The 2023 Mercedes-Benz G 550 Professional Edition Is for Those Who Dare To Use It Right

2023 Mercedes-Benz G 550 Professional Edition 14 photos
Photo: Mercedes-Benz USA on YouTube
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If you ever considered becoming a G-Wagen owner, then it might have crossed your mind to go for the Professional Edition. Not that well-known, and with a couple of cool additions, this version of the very popular rugged SUV is meant to help you tackle almost any kind of terrain.
The current generation of the G-Class has proven to be quite a success for the Stuttgart-based automaker. Even though it is manufactured in Graz, Austria, for historical reasons and thanks to the advantages of contract manufacturing, the SUV was and remains an icon known worldwide. Capable of withstanding many challenges found while off-roading and looking good while going over obstacles without compromising on comfort or performance, this stylish vehicle can take many forms.

Many people who buy, lease, or finance a G-Wagen in the U.S. do it because the car weighs over 6,000 lb (2,722 kg). Thanks to Tax Code Section 179, a sizeable tax write-off can be obtained. But the G-Class and other vehicles like it are exempt from the annual depreciation cap that can be deducted annually. So, all that's left for most customers out there is the general appeal of the vehicle. Few G-Wagens ever get to see what life off the pavement is like.

But you may not be like the others. That’s why the Professional Edition exists! If you intend on buying a G-Wagen to explore parts of the country that have never been visited by an automobile before, then this version might be the right one to take for the trip. And since it's G-Wagen month here, on autoevolution, this is the perfect occasion to find out more about a popular vehicle that comes with something exclusive. Don't get too excited about it. You will find out immediately what this unique item is.

2023 Mercedes\-Benz G 550
Photo: Mercedes-Benz USA on YouTube
Introduced in 2021, together with the updated G-Class, the Professional Edition was first shown off as an easy way to overhaul the exterior of the SUV. It was known as the Professional Line Exterior, and it included a couple of nifty upgrades, like the stone guard grilles for the headlamps, mudflaps on both axles, better tires, and different wheels. It debuted in a special color known as the G manufaktur copper orange mango that helped maintain the outlandish identity of the SUV while not compromising the overall design.

The best kind of improvement is done through small changes

Now, Mercedes-Benz USA decided to give us a better look at the newest G-Wagen Professional. But it’s not just a “line exterior” today; it’s an entire “edition!” The V8-powered behemoth doesn’t offer the same aggressive powertrain as its fit-for-the-city-dweller counterpart, but it still sports satisfying numbers.

It has 416 hp (422 ps), which is less than the G63’s 577 hp (585 ps). However, the acceleration from zero to 60 mph (zero to 97 kph) is still good at 5.6 seconds. Paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and enjoying a selection of three differential locks, this vehicle will serve the owner well in various environments – a thing that can’t be said about many of today’s vehicles.

The vehicle’s product manager starts the introduction of the SUV in the right manner by slamming the “Austrian soft-close” driver-side door. This is possible thanks to cleverly disguised rear-side vents that allow the pressure to exit the vehicle’s cabin.

2023 Mercedes\-Benz G 550
Photo: Mercedes-Benz USA on YouTube
The 2023 G 550 Professional Edition also has a roof rack that other G-Wagens do not. It includes a sturdy ladder and can withstand a dynamic roof load of 198 lb (90 kg) and a 397 lb (180 kg) static one. It can be used for camping or as a vantage point. Plus, it makes the Mercedes look cooler and more like a safari-ready vehicle than an expensive off-roader.

This is accentuated by the all-terrain tires and the blacked-out five-spoke wheels. Many of the accents found on the vehicle’s exterior have also been darkened because the Night Package comes standard for the Professional Edition. This version of the G-Class also has a rear-mounted spare wheel that may come in handy when mishaps occur while exploring off the beaten path. For now, it is exclusive only to this trim.

Another cool addition is the backup camera which sits in its designated waterproof housing. It’s situated under the spare wheel and allows the driver to go through bodies of water with confidence, even though it’s placed below the fording depth of the SUV, which is 2.3 feet (70 centimeters).

It has enough to make you want it, with some small exceptions

Being a G-Wagen, this vehicle is meant to withstand all kinds of deviations from everyday driving. However, it still is a Mercedes-Benz. Even if it’s “Schockl proved,” inside, you’ll find some lavish additions like the cherry wood finish on the trunk floor. This is considered a heritage item by the manufacturer, which is supposed to remind customers about the period when the first iterations of the SUV were being used by the military.

2023 Mercedes\-Benz G 550
Photo: Mercedes-Benz USA on YouTube
Unfortunately, what Mercedes-Benz didn’t give this G-Class is a revised interior. The new infotainment system is nowhere to be found. However, customers will still enjoy heated, cooled, and massaging power seats with enough adjustability, a premium Burmester sound system, quality materials used throughout the cabin, and a driving experience that’s specific to what the manufacturer’s name stands for. And, after all, maybe you don't need all the latest tech anyway. This is a fun-oriented vehicle, not an EQS, right?

The 2023 G 550 has a manufacturer-suggested retail price of $139,900. Considering that we are in a slowing economy and the used car market is cooling off a bit, you might be able to buy one at this price if you look around for a trustworthy dealership. But what G-Wagen is truly a Mercedes-Benz without a couple of options? You are almost morally obliged to add some extras.

For example, if you want the 2023 G 550 Professional Edition finished in this beautiful $6,500 G manufaktur Desert Sand color, then you’ll have to go deeper into your pockets and find an extra $49,100. Together with the Professional Package, which alone costs $25,350, and other bits and pieces, the SUV that looks like a determined off-roader has a retail price of $189,000. This also confirms that the enhanced off-road look is nothing else than an optional package. But it is a great one, that's for sure!

Finally, it’s your decision if you want to buy one now or wait for the updated model that’ll also bring the all-electric version. It may debut next year and feature something first seen on the Rivian R1T prototype but was never shipped to customers – the tank turn.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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