If you’re looking to maximize your budget for used luxury cars, a used Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen might be your best buy in 2022. While the rest of the world has gotten many trim levels from the W463 generation (1991-2018) in 1991 and was not brought to the US until 2002 with the only model being the G500.
Due to the limited availability, you not only get the highest level of the G-Class available for the generation, but you also get a limited edition vehicle to make your choice even more special. Although the US just started receiving G-Wagens in 2002, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t already a rich history behind Mercedes’ iconic SUV.
When the Gelaendewagen (the name of the original joint venture between Mercedes-Benz, Steyr and Puch) was first released in 1979, it came in a variety of different body styles and engine choices. We’ll give you an insight into why the 2005 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen is desirable in 2022, and why Doug Demuro also thinks it’s worth putting your hard-earned cash on the line.
Doug Demuro, the king of all car nerds drives a G-Wagen
That’s right, everyone’s favorite YouTube car reviewer, the creator of the “Doug Score”. The guy who starts every video with “This!” Has his own G-Wagen. It is of course not the typical everyday G500 or G55. Doug Demuro has a very rare (especially in the US) 1999 2dr G500 convertible.
Not only that, this particular G500 is US federalized, a process that allows a non-US model to become federally legal to drive in the states. With such a high barrier to entry for an odd version of a vehicle, it’s safe to say that Doug is one of the few American citizens to drive around a G500 convertible.
While he may have picked the weirdest version of a W463, Demuro sings a lot of praise for the vehicles in his recent video “6 Good Luxury Cars That Won’t Cost Huge Money” on YouTube. It might be a risky purchase, but that shouldn’t stop anyone interested from pursuing their G-Wagen dreams the way Doug has.
Is the G-Wagen the king of luxury off-road vehicles?
Even though we’re talking luxury cars here, there’s no way I can write about the G-Wagen and make NO mention of the off-road capabilities of these Austria-made tanks. He is widely known as one of the most capable off-road off-roaders out there. It’s easy to forget all that history when you look at a new G63 AMG, with its toned-down off-road capability and independent suspension.
The US specification W463 G-Wagen has neither problem. It’s an off-roader’s dream when it comes to specs, a solid live axle front and rear, locking differentials front and rear, and plenty of power from two V8 engine options. There are countless videos of these vehicles doing great things off road.
2005 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen Reliability
This W463 generation of the G-Wagen is widely known for being built at the end of the bulletproof (sometimes literally) Mercedes vehicles. Remember, though, that these $80k when new SUVs came out not long before the Daimler Chrysler disasters like the ML class. As such, they can fall into some stereotypical early 2000s German car troubles. Most interior electronics, switches, meter cluster, radio, etc.
Shared with the C-Class from the same era, a car that has not aged very well at all. That said, all mechanical parts such as the engine and transmission are quite reliable. There are reports here and there on the various property forums about potential transfer issues. But it seems that most of these vehicles remain mechanically reliable to this day.
The G-Wagen has celebrity status
Ok, so maybe they aren’t as famous as they are in 2018 (or maybe they are more famous? I’m probably not the right person to make a bold statement on that subject). But it’s a safe bet that you know about America’s favorite reality TV show family and how much they loved (and still love) driving these things. Even today, a quick spin around the Los Angeles area, and you’re likely to see many of these rigs, old and new.
Many are driven by Hollywood types who want to be seen in the ultimate urban assault vehicle. Although the car comes from such humble military beginnings, the American model G-Wagen was very luxurious for its time. All American models were optionally supplied with almost everything Mercedes had available at the time. Leather interiors, wood trim and all the technology you can imagine for the mid-2000s.
In typical Mercedes fashion, the evolution of G-Wagen continued year after year. A facelift in 2007 brought changes such as a reversing camera, new illuminated steering wheel controls and LED taillights. Something that celebrities and normal people alike can enjoy.
Sources: Doug Demuro Via YouTube, Mercedes-Benz