Seriously, how freakin' cool is this thing? I felt like the king of the world from behind the wheel, probably because you sit so high up in the air. Even though I had lots to do yesterday evening, I took the long way home, driving the G-wagen through downtown Ypsilanti (attracting a LOT of attention), and then blasting down some gravel roads, where I splashed through large springtime puddles, windshield wipers flapping hard.
The G-wagen is scary quick--sprightlier than such a tank has any right to be. I drove a G55 AMG in 2005, but I don't remember it being nearly this quick off the line. And as others have pointed out, the engine sounds great, too.
Like Evan, I must admit to playing with the incredibly well-wrought door locks and the doors. I can't think of another new car that has a door-closing sound this fabulous. It almost seems worth $101K on its own (particularly since I don't have $101K to spend anyway). The heated steering wheel is another of the many modern touches that help bring this dinosaur comfortably into the present.
This might be the perfect post-Armageddon car, provided that gasoline is plentiful. It just feels so darn solid. I'd write an even more extensive gushing review, but my arms are too tired from steering this monster up six levels of our parking garage (and actually ducking my head as the Benz narrowly cleared the concrete crossbeams). As for handling? I dunno, but I've driven grippier cars. It's almost as if the G550 is a bit top-heavy or something ...
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor