G500 vs G550 G Wagon, Similarities and Differences

Have you ever wondered what the difference between the G500 and G550?

Image of a 2020 G500 G Wagon

Are they both part of the Mercedes-Benz G Series? Yes.

But are there any major differences?

Not much.

But if you take into account your preference, you would find a true difference.

The differences in design and capabilities of each may suit your needs.

Nevertheless, a G series is a powerful vehicle to own, especially for enduring extreme terrain.

Image of a 2020 G550 G Wagon

G500 vs G550 Mercedes

The G500 and G550 models are very similar in terms of boxy looks, off-road reliability, visibility, and cost (nearly ~$130,000 for a 2020 and 2021 model respectively). 

The significant difference between the two is that in 2005, the G500 was renamed to the G550 with a more supercharged V8 engine. 

This occurred mainly in the United States along with several other countries in the world.

Now, these two names are used interchangeably since then.

G500 and G550 Similarities

If you know Post Malone, you must have heard of “G-Wagon.” 

G Wagon is also another name for the Mercedes Benz G class of cars. 

Boxy Look

The look of the cars was influenced by the military, but now suitable for civilians, which is perfect for off-road performance.

They weigh about 5000 to 7000 lbs and have a boxy design that is easily identifiable.

The G class is composed of mid-sized, four-wheel drive SUVs, though much more different.

Though they may be louder and ride less smooth than typical SUVs, they are suitable for everyday transportation nonetheless.

Chrome bars

There should be a set of chrome bars in the front of your G500 or G550 mercedes.

This is a standard look.


Blinkers should be mounted on top of the car fender.

Ground Clearance

There should be 9.5” of ground clearance. 

Similar off-road reliability

Unlike SUVs, they are more credible off-road, but they have less leg room. However, newer models are becoming more spacious in this regard.

They will draw attention.

Looks the same as past models

No one really knows how old your car is.

You probably cannot tell the difference between a 2016 G500 and a 2006 G500.


Great amount of visibility when driving.

You are seated slightly higher up and can see exactly where everything is.

You have a “presence” on the road.

Retains value

Very long-lasting vehicle and is probably worth the amount you pay for it.

These are some of the rare vehicles that collectors might even consider investing in to retain some tradable value in the future.


We can’t have a conversation about cars without the price.

The base price of both is about $131,000.

I am comparing the 2020 G500 and the 2021 G550.

G500 and G550 Differences

The Specs 

Currently, the G500 comes with a 4.0 L turbocharged V8, delivers up to 422 horsepower and 610 Nm of torque. In 5.9 seconds, it can get from 0 to 100 km/hr (62 mph). 

On the other hand, the G550 has a 4.0 L twin-turbo V8, with up to 416 horsepower and 610 Nm of torque. In just 5.6 seconds, it can accelerate from 0 to 96 km/hr (60 mph).

This is a more powerful engine and was later renamed the G550 in the United States and in other markets in 2005.

In other words, the G550 is just an updated version of the G500 with a more powerful V8 engine.

Drive modes

THe G500 allows for Eco, Individual, Sport, and Comfort. With these different drive modes comes different acceleration, steering, and suspension to match the driving style.

G550 has the same four driving modes plus an additional G-Mode. 

The G-Mode is beneficial to those who are frequently off-road. It makes use of shifting via paddle shifters and its adjustable chassis. It is made to endure in atypical terrain and mud found off-road. 

Cons about the G500

The G500 has smaller breaks so it is easier to change the tires. 

The G500 also has a much stiffer suspension and does not have side pipes. 

However, since the G500 has exhaust outlets in front of the rear wheels, it ends up being more expensive to replace. 

With a lot of miles traveled off-road, you may hear noise coming from the back of the vehicle, which can be either wind or squeaking.

The G500 G Wagons also are not very well-insulated.

Seats do not recline all the way back, so it is not friendly nor comfortable for long trips.

But if you are traveling through off-road terrains, hopefully, you are not traveling for a very, very long time.

Cons about the G550

A G550 G Wagon has not an ideal fuel economy at 15.8 mpg for a mid 2000s model.

However, more recent models increased their fuel efficiency, up to 19.1 mpg.


The G550 is like the bigger brother of the G500 G Wagons.

An upgrade from its previous version, the G550 is made to impress and to perform.

And if you want to check out our top 5 G Wagons for overlanding, make sure to do that.

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