Help Me, G-sus: LA’s G Wagon Epidemic
The other day, a friend told me a hilarious story about her husband, who drives a Mercedes G Wagon. Driving to pick his daughter up from a playdate, he rolls into the driveway and sees the two girls playing in the yard. The girls run up to him. The daughter’s friend looks him and his car and says casually, “Nice Jeep.”
That 8 year old’s innocent statement says a lot about the current state of G Class affairs in LA. First of all, kids think they’re cool, but certainly not exceptional. Like Jeeps. No big whoop. And I, little old me, know A LOT of people who drive them. Lemme count..1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8..at least 10. And I’m no celebrity. I’m not even counting the celebrities I stalk, either. Here’s the cold, hard, brutal truth, G Wagons have become..wait for it…average in LA.
Not only do I see them on a daily basis, at school pick up, the mall, Trader Joe’s, etc.–it’s not unusual for me to see a few at a time! Think the above situation is rare? How about this one:
It’s like they’re sniffing each other’s butts, getting ready to make a fresh litter of G wagons. I’m not saying they’re not cool, but they’re just not special anymore. I got so worked up about the whole thing that I did a bit of research. Turns out, about 250,000 G wagons have been delivered globally since their inception in 1979. Last year, however, for the first time ever Daimler produced over 20,000 of the G class, the highest figure for one consecutive year. Of course, the highest demand for the wagons of G come from the US, followed by Germany and Japan. So they’re on to us.
If you’ve never shopped for a G Wagon in the US, you’ll be surprised be a few things. First of all, the base price for the base model, the G550 is $122k–which is exactly double the base price for the Porsche Cayenne. I’ve driven both of these vehicles and that’s simply insane. Even more shocking is that the fastest G wagon, the AMG G65, has a BASE PRICE of $220,000. That’s closest in price to the Bentley Bentayga, which starts at $230k. But the Bentley also had the distinction of being “the world’s fastest SUV” for a red hot minute. Well, that was until May 2017 when Toyota released a 2000hp Land Cruiser. No, that’s NOT a typo. Read about it here and file under “AWESOME.” The G wagon, on the other hand, goes from 0-60 in just under 6 seconds, which is pretty yawn-tastic in that price range. Of course, how fast you can get from Neiman Marcus to Nobu isn’t really the point. It’s about luxury and a bad ass first impression. Something THIS G wagon does really well:
But one has to wonder, in a market where $200,000 suvs sell like hot cakes, has Mercedes made a horrible mistake by flooding the California Market? What happens when there’s a Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Rolls Royce SUV (all of which are imminent)? How’s your Jeep feeling then?