responsible for this creation we see before us. Designed for the Australian military, the G-Wagen 6×6 went into low volume production last year, continuing on for 2015. I was well aware of the existence of this 6×6, but didn’t know that any of them have made it over to the US. Amazingly, such a unique automobile has surfaced on Cars.com. Thanks to our reader Walker for passing along the tip!
A little more than a decade has passed since Mercedes-Benz North America decided to finally import it’s legendary Geländewagen and the truck is still in the lineup after 13 years in the market. Before this, it was up to private importers to bring this vehicle to our shores, most notably Europa International out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Before Mercedes started officially importing to the G Wagen to the US, AMG variants were few and far between. This G-Wagen for sale in California began life as a G320 but has been transformed into a G36 AMG, with the AMG 3.6 liter engine supplanted under hood, along with AMG exhaust, 18” AMG wheels and the requisite brush guards for the correct look. If you’ve wanted an AMG G-Wagen but were perhaps a bit weary of the V8 thirst, this clone could be a good compromise.
Many of my G-Wagen posts are centered around finding examples that counter the G-series unfortunate decline into status symbols as overblown as watches with four-inch faces. Today’s brings all the tough with a few bumps and bruises as well as an aftermarket truck bed. With a long wheelbase, 4WD, and bulletproof diesel, this would be an outstanding work truck. It looks pretty rough for being just 20 years old – a mere childhood in a G-wagen’s lifespan. The downsides are a rather optimistic asking price and the fact that it currently resides in Amsterdam. If the seller is serious about getting international interest, he’d do well to provide a bit more information.
While it looks very similar to the models that have been rolling out of Germany since 1979, most of the G-classes we see in the US are of the W463 variety, an update that ushered in the 1990s. While the 11-year run of the W460/461 chassis probably seemed long at the time, I don’t think anyone could have guessed that the W463 would still be produced 25 years later. While the actual aesthetic differences are few, I much prefer the older W460/1 models as they very rarely look like soft-roaders and usually carry a little more patina, history, and toughness.
Today’s flat-black with green canvas top looks pretty mean and would likely be unstoppable off-road, but the devil is in the details. While the owner claims it has covered just 8,000km or 5,000 miles, the close-up pictures show some rust hidden under the too-easy black respray. Combined with a weak description, its potential is overwhelmed by more questions than answers and a terribly optimistic price.
Today we have a Geländewagen that covers a lot of ground, and not just in the typical all-terrain beast way. Sure, it can do all the badass stuff, but it’s looking unique and clean with a low-mileage diesel and an amazing interior. Seriously, plaid AND jump seats?! It all looks pristine and the price reflects it. If red is your color and you want to have a little of the GWagen panache without the overwrought AMG details, this is a great choice.
I love finding anti-G55/G63 G-wagens, and here’s one that’s been used hard but is ready to go for more. It’s an Idaho off-roader, ready to take on trails and backcountry in a way that fully exploits its original intentions. Racks, lights, and big tires all create a great look in addition to being very useful, and the short wheelbase looks like a blast in the hills. It has low mileage but quite a bit of lurking rust, which should keep the price low.
Do you get jealous of the brightly-colored Land Rover Defenders romping around the streets, looking all tough? Well, today we have a Geländewagen that looks ready for safari, enough so that it will probably be regularly mistaken for its British counterpart. With just 40k miles and a great diesel/manual combo, it’s a very nice off-road package. Bidding is hot on the no-reserve auction for this orange beast that will never be taken for a road-going G55 or G63.
The search for the perfect Providence commuter continues, and I’m constantly drawn back to these 1980s Geländewagens. Part of that is the inherent appeal of the G-wagen, with chunky good looks, rugged utilitarianism and honed-from-granite build quality. Sure, it’s about as fluid a design as what my 2-year old would draw and didn’t take much imagination; Draw one rectangle with two circles underneath, and on top place a slightly smaller rectangle. Job done! But the proportions are just right and with the right tires and alloys, the stance is perfect. Another reason that the G is on the list of cars that are acceptable in this household? My wife likes them and thinks they’re cool – rare for Mercedes-Benz products in her mind: