2015 Mercedes-Benz G Class

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class can now be optioned with a rear-seat entertainment system and all-season floor mats. Front-door storage has also been increased. Otherwise, this big SUV is unchanged.

Among current large luxury SUVs, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an enigma. It was originally designed as a military vehicle in the late 1970s and, as a result, it forgoes many of the technological advances that its rivals benefit from. And yet, somehow, it remains attractive to a select few, even if its waning relevance is unavoidable.

In the G-Class' favor are its strong acceleration, impressive off-road abilities and undeniable presence. It also treats passengers to some of the trappings found in other Mercedes vehicles, such as a leather-lined cabin, rich wood trim and the COMAND electronics interface. With a heavy curb weight and bricklike aerodynamics, the G-Class overcomes the challenges of acceleration with a heavy dose of power. Getting up to highway speeds is surprisingly effortless, and upgrading to the G63 AMG further blesses this big SUV with sports car-like acceleration.

Exterior Highlights
Four-door, midsize luxury sedan available in CLS400, CLS550, CLS63 AMG S-Model trim levels

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a large, five-passenger SUV that is offered in two trims: G550 and G63 AMG.

Standard features on the G550 include 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, LED running lights, heated power-folding mirrors, a sunroof, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, a blind spot monitoring system and keyless ignition and entry.

In addition to that, other standard items include dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats (with adjustable side bolsters, shoulder supports and six-way lumbar), driver memory functions, heated front and rear outboard seats, ventilated front seats and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Also standard are the COMAND electronics interface with a 7-inch display, a navigation system, voice commands, traffic reporting, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system with six-CD changer, an iPod/USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio jack, HD radio, satellite radio and 10GB of music storage.

Upgrading to the G63 gets you a more powerful turbocharged engine as well as 20-inch wheels, AMG-specific styling elements, upgraded "designo" leather upholstery (optional on G550) and an automatic stop-start function for fuel economy.

As well-appointed as the G-Class models are, options are few and include different wheel styles, a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat entertainment system and a choice of interior trim and colors. The G63 is also eligible for premium leather with diamond-quilted stitching.

iPad-like screen on dash, COMAND infotainment interface, sporty flare, new layout on the steering wheel, generous cargo space

As with most current Mercedes vehicles, a large centrally mounted display screen is operated via the COMAND electronics interface knob and dash-mounted buttons. Like most infotainment systems, it requires a little getting used to, but its menu structure and overall ease of use are excellent.

There is ample headroom. Behind the rear seats there are a decent 45 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding the seats flat increases capacity to 79.5 cubes, but the large humps on each side of the cargo floor (which resemble rear benches for seating troops) make it difficult to stow wider items like golf clubs.

Standard safety features for all 2015 Mercedes-Benz G-Class models include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also included are front and rear parking sensors, hill hold assist, a blind spot monitoring system, a rearview camera and Mercedes' mbrace2 emergency telematics, which includes services such as automatic collision notification, an emergency response button, stolen vehicle location and remote lock/unlock.

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