It's clear that my colleagues love the G-wagen. I don't get it. However, even though I don't love it, I do find it to be a unique and interesting vehicle. It's quite a feat, in this day and age, to be able to build and sell what is essentially a 30-year-old SUV for more than $100,000. Kudos to Mercedes-Benz for pulling that off. Sure, the G-wagen has a modern powertrain--a new V-8 and a seven-speed automatic--but the rest of the vehicle looks and feels like it came from the previous decade - or maybe even the decade before that. The control layout is idiosyncratic at best, and the interior is a weird pastiche of modern conveniences and old-fashioned design. The cool thing about driving the G550 is that you don't see it coming and going, so it attracts lots of attention. And that modern V-8 means it gets you places in a hurry, despite its bricklike aerodynamics. If I had lots of money and a large vehicle fleet, the G-wagen would be an interesting addition to it, but if I were going to buy just one luxury SUV, I'd take a Range Rover over the G-wagen.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor