Why are G-Wagons so Expensive?

The grand G-Wagon is Mercedes-Benz’s most-lusted after SUV. The G-Wagon, or Gelandewagen, is the big, boxy, retro, off-road Mercedes that is also the most expensive SUV Mercedes makes, depending on the trim – but any new G-Wagon will set you back more than $134,000. Why are G-Wagons so expensive? In short, it’s because they’re capable, rare, they’re sturdy, and most importantly because they’re cool.

As an SUV, your garden variety Jeep Wrangler or Land Rover Defender can tow more, has more room, can have more power, and could be more capable off road. But those SUVs don’t have the heritage of the G-Wagon (or G-Wagen), and more importantly they don’t have the presence. Nothing looks more “right” than a G-Wagon on Rodeo Drive.

Do G-Wagons hold their value?

Why are G-Wagon's so expensive? They're a super capable SUV that is also a luxury icon.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV off-roading | Mercedes-Benz

Every luxury SUV sees significant depreciation. A 20-year-old Porsche Cayenne may have been $60,000 in 2002, but today they’re $8,000 SUVs on most lots.

The G-Wagon is in a different world, though. A 2012, according to NADA, still sells for $58,400 in average condition. Still, some say that’s a bargain for this much capability. Its original price was $108,000. That’s about $50,000 in depreciation over the last decade, or about $416 a month. For comparison, a 2012 Infiniti QX56 luxury SUV cost $61,800 new and now sells for about $20,000 used. The Benz lost half of its value, while the Infiniti lost two-thirds.

What’s so special about G-Wagons?

a 2021 Mercedes G-Class sitting on top of a mountain. This model is now the fastest-selling car in America
2021 Mercedes G-Class | Mercedes-Benz

If we could ask Jay-Z of Kim Kardashian, or other celebrities why they love the G-Wagon we would. The G-Wagon has presence like no other SUV. They’re tall, they’re blocky, and they’re owned by the rich and famous. But they are also incredibly capable. The G-Wagon has a full-time four-wheel-drive, a big and powerful V8, and can be equipped with the latest technology and the highest-quality leather and materials. They are also built on a strong frame that gives them incredible off-road prowess and strength.

A G-Wagon simply looks like nothing else on the road.

How much is a new G-Wagon?

A blue 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class luxury SUV parked in front of a white building in Germany
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class | Daimler AG

The G-Wagon was pretty much unchanged, under its svelte skin, since it was launched in 1979. In 2019 Mercedes significantly upgraded the G-Class, as its called now, with a longer wheel base and a host of options that reflect its Beverley Hills clientele. Underneath, though, it’s still an off-road SUV that rides like one.

The 2022 G-Class, as it’s no longer called the Gelandewagen, starts at $134,300. But the G-Class can get as expensive as you can imagine. The base model, the G550 has a twin-turbo V8, and with a modicum of options can easily reach $150,000. Once you move up the Mercedes-AMG G63, however, be prepared to pay about $175,000. That G63, though, has 577 horsepower and can hit 60 miles per hour in about 4 seconds.

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