The Mercedes G-Wagon is worth over $150,000, and to many drivers, the question they always ask when they see this is ‘Why?’

The G-Wagon has been around since after the Second World War, a fact unknown to many people, and has gone through a rags-to-riches journey since then. It started as an all-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicle for off and on-road driving, but now, it’s a luxurious and expensive, six-figures vehicle that emphasizes comfort and technology.

This vehicle is now in high demand everywhere in the world. In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at what makes the G-Wagon so expensive.

Small Beginnings in the 1970s

The G-Wagon was a part of the G-Class from Mercedes, which emerged in the 1970s. The G stands for Geländewagen, which means cross-country vehicle. This is because the initial aim of the G-Wagon was to be a user-friendly, reliable, affordable, and rugged all-terrain vehicle.

Mercedes aimed for this vehicle to have a versatile range of uses, from driving in the snow to driving on clear roads, from being used as war vehicles to everyday driving.

Because of their practical designs, the G-Wagon became a status symbol in the motor industry. Mercedes manipulated the demand and supply curves with limited production and set the G-Wagon apart from others with creative marketing and brilliant designs.

For about 40 years, the G-Wagon was not redesigned.

Origin of the G-Class and Its Predecessors

The concept of the G-Class came immediately after the Second World War. A former Mercedes Benz engineer came up with the all-terrain and all-wheel-drive vehicle for civilian use.

What came before the G-Class was a vehicle called Unimog, which inspired the Mercedes company. They bought the company making Unimog and came up with something creative, which lead to the G-Class.

When the G-Class emerged, there came a series of enhancements and evolutions. The G-Class came in two types, for military and one for civilian use. They both had similar features and appearances. The G-Wagons also came in two-door wagon versions, two-door convertible versions, and four-door wagon modes. Many Americans imported the G-Wagon before they officially came to America.

The G-Wagon increased in prestige and popularity over time. In 1980, the Pope requested a custom-made G-Wagon so he could stand straight in the car during the meet and greets, making it more popular.

In 1990, the G-Wagon finally underwent tweaks in its design, making it more civilian and on-road friendly. It came with anti-lock brakes, leather seats, wood trim, running boards, and cruise control.

In 1993, the G-Wagon met the US Standards and was officially introduced to America. This process was expensive and took a long time, and so Mercedes had to compensate for the extra costs and time spent. They did this by adding more zeros to the price tag of the G-Wagon, which increased the exclusivity and prestige of the vehicle.

Popularity Led to High Prices in 2016

The popularity of the G-Wagon shot through the roof in 2001 when the V8-powered version was imported and introduced. Because of the positive reception, the demand went up and so did sales. The Mercedes G-Wagon became serious competition for other vehicles, including the BMW cars.

Because of the increase in sales, Mercedes decided to manufacture more fancy versions that used the V8 engine. They also tried to replace the G-Wagon in 2007 with the GL-Class, but this didn’t work. The GL-Class had three rows and was more modern and luxurious than the G-Wagon but the demand for the latter did not decrease. Instead, it continued to increase steadily and lead to more sales for Mercedes.

During this time, the Pope requested a Mercedes G-Wagon, thereby increasing its popularity. Even the military bought more G-Wagons for military-related activities.

The G63 AMG 6X6 variant of the G-Wagon emerged in 2016, offering enhanced ground clearance that allowed for dune climbing. Because of this, the G-Wagon was even more popular in many places, especially the Middle East.

Then, the G65 was introduced in the USA with a starting price of $225,000, and a V12 engine offering 621 horsepower.

In 2018, the G-Wagon underwent a complete makeover which made it more stable and luxurious, also leading to higher prices.


  • What is special about G-Wagon?

The luxurious features and the prestige that has been associated with the G-Wagon are what make it special. G-Wagon offers its users amazing features like a ladder frame, three locking differentials, and an all-wheel drive. The original G-Wagon didn’t even need a big engine to drive through rough trails. The newest G-Wagons even come with six wheels and amazing power.

  • Is a used G-Wagon worth it?

A used G-Wagon will be more affordable than a new one, especially when you get one from the military. As long as the car was well-maintained by the previous owner, it would be worth the purchase.

  • How many miles does G-Wagons last?

G-Wagons are also called million-mile vehicles. Many of their domestic vehicles can last up to 250,000 miles, while those manufactured in Germany or Japan can go as high as 300,000 miles.

G-Wagons are not cheap but they hold their value very well. They are usually a part of the top 10 luxurious and expensive vehicles in the world. They depreciate 45% after five years, while their resale value after five years is over $95,000.

  • Why is the G-Wagon so popular?

The G-Wagon has a long history of being popular, and so it’s not surprising that the fame has not waned till now. With the military choosing the vehicle and even the Pope, plus the special features and luxury it offers, it’s not surprising that the G-Wagon is very popular.

Fancy Features are What Makes the G-Wagon So Popular

Half the reason why the G-Wagons come with six-figure prices is its luxurious options. They come with all-terrain tires, front seats with massage features, 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated steering wheels, and even ventilated cushions.

When it comes to their horsepower and torque, they usually shoot through the roof. If you can afford a G-Wagon, then you’re definitely in for a luxurious experience.

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Pavlo Prannyk
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