The Mercedes-Benz G 550 Professional is here to outsmart those SUVs that never leave the tarmac despite the fact that they could handle a trail or two. A version only available in the United States, this one does off-roading like a pro.
Ask a Mercedes-Benz G-Class enthusiast to describe the G-Class in three words and you will be hearing that description for the rest of the day. It’s really not a car you can lock inside a few words and think you’re through with it. Its capabilities, its background, and the way Mercedes has been keeping several design features for over 40 years have converted it into the icon it is today.
“These are Austrian soft close doors,” the product manager explains opening and slamming the driver’s door of the Magna Steyr-made vehicle. It’s for that unmistakable click-clack sound so familiar to the G-Class diehard fans.
The roof rack draws attention from the start. It’s standard equipment on the Mercedes-Benz G 550 Professional. To get up there, you climb a ladder mounted at the rear. Literally “climb.” Because it can withstand about 200 pounds. And it certainly is worth the view when you’re out there in the wild.
The car runs on 18-inch five-spoke wheels with beefy Falken Wildpeak All-Terrain tires. And those black wheels, contrasting with the Desert Sand body color, match all the black details. The bull bar, the roof rack and leather, front and rear bumpers, plus fenders and the carrier of the spare wheel. It’s not the usual spare wheel case back there. right under that support, there is the rearview camera, that moved, with this generation, from above the rear window. When off-roading, you get to see things way better from down there and it’s waterproof, because it’s below the fording depth of the off-roader of 2 feet and 3 inches. Yeah, the G-Class is made for that.
Besides, the 360-degree camera does the job from up in tight parking spaces and off-road, too.
The cabin screams Mercedes. It’s got the Nappa leather with diamond stitching, massage programs, the Burmester sound system, the MBUX, and all the goodies that the manufaktur customization program is capable of offering. Plus the usual G-Class handle in the dashboard on the front passenger side and the three lock diffs buttons. The G 550 Professional comes with a cherry wood floor in the trunk, a reminiscence of its military DNA from the late 1970s.
Once the tarmac is over, they go from Sport mode to Low Range. And here is where the G-Class feels at home. Smooth and steady, capable and effortless, this is how it rides. A few muddy trails and a puddle later, the former shiny Mercedes-Benz G 550 is unrecognizable.