Here's Why The Base Version Of The Lowly Mercedes G550 Costs $136,000

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Rest assured, the money isn't all just going into the badge.

Fun fact: The cheapest Mercedes G-Class you can buy in the US costs a hefty $136,000 once taxes, fees, and destination charges are tacked on. And the best part about it is that the entire point of this SUV is to be a status symbol. Okay, so maybe that's not the whole point. Of course it can be taken off road and do remarkable at that, but who wants to scratch the paint on something that costs as much as a small house? Not many people, but the paint can thank the fact that it'll most likely be used for trips to the mall rather than to conquer the Rubicon.

But a $50,000 Jaguar F-Pace, Porsche Macan, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Range Rover Velar, and any of the German Big Three equivalents can do that for half the price and similar aesthetic value.

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They also get better gas mileage, are more comfortable on the city streets, and cruise the highway without the level of wind noise associated with driving a bank vault down the street at 100+ mph. To compare the G-Class to these cars, however, is to miss the point. What makes the G-Class so great is the fact that the quality and capability is always there whether it's used or not. Since it's based on a military vehicle, its solid feel and vault-like doors are as much a central feature as the three locking differentials. The G-Class' age not only gives it its signature retro looks, it's a testament to how right Mercedes got the SUV the first time around. And if that's not enough, bear in mind that a new and improved G-Class is right around the corner.

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