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2010 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Overview
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV celebrates its 30th year in production with a number of updates both inside and out for 2010. Cabin refinements include redesigned 14-way power-adjustable front seats, which now provide better support and comfort, as well as more ergonomic styling. Mercedes also made design improvements to the rear bench seat, so it more closely matches the front seats. Upholstery choices for 2010 include black or gray fabric, as well as leather seating in black, gray, or chestnut. Owners can also add new optional designo leather upholstery in red or black. Other new options for 2010 include climatized multicontour front seats and designo stone trim in Labrador blue pearl.
In addition, the cabin features an updated dashboard, now wrapped in premium leather to give it a more hand-crafted appearance, and new chrome accents around the shift gate, seat controls, and door pulls. New standard features for 2010 include an audio auxiliary input jack in the glovebox and a designer ignition key.
Outside, the G-Class now comes in two new exterior colors, including palladium silver metallic and designo platinum magno. In addition, the G-Class's spare wheel cover receives an updated design with a three-dimensional Mercedes star.
The G-Class retains its rugged, squarish design, which has changed little over the past three decades, and has achieved an iconic status among Mercedes aficionados. The three-bar polished chrome grille, straight-up stance, angular wheel arches, and flat sides all harken back to the G-Class's origins as a military vehicle, although the rough edges have been smoothed out for contemporary drivers.
Mercedes continues to offer the G-Class in two trims for 2010. The G550 comes equipped with a 5.5-liter, double-overhead-cam V8 engine, which develops 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. The engine links to a seven-speed automatic transmission designed for quick response and smooth cruising. The transmission includes the Touch Shift feature, which enables drivers to manually downshift or upshift by tapping the shift lever left or right.
Standard features for the G550 include heated front and rear leather seats, a heated wood-and-leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, Burl Walnut wood trim, and a Harman Kardon audio system with a 6-CD changer. It also comes equipped with an upgraded version of Mercedes' COMAND (Cockpit Management and Data) system, which drivers can use to control the SUV's audio and climate control systems. Owners can opt for a navigation system with a 6.5-inch color LCD screen. Exterior features include an electrically heated windshield, heated power mirrors, bi-xenon headlights with heated washers, and front and rear tow hooks.
The sportier and more powerful G55 AMG retains its hand-built, supercharged 5.5-liter V8 Kompressor engine, which produces 500 hp and a whopping 516 lb-ft of torque. The big V8 links to a five-speed automatic transmission, and pushes the G55 AMG from 0-60 in just 5.4 seconds. Both engines post fuel economy numbers of 11/15 mpg.
Inside, the G55 AMG impresses with such standard features as an AMG instrument cluster, AMG wood-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, designo leather upholstery, designo wood trim, anthracite Alcantara roof lining, unique AMG sill panels, and an audio/video/navigation system equipped with a 4GB hard drive for storing music files, among other features.
The G-Class continues to excel as an off-roader, thanks to its rugged suspension and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system with a synchronized two-speed transfer case and three independent locking differentials for the front and rear axles. A four-wheel electronic traction control system and electronic stability program also come standard. The G-Class can climb grades of up to 36 degrees, and remain stable on lateral inclines of up to 24 degrees. The G550 rides on 18-inch wheels, while the G55 AMG receives 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.