Mercedes' urban status symbol G-Wagen gets major upgrade

The newly redesigned 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-class looks almost exactly like the previous one, on purpose.

The iconic SUV was due for a makeover, but was so legendary that Mercedes knew better than to mess with its design. The vehicle started out as a military off-roader in the late 1970s, but eventually gained popularity as an urban status symbol in the U.S.

From search and rescue teams in the European Alps, to members of sports teams in the big American cities, the G-class, or G-wagon as it's also called, stands out among dozens of SUVs on the market.

Celebrities, especially, gravitate to its rugged look and invincible feeling. Kanye, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and many others have been known to navigate the trendiest shopping districts in their G-wagens.

This is also one of the most capable off-roaders in existence, but most U.S. buyers will never use it this way.

Mercedes seems to have pulled it off with the 2019 G-wagen. When you see it on the road you have to look twice to see if it's the new one, or the first one that debuted 40 years ago.

The view of that blocky hood is pretty much the same, but the dashboard is all new and modernized. And thanks to the redesign there's actually more room inside, though it's still not roomy in the overall sense.

Other distinctive attributes were carried over into the new version; like the vault-like door locks and also the boomy side-exit exhaust.

The dreadful fuel economy, and eye-popping sticker price still remains. Neither of those have ever seemed to concern the G-wagen's small legion of dedicated fans.

Those fans can roll into the 2020s in an all-new edition of their favorite vehicle. It was upgraded where it counts, but still looks retro-chic in its own unique way.
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