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2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class vs Land Rover Range Rover

At the top of the top-of-the-line SUVs you'll find two impressive models: the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G Class and the Range Rover.

Both have impressive reputations--but how else do they compare? And which one is your best option?

2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class vs Range Rover
2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class in grey

Styling

For some people the question of whether the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class or the Range Rover offers the best styling will be easy, but it's not straightforward. The G-Class is square and boxy in the extreme, and it's a design that screams functionality over style. This design is, in our mind, fantastically retro, hearkening back to days gone by. That bold choice works for the G-Class in every way. The latest Range Rover is a massive leap forward for this legendary model, although it could be said all Land Rovers are starting to look remarkably similar these days. That could be a good thing if you're smitten by that look, but a long line of sameness begins to feel bland. The G-Class therefore gets the vote here for its sheer authenticity and originality.

2016 Mercedes-Benz in the morning

Off-Road Capability

If you want a 4x4 to drive across America, Africa and Asia, you won't do a whole lot better than the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class. There's now even a new G 550 4x4² trim level that has an extra 17 inches of ground clearance over the standard model, for even more ridiculously impressive off-road credentials. As the Range Rover gets more and more refined over time it still doesn't compromise its inherent off-road capability. The Range Rover is absolutely supreme when the pavement runs out, but there is one hiccup. The Range Rover is now so smart, modern, and prestigious that you can't help worrying about what damage you might do to it when you're off-road. They're probably equally as capable, but you'll be much happier testing the G-Class to its limits when the going gets tough.

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class parked at sunrise

Interior

Looking at the outside of the G-Class, you might expect a retro interior to skimp on the features you might get in other models. You'd be entirely wrong. The G 550 should never be referred to as any kind of "base" model since heated and ventilated leather seats are standard. But so are a sunroof, a power-adjustable steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, stainless-steel running boards and 19-inch alloy wheels. The G-Class does not skimp on features in any way. The cabin of the Range Rover is plush and luxurious to the point of opulence and beyond, but it can appear a little dated at times. The touchscreen interface lacks finesse and it's not the easiest to get to grips with if you're the sort of person who doesn't like to consult the user manual. It's hard to criticize the interior of the Range Rover, but you may surprised to find that the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class wins here as well.

2016 Land Rover Range Rover next to a brick building

Performance

The tractor-grade turbodiesels of the 1970s are long gone, and Mercedes-Benz has managed to shoehorn some of its very latest V-8s and V-12s under the hood of the 2017 G-Class. However, although it rides and drives pretty well for what it is, the rudimentary underpinnings and short wheelbase do compromise on-road performance. When it comes to performance, the Range Rover can be anything you want it to be. Whatever surface or environment you challenge it with, the Range Rover performs brilliantly. Although famed for its off-road prowess, it's on-road where the Range Rover of today is at its best. If you want a large SUV that performs like a sports car, the SV Autobiography Dynamic is the most powerful Range Rover ever built. It's a definite win for the British when it comes to performance then.

The Range Rover is a stunning vehicle that could not possibly create disappointment. But, when you put the two together, the upstart, bold choices of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class edge out the establishment Range Rover in many categories. With a retro appeal that verges on cutting edge and a cabin full of standard features that will leave you thoroughly impressed, the G-Class demonstrates that it's here to compete--and win--in this luxury SUV class.

Learn More About the Mercedes-Benz Lineup:

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class