2025 G-Wagen Gains Touchscreen, Mild-Hybrid I-6; G 63 Keeps V-8

Hmmm, not a picture of the I-6 engine anywhere in the press release. Mercedes-Benz

You’ve watched a G-Wagen growl past you on the highway. The blocky German off-roader probably had a spare tire mounted on the back, encased in a cover bearing Mercedes’ three-pointed star in chrome. So posh, so powerful. Oh, to be a person in a G-Wagen!

You probably didn’t know that, until today, even the wealthiest person in the world couldn’t go on the Mercedes configurator and order one with a touch-sensitive screen. Nope, not even for a base price of $144,150… and, if you wanted to flaunt your status in front of the urban elite, you’d be silly to build a G-wagen without splurging for add-ons like 20-spoke AMG wheels ($3470, as of the 2024 model year) or matte black paint ($3950).

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 550 interior
This black and tan interior, made from real, moo-cow leather, is a Manufaktur exclusive and a G-Class first.Mercedes-Benz

Window shoppers and real-world customers alike will be delighted to know that, as of the 2025 model year, the G-Class finally enters the modern age of Mercedes-Benz infotainment, ditching the COMAND system with its rotary dial for a version of the brand’s current system, denoted MBUX. A console-mounted touchpad remains—perhaps for continuity’s sake? We’re not quite sure.

(Hard-core off-roaders, fret not: The three switches for the locking differentials remain actual switches.)

The slowness with which Mercedes has updated its veteran off-road reflects the inherent capabilities of the product: A V-8-powered, body-on-frame four-door with military roots, three locking differentials, and, as of the 1990s, an interior that can be as luxurious as you can afford. Nearly 35 years later, the truck looks much the same, but a few headline-worthy changes lie under the hood and inside the cabin.

The base truck, known as the G 550, retains that alphanumeric identifier but has a different engine: Instead of the twin-turbo V-8, it’s motivated by a turbocharged inline-six making 443 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. The six also has a mild-hybrid system, which basically is an electric motor in the driveline that does not directly spin a wheel or an axle. The setup relies on an integrated starter-generator (ISG), which replaces an alternator and is attached directly to the crankshaft of the engine. We’ve seen this mild-hybrid I-6 combination in several other Mercedes products in recent years, including the 2021 E-Class. While the departure of the V-8 in the G 550 is disappointing, the presence of the six-cylinder in the G-Class is encouraging: Mercedes has been going through its model portfolio and replacing V-8s with (absurdly powerful) turbo fours.

Thankfully, the brand had enough sense to leave the V-8 in the top-dog G-Class, the Mercedes-AMG G 63. Power remains the exact same—577 hp at 6000 rpm, 627 lb-ft of torque between 2500 and 3500—but fuel economy could receive a bit of a bump, since the hand-built V-8, too, receives the mild-hybrid system, which is good for an additional 20 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque at “lower engine speeds.” Without knowing where in the rev range the ISG maxes out, we aren’t sure if the driveline’s maximum output is actually higher; it’s likely that the electric motor is tuned to produce max power while the V-8 is getting up to that magic 2500 rpm mark, and that the motor lets the engine take over beyond that point.

2025 Mercedes-AMG G63 profile AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber Package Hyper Blue Magno v-8 exhaust v8

Construction remains body-on-frame, with independent front suspension up front and a solid axle out back, plus the full complement of locking differentials (three). The big news, when it comes to chassis changes, concerns the optional suspension for the G 63 model: Spec the optional AMG Offroad Package Pro, and you’ll get a trick hydraulic suspension setup, which equips each of the adaptive shock absorbers with two hydraulic connections (one for compression, one for rebound), and links all four together. Active elements also replace the mechanical antiroll bars. We shudder to think how much the upgrade will cost, but the improvements in body control and articulation should be significant. Ground clearance for the G 550 remains at 9.5 inches; Mercedes is keeping quiet about the off-road stats for the G 63, so we’ll have to wait and see how much the hydraulic system improves approach, breakover, and departure angles.

Exterior changes are minimal: Four louvers in the grille instead of three, new A-pillar trim, a spoiler lip on the edge of the roof. (The latter two changes are borrowed from the upcoming electric G-wagen. They make the truck more aerodynamic and, together with a bunch of new insulation materials, make its cabin quieter, too.) Kept company by a wiper fluid nozzle, the rearview camera has moved to the middle of the bumper, above the license plate holder.

Inside, both versions of the truck get new steering wheels with touch-sensitive panels, rather than buttons. The Burmester surround sound system now has 16, rather than 10 channels, an additional speaker mounted in the headliner—it can light up, too!—and features Dolby Atmos, a spatial audio technology that can place sounds above and below the listener’s ears, not just to either side.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 550 interior
You want ambient lighting? Mercedes has ambient lighting!Mercedes-Benz

The number and size of the digital screens remain the same—two of them, measuring 12.3 inches corner to corner. The software controlling those screens, though, brings the suite of video feeds and safety features that you’d expect on a six-figure, luxury off-road truck: The G 550 now comes standard with four cameras that can relay a 360-degree view onto the center screen (previously, only the G 63 got this setup). Blind spot assist comes standard, although Active Steering Assist, variations of which are available on scads of vehicles more affordable than a G-wagen, is listed as “available,” aka you’ll have to pay extra for it. Why, Mercedes? The camera array also allows for the brand’s Transparent Hood features, which may be familiar to particularly adventurous owners of the GLC: It provides a view of what’s in front of and underneath the vehicle—basically, the area that you can’t see because the hood’s in the way. Handy, especially when climbing or cresting a steep grade. A dashcam comes standard, and you can replay the feed on the center screen if the vehicle is stationary. You can even talk to your G-Class’ infotainment system without saying “Hey, Mercedes” first: The manufacturer says that it created roughly 20 new voice commands exclusively for the new G-Class.

Tech upgrades sprinkled piecemeal across recent model years are all present for 2025, and many are standard, including adaptive damping suspension, keyless entry and start, and a glass sunroof. If your rear-seat passengers are feeling left out of the newly digital experience, you can splash some cash and equip your G-Class with an extra set of 11.6-inch touchscreens via the MBUX High-End Rear-Seat Entertainment System.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G 550 interior rear seat entertainment
MBUX High-End Rear-Seat Entertainment System. Sure looks high-end to us.Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes’ decision to swap the G 550’s V-8 for an I-6 will no doubt be controversial, but the presence of a gas-powered G-Class proves the truck’s importance to Mercedes as a cultural statement. Now with a digital personality to match its price tag, a V-8-powered G-wagen is more of a luxury good than ever before. Both the six- and eight-cylinder models go on sale in the second half of this year. Our big question: Can the upcoming electric G-wagen capture the same magic?

2025 Mercedes-AMG G63 profile AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber Package Hyper Blue Magno


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    Soon to terrorize rich suburbia with it’s presence. I will never understand the appeal beyond appearing in some rap videos. That interior is interesting, where did the shifter go?

    Hagarty should maintain a photo wall where readers can send a shot of a G Wagon they’ve actually seen driven off road. I doubt it would fill up very quickly.

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