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WATCH: Seven Reasons Why the 2019 Mercedes G-Wagen is Better Than the Old One

The benefits of a redesign

Though it looks nearly identical to the outgoing model, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class represents the first redesign of the model ever. The new SUV made its debut in G 550 flavor at the 2018 Detroit auto show, which was followed by the reveal of the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G 63 about a month later.

“We spent hours scrambling over the ridges around us, crawling up near-vertical, loose-footed ledges and wading through headlight-deep water, chasing a row of windmills to their perch overlooking the Mediterranean,” wrote contributor Zach Bowman in his first drive of the 2019 G 550, which is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 good for 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque mated to a nine-speed automatic. “This was not some manicured trail. It was a collection of unforgiving, nerve-peaking scrambles, and at no point was the new G 550 out of sorts. Whether lifting a wheel, or two, or lunging up difficult grades, the truck just kept going in spite of everything around it, the same as it always has. The same as it will for years to come.”

The 2019 G 63, meanwhile, receives AMG’s version of that 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, this one making 577 hp and a bruising 627 lb-ft of torque. “The all-new 2019 model expands on the machine’s ludicrous capability on road and off,” wrote Bowman, who also drove the G 63. Like the G 550 on which it is based, the G 63 is longer and wider than before, with an independent front suspension where a solid axle once lurked. The result is a far more civil machine with more interior room, a nicer cockpit, and handling dynamics that fit this century.”