Review: 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class works on its quads (motors, that is) (2024)

It has four motors, 579 hp, and an off-road heritage that goes back further than the Rivian R1S, GMC Hummer EV, and Tesla Cybertruck. With the electric version of its military-grade G-Class, Mercedes-Benz promises even more freedom from pavement than all those American-built flagwavers, and it does it all with batteries.

And it’s a sort of bellwether for a brand that had committed to going fully electric, but now says it will sell ICE vehicles into the next decade. The electric G-Class didn’t have to happen, based on the latest thinking—but it does, and it could nail Mercedes’ argument that electrification suits every kind of vehicle.

“If the G can go electric,” Mercedes marketing vice president Bettina Fetzer told Green Car Reports and other journalists in late April prior to our drive, “any car can go electric.”

Going electric doesn’t just bring the G-Class up to date. It makes the G-Wagen a better off-roader, as I experienced during our first test drive of the G 580 with EQ Technology in southwestern France, just a couple of weeks ago. The electric G’s not just capable, it’s in many ways the most capable G-Class of them all.

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

G-Class EQ: The floor is battery

The electric G sports its usual ladder-frame construction, but instead of an ICE under the hood, it rides atop a 116-kwh lithium-ion battery mounted in its floor. Housed in a flex-resistant case, the battery pack integrates with the frame and wears thick metal protection as a skid plate. The pack combines 216 cells into 12 modules in two layers, cooled with three circuits. There’s no mention of the silicon-anode battery chemistry that Mercedes has been keen to introduce to speed charging times.

With a quad-motor setup, each generating a maximum of 108 kw, the G 580 EQ nets out at 579 hp and 859 lb-ft of torque. Each motor has its own transmission, which enables a low-range mode for off-roading and relieves it of the need for its gas cousin’s three locking differentials. Mercedes promises a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph, while it fills the co*ckpit with G-Roar, a programmed set of sounds associated with drive modes or events. It’s more noticeable to outsiders than to anyone inside the plush leather-lined co*ckpit.

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

An aerodynamic brick wall weighing 6,800 pounds never was going to do great in range testing, and it’s little surprise that the EPA estimates for the G 580 should land around 240 miles. It’ll come with a CCS charging port and soon adopt the NACS standard. WIth 200-kw charging, Mercedes quotes 20-80% charging in just over a half-hour. The company has only said it will study future off-road charging stations with its current partners, and it points out that off-roading itself offers plenty of opportunity to recharge through regeneration (a point which, while technically correct, seems starkly unaware of the G-Class’ role as urban showpiece in the U.S., at least).

That recuperation is governed by the G 580’s paddle controls. Auto mode chooses regen levels based on cornering angle, speed, and other data; D+ lets the front motor uncouple and the vehicle sail often for the best efficiency. Normal, D-, and D– dial up the regen, but the G 580 can’t stop itself by releasing the accelerator; it’s just shy of one-pedal capability, as I found on a bucolic street drive before putting the electric G-Class’s hardware to the dirt and mud test.

Electric G-Class: Good on pavement too

On a necklace of roads that circle prime off-road territory near Narbonne, France, I drove the reinvented G-Class and its barely revamped body. A bumper fairing here, a windshield header spoiler there, it hasn’t changed much outside in its transformation.

It has been modestly updated in its suspension, which combines front double-wishbone arms with a DeDion rear axle that’s needed to clear the rear motor. Its brakes remain hydraulic-assist, and the G-EV cruises on 265/60R18 tires. In its default drive modes it takes a very SUV-like 44.6 feet to make a U-turn.

The G 580 packs a hefty battery, which recenters its weight lower in the vehicle. It’s more stable as a result, and even without the electrohydraulic suspension now available on the gas-powered AMG model, its adaptive dampers perform backup while it mutes almost every road surface. The powertrain’s surge and its whuffling “G-Roar” synthetic sounds goaded me to go quicker constantly, but good damping aside, the G-Class doesn’t encourage that kind of driving.

It slows almost as well as it goes. It filters regen-braking settings through information about vehicle speed and cornering angle, then decides how much energy to redirect to the underfoot pack, in Auto mode at least. Through Normal, D-, and D– modes it adds more regen until it nears—but doesn’t provide—full one-pedal driving. Flipping its paddles for the opposite result, D+ eliminates almost all regen for a sailing mode.

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

Review: 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class works on its quads (motors, that is) (5)

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

G 580 with EQ: Tough on dirt

But trails are where the G 580 shines most brightly. With the windows rolled down as I approached a dozen kilometers of rocky pitches, muddy trenches, and pure slop, the G 580 glided through a 2-foot-deep riverbed filled by recent rains, with only the sound of sloshing water to accompany the slog. It’s better for fording than the standard G-Class, at 33 inches of depth versus about 26 inches.

It bounds out of ruts better, too. With at least 9.8 inches of ground clearance, it’s up a few tenths on the gas G—and offers a competitive breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, an approach angle of 32 degrees, and a departure angle of 30.7 degrees. WIth its carbon-reinforced breastplate underneath, the G 580 bounded over outcrops with the blessing of my co-pilot. After all, it’d already been tested on the same mountain trails at the Schöckl as the standard G-Class.

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

If off-roading has become a much simpler pursuit now that we have electronically controlled locking differentials and all-terrain traction programs, the electric G-Class brings down even more knowledge barriers to safe, preservation-minded off-roading. Its off-road cruise control system engages carefully measured speed through low, variable, and fast crawl modes that let it pick through terrain safely at up to 5 mph, all through precise motor control. The vehicle can essentially be driven with steering and paddle controls, no locking diffs required. I met so few ruts and obstacles that generated any wheelspin—a combination of sophisticated motor control and well-chosen off-road tires—that the trail behind seemed nearly the same as when I encountered it.

Cycling into its specific Trail mode permits higher speeds, but Rock mode is where I spent most of my trail time. It engages Low mode, which deploys the transmission paired with each motor to reduce the gear ratio 2:1, and limit speed to about 53 mph.

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

That mode also slips the G 580 EQ into two stunt-drive modes. G-Steering enables all-wheel steering that reduces turning radii on low-friction surfaces, which reduces the chance of ruining the trail for others when hairpins present themselves. Rivian’s similar Tank Turn feature was canceled due to environmental concerns, though the GMC Hummer EV and the related Sierra EV have a CrabWalk setup for diagonal driving. This one allows far more steering angle, and spun the G 580 around a narrow dirt path between a literal rock and a hard place, with zero drama. No gas-powered SUV can do this, thanks to geometry.

But it’s G-Turn that takes the electric platform’s potential to its ultimate party-trick zenith. In Rock and Low modes, steering wheel fully cranked and steering-column paddle pulled, all it takes is a full-on matted accelerator to spin the truck in two complete circles at a time, like a Bobcat with a brick on its gas pedal. Mercedes allows the function only on level low-friction surfaces, and guides drivers to do so only where it’s permitted and reasonable. Check all those boxes and you’ll never forget—as I haven’t—the feeling of being inside a leather-lined Speed Queen commercial dryer, minus the heat and noise. Sure, it’s a stunt. But it’s one that draws attention to the battery-electric version of the G while the ICE models get consigned to history.

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology electric SUV

G-Class with EQ Technology: Looks about right

About seven inches shorter than the 2024 model-year ICE G-Class, the G-Class EQ is otherwise very close in style. It sports a black-panel “grille,” a higher hood line, flares on the rear fenders that act as air curtains, and a rear roof spoiler.

Riding on a 113.8-inch wheelbase, at 182.0 inches long, 76.0 inches wide, and 78.2 inches tall, the G EQ ladles on the electronica among its usual power features, open-pore wood and leather trim, and ambient lighting. It lights up a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen for infotainment, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, active lane control, active steering with blind-spot monitors, and automatic parking. Its available surround-view camera system generates stitched-together views that show the area directly around the vehicle for picking around trails. Burmester sound, twin 11.6-inch rear-seat displays, a dashcam, and a wireless charging pad are available, as are 20-inch wheels, running boards, and a package that lights the star logo, the model name, and the EQ badge.

Review: 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class works on its quads (motors, that is) (10)

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

Review: 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class works on its quads (motors, that is) (11)

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ Technology

The electric G-Class arrives at dealers late this year. Prices have not been announced, but think big. In Euros, the standard G 580 with EQ Technology costs more than $150,000, and the Edition One costs more than $200,000. Even if you can’t buy one, find a good friend who can and take it for a spin. Two spins, when conditions permit.

NOTE: This story has been updated from a preview piece to one with dynamic on- and off-road driving impressions.

Mercedes-Benz paid for travel expenses so that we could spin ourselves silly in the G 580 and get our New Balances stuck in muck.

Review: 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class works on its quads (motors, that is) (2024)


What year is the most reliable G-Wagon? ›

The most reliable years for the G-Wagon are between 1996 to 2002. These SUVs were less complex in design back then, and they required minor repairs. Components were also more durable. If you're in the market for a G-Wagon, we suggest you buy a used G-Wagon produced between 1996 and 2002.

Is the G-Wagon engine reliable? ›

Mercedes G-Wagons are some of the most durable and long-lasting vehicles out there. You can get almost 500,000 miles on some of them, and most G-Wagons will last twenty years if cared for properly.

How much is the G-Wagon 2025? ›

Pricing and Which One to Buy

The price of the 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class EV is expected to start around $168,000.

What is special about G-Class Mercedes? ›

Its performance and features are in a class of their own: with 400 kW of power, six driven wheels, off-road reduction in the transfer case, portal axles, five differentials that can be locked while driving and a tyre pressure control system that operates at world record speed, the G 63 AMG 6x6 is equipped for all ...

Are G wagons high maintenance? ›

A Mercedes-Benz G-Class will cost about $16,561 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This is more than the industry average for luxury SUV models by $847. There is also a 42.69% chance that a G-Class will require a major repair during that time.

Do G wagons last a long time? ›

They are a really well built SUV. However, it's hard to say how long they last since most buyers get them home, and then only drive them occasionally. I've seen 8 year old G's with only 1500 miles on them. I would venture to say that with attention to routine maintenance, they would last quite a while.

What's better, a G-Wagon or a Range Rover? ›

When comparing the G-Wagen vs. Range Rover, we think the choice is clear: the Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV is clearly the superior vehicle. You don't have to take our word for it, though—come to one of our dealerships and test-drive one yourself!

Is a 2015 G-Wagon reliable? ›

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz G-Class has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

How well do G wagons hold their value? ›

In the full-size segment, the G-class has the best value retention of any luxury model. If you like the style, and your budget can handle the purchase price, you can probably sell it for a reasonable amount a few years down the road.

Why is G Wagon discontinued? ›

A new report out of Germany suggests production of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class will end in early 2024, as the company is preparing to launch an updated, more aerodynamic model.

How much is the bulletproof G Wagon? ›

Bulletproof Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG Limousine by Inkas Armoured Vehicles is Priced at Rs 8 Crore.

Which car is better than G-Class? ›

Range Rover and XM are top competitors of G-Class. Lexus LX and Audi RS Q8 are also among popular G-Class rivals and have compariable features and specifications. Land Cruiser 300 are similar Cars like G-Class and can be good alternative choices.

What is the nickname for Mercedes G-Class? ›

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, colloquially known as the G-Wagen (as an abbreviation of Geländewagen) is a four-wheel drive automobile manufactured by Magna Steyr (formerly Steyr-Daimler-Puch) in Austria and sold by Mercedes-Benz.

Why do rich people own G wagons? ›

tax exemption rule in the US. So if a business owner buys the G Wagon. to use it 50% for their business, they can write off the entire amount of the G Wagon.

Which is the best G-Wagon in the world? ›

G-Wagon Engines: the V8 AMG G63 vs.

Both are potent, sophisticated, and powerful, but one comes with extra power and a higher price tag. The AMG G63 comes with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 577 horsepower. The AMG G65, meanwhile, comes with a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 rated at 630 horsepower.

Are 2003 G wagons reliable? ›

2003 Mercedes-Benz G500

Had a reliable and bulletproof motor, transmission, and drivetrain is solid! You can easily tell that the quality of even the older G-Wagens is of top notch craftsmanship. These are going up in value and now is definelty the time to buy one!

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