2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 essentials: More! More! More of everything

Our Opinion: The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 takes a very American approach to customer satisfaction: It identifies everything (well, almost everything) people loved about the old product and aims to give you More! More! More! of it.The rifle bolt-action sound of the door locks on the G550 is still there, but the hearty cha-chunk! seems even louder than on the previous gen — it’s loud enough that the automatic door locking that happens when you put it in gear and start cruising away actually caught me off-guard the first couple times. Slamming the door takes more effort than you’d expect, not because it’s a poor mechanism but rather because the interior is so well-sealed that the pressure increase will make your ears pop (is it water-tight, I wonder?). There is an immediately noticeable weight and solidity to every aspect of this thing.Is all of this carefully engineered into the final product? You bet. I’d venture that, after some mind-numbing number of customer clinics designed to elucidate the things that make the G-Wagen so beloved, legions of engineers went about making the door lock sound just right and the doors shut just so. But I also know that legions of engineers go about doing basically the same thing on every car made, from econo-boxes to luxo-tanks like this. They just did an exceptional job of getting the Gelandewagen-ness across in this case. Nothing against the S-Class, but I wish Benz still made a sedan that had the same old-school quality-through-ludicrous-heft sensibility on display here.That’s not to say that the G-Class made it to the present untainted by modernity. For one, there’s the switch to independent front suspension. Benz claims, and the findings of our previous reviews seem to indicate, that there’s no loss of off-road performance because of it. This will probably make it more difficult to install portal axles a la the 4×4^2, but in reality, it will likely only matter to the G-Wagen fanboys — the type that will never own one but like to post online about all the super sweet off-road mods they’d implement if they did.