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19 thoughts on the Mercedes-Benz G 550 Professional Edition

19 thoughts on the Mercedes-Benz G 550 Professional Edition


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You get it or you don’t. It’s just that simple. I can’t think of another vehicle with such polarizing reactions as the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, or G Wagen if you prefer. And none are as G Wageny as this, the Professional Edition. While other Gs get all dolled up in big wheels and lush Designo interiors that take them far away from their go-anywhere roots, the Professional Edition goes the opposite direction. It’s unclear which profession it’s actually satisfying, but if “person who actually goes off-road” is a job, then the Mercedes-Benz G 550 Professional Edition is the G for them.

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Rather than a distinct model or trim level, the Professional Edition is a $23,250 package. Many of its included elements can be had on any G 550, including gloss-black finishings for the grille, Benz star, brush guard and mirror housings, as well as 18-inch matte black wheels wearing all-terrain tires. Unique are the flush side sills in place of the usual running boards, the Professional Line spare wheel holder than can swing out separate from the tailgate, a wood cargo floor, and the most conspicuous element, the Professional roof rack/platform accessed by an also-added ladder.

As usual, the G Wagen is a lot, and this particular one is even more. As such, I had more thoughts than usual ...

1. Why is there a patio on the roof?

The Professional Roof Rack consists of aluminum plates secured at multiple points to the roof. According to the owner’s manual, “the weight of luggage on the roof including the roof luggage rack must not exceed the maximum permissible roof load.” That would be 330.7 pounds. The “roof luggage rack” weighs 132.3 pounds, ergo, you can put 198.4 pounds on the Pro’s roof rack. Note that every G Wagen has the same maximum permissible roof load, so depending on your equipment, it does seem like you could put more on the roof if you didn’t have 132.3 pounds of aluminum patio up there.

The owner’s manual also indicates how much weight you can place on any single plate: 110 pounds for most and 55 for the smallest one adjacent to the hole left for the antenna.

Certainly, though, this roof rack is more about how and what you can carry as opposed to how much it weighs. There are more tie-down points and obviously a ton more surface area than two roof bars or a basket can provide.

2. Forget the patio, what about a tent?

The owner’s manual specifically calls out a rooftop tent as a use case for the Pro’s roof rack. For that purpose, it indicates that you can double the maximum permissible roof load while the G is stationary. That would be 661.4 pounds, which is definitely on the high side, but a Subaru Forester Wilderness can support 800. Every other Forester is good for 700, although neither can manage as much in motion as the G. The only reason I mention that is because the Subaru Forester is the only other vehicle I’ve come across where roof load was prominently discussed. Then again, the Professional Edition is to the G 550 what the Wilderness is to the Forester.

Thus concludes the only time you will read a G Wagen compared to a Subaru Forester.

3. Tiny ladder, tiny shoes

To get up to the roof rack, be it tented or otherwise, you’re going to need tiny feet to utilize each rung. Of course, I doubt you’ll need each rung unless you’re a 3-year-old boy, in which case, you’ll have the tiny feet necessary. See photo above to discover why I know this.

Reaching the ladder is actually the harder part, as the grippy bit on the bumper adjacent to the swing gate isn’t in line with the ladder. The plastic bumper that is in line with the ladder doesn’t exactly scream “sturdy!”

The ladder’s max load is 220.5 pounds, by the way.

4. The roof rack ruins the sunroof

I’m guessing it would’ve been impractical from a manufacturing standpoint to delete the sunroof, but this is the view from inside looking up through the sunroof.

5. The roof rack is loud!

Want another reason to skip the roof rack and therefore the Professional Edition? It is really loud. The amount of wind noise is far greater than I was expecting, especially at highway speeds. Come to think of it, this is probably the most wind noise I’ve experienced in a new car that had a metal roof in place.

6. Closing the doors is loud!

And it’s awesome! Clack. Clack. How can something as simple as opening and closing a door latch be so satisfying? I don’t know, but the only thing better than opening and closing the four doors is opening and closing the bank vault swing gate. CLACK!!!

7. There are little G’s in the door handles (claps hands, giggling)

How adorable are these?!? There’s a little G embossed in each door-opening button … but not in the swing gate one. Whatever. So much about the G’s appeal are the details, and these are one of them.

8. There is a downside to the clack

For whatever reason, the heavy-duty door locks of the G Wagen (and the little G buttons!) preclude it from working in concert with a proximity entry system, meaning you have to use the key fob to lock and unlock the doors like some kind of peasant. Oh well. Worth it!

9. The turn signal light pods are just the best

Another must-have G Wagen quirk inherited from the original are these little pods atop the flat-as-a-pancake front fenders that light up in their entirety, giving you the rare opportunity to see your turn signals blinking from inside. Never gets old.

 

10. How is a wood trunk floor 'Professional'?

The Professional Edition’s only added interior element is the wood cargo floor. I don’t get it. It looks snazzy, but it seems like something that would be in the boot of a Rolls-Royce Spectre, not a “Professional” SUV intended to carry 198.4 pounds on the roof. These lovely wood planks are definitely going to be scratched.