Which G Wagon Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The G Wagon or G Wagen is officially called the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Originally, the G of the G-Class/G Wagon is the short form of Geländenwagen, which transliterated meaning is Cross-Country Vehicle. It is a mid-size luxury SUV series and has been serving the industry for more than four decades.

However, models like 2017, 2019, and some other released vehicles seemed to have some interior, window, and corrosion concerns.

Thus, if you are also a Mercedes Benz G Wagon enthusiast and keen to know more about those G Wagon infamous models, continue reading this article-

G Wagon Years To Avoid: (With Reasons)

Originally the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon or G Wagen was developed and designed as a Military off-roader vehicle. In 1979, the first model was offered as the civilian version of the manufacturer’s original vision.

However, Mercedes started importing the V8-powered version of the G Wagon in 2001 for the American market.

This concept officially got recognition in 2002, and immediately, this new version became the new favorite of Mercedes lovers. Over the years, the G Wagon went through several upgrades, redesigning, and technological advances to bring out the best.

Unfortunately, Mercedes Benz G Wagon or G-Class models are not flawless either, and if you are looking for a used G Wagon or G-Class, avoid those released years:

  • 2015 G Wagon
  • 2016 G Wagon
  • 2017 G Wagon
  • 2019 G Wagon
  • 2020 G Wagon

Caredge.com has ranked the Mercedes Benz G Wagon or G-Class 6th among 71 in its Best Luxury Car with the Best Residual Value and claimed that the G Wagon series has an incredible depreciation rate of 46% in 5 years.

However, the earlier listed G Wagon models do not fall under those categories due to their technical, mechanical, and structural flaws.

In this section, I will try to address the main issues or flaws that these models have-

2015 G Wagon Problems:

This year’s G Wagon users mainly complained about their vehicle’s structural, electrical system, and engine flaws.

According to the Edmunds.com report, 2015 G Wagon models feature unwieldy handling, plunging fuel economy, and limited front leg rest area that makes driving uncomfortable.

Reports also claim that these models feature ineffective cupholders and below standard interior storage (not up to Mercedes Benz standard).

2015 users claimed that they had difficulty opening their vehicle’s main door handles due to fragile door handles, and handles tend to get stuck while opening. Also, the repair might cost approx.$500- $600.

Users also reported excess leaking due to a faulty cylinder head, which they had to replace. They also mentioned experiencing symptoms, such as defective valve spring retainers, bearing cap bolts, head gasket, exhaust manifold, nuts, and spark plugs.

2016 G Wagon Problems:

According to the Edmunds.com expert report, issues were pretty similar in the 2015 and 2016 G Wagon or G-Class models, like clumsy handling, limited front leg space, abysmal fuel economy, uncomfortable seating, and interior arrangements.

According to the Cars.com report, the vehicle also tends to make noise while driving, and users experience a clumsy ride.

2016 G Wagon users commonly reported airbag issues, where they encountered that the airbag warning lights kept illuminating, and passenger side malfunctioning service required within only 921 to 1000 miles.

They also stated that these two issues reoccurred repeatedly.

2017 G Wagon Problems:

Based on the Edmunds.com expert report, 2017 models feature gross steering, handling, poor interior arrangements, lack of interior space, and poor fuel economy resulting in below-standard drivability.

Users even encountered difficulty getting in and out of their vehicle and noticed that in the 2017 model, the manufacturer compromised the vehicle’s off-road ability.

Users also commonly mentioned issues like defective ABS & EPS system, automatic braking malfunction, front and rear sensors failure, faulty or broken rear camera, and navigation failure.

2017 G Wagon users also noticed traction control software errors and system module failure.

2019 G Wagon Problems:

Based on the Edmunds.com reports, the 2019 model came as a completely redesigned and modified model to minimize the previously mentioned common manufacturing faults.

But it did not work as expected because users noticed that the handling was ponderous and inadequate cargo space. They experienced difficulty in getting in or out of their vehicles.

Based on the Cars.com reports, 2019 G wagon vehicles came with side-wind instability, gloomy fuel economy, side-hinged rear hatch, too touch-sensitive steering-wheel controls, and make driving extremely uncomfortable and risky.

The 2019 models also feature old-style command multimedia instead of the new MBUX, and the independent front suspension tends to dilute the off-road ability.

2020 G Wagon Problems:

According to both Edmunds.com and Cars.com reports, issues were very similar to the previously released 2019 G Wagon model.

Poor interior setup causing insufficient internal space, poor fuel economy, instability, the old version of command multimedia system, visible handling, and control issues were also available in 2020 models.

Based on the Thecarconnection.com report, some additional flaws are visible too, such as awful gas mileage and features only one off-road mode. Maybe that’s why they gave a rating of 6.6 out of 10 for the 2020 G Wagon.

What Are The Worst Years of G Wagon?

From the earlier discussion, you can already see why some of the G Wagon or G-Class models are considered relatively bad, and here I will address the two worst years G wagon models that you should always avoid-

The 2017 G Wagon:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that consumers reported problems such as forward collision avoidance, back over prevention, and electrical stability control trouble.

Due to the problem’s severity rate and users’ safety concerns, NHTSA also officially issued 4 Recalls against 2017 models.

Besides, this year’s G Wagon models got the lowest ratings from some of the most trustable automobile review & rating sites, such as Edmunds.com rated them 2.5/5, TheCarconnection.com 5.6/10, Cars.com 3.7/5, and USNews&WorldReports.com 6.4/10.

The 2019 G Wagon:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Stated that consumers reported complaints against the electrical system, electrical stability control, powertrain, service brakes, and suspension.
Due to the problem’s awful severity rate and users’ safety concerns, NHTSA also officially issued 10 Recalls against 2019 models.
Besides, this year’s G Wagon models got not-so-good ratings from some of the most trustable automobile review & rating sites, such as Edmunds.com rated them 7/10, and TheCarconnection.com 6.6/10.

Most Common Problems of G Wagon:

Besides the issues discussed in earlier sections, the G Wagon or Mercedes Benz G-Class series is also known to have some common problems that appear in almost all released models-  

1. Corrosion & Prop shaft Failure Issues

Consumers most commonly complain about excess corrosion. According to several mechanical experts and users, build-up corrosion can be seen in two main areas of G Wagon vehicles.

Models from 2002 to 2018, users commonly noticed corrosion and rust in either the vehicle tailgate or rear lights.

Another commonly mentioned issue is the heavy shuddering or shaking due to the prop shaft failure.

Some even claimed that they noticed the entire vehicle was shaking around at one point.

The only solution to prop shaft failure is to replace it with a new one.

2. Sunroof & Suspension Problems

Often G Wagon users complain about noticing or hearing an unusual cracking noise coming from their vehicle’s sunroof, which commonly occurs due to the disconnection or loose connection between the cable or connecting hose and the motor.

There is a cable mounted to help open and close the sunroof, and it goes through a hose and connects with the motor frame. Therefore, when it gets loose from the connection or gets entirely disconnected, you will hear cracking sounds coming from the sunroof.

Users even mentioned frequent suspension springs breaking and unusual loud thumping noise while driving over speed bumps or rough surfaces. These issues arise due to the faulty suspension springs that the manufacturer failed to notice while assembling some G Wagon models.

Later on, NHTSA also officially recalled some of the affected models, including some 2019 models.

However, you can simply replace the faulty suspension springs at a relatively low expense.

Which G Wagon Years are Safe to Buy Used? 

If you are interested in purchasing a Used G Wagon, you can consider the following years’ models-

  • 2012 G Wagon
  • 2013 G Wagon
  • 2014 G Wagon

The 2012 G Wagon is built in German engineering technology combined with high-quality construction materials. Its massive power, rugged personality, luxuriously appointed cabin, and capability of going anywhere delivers an unmatched tanklike presence.

The Mercedes Benz 2013 G Wagon came with a redesigned interior arrangement as well as modified electronics to offer better driving visibility and off-road capability. Even added more safety-related features to boost its performance and presence.

The 2014 G Wagon is a typical old-fashioned Mercedes standard SUV, which features a standard 382-hp V-8 engine, full-time four-wheel drive, five-passenger seating arrangement, standard navigation, and Xenon headlights.

Which Year’s G Wagon Has Most Steering Problems?

Based on most consumer complaints and NHTSA reports, 2013 and 2014 G Wagon models have steering issues reported.

Which Year’s G Wagon Have Most Electrical System Problems?

According to the most consumer complaints and NHTSA reports, 2015 and 2019 G Wagon models have major electrical system issues reported.


Just like Mercedes Benz’s other SUV series, G Wagon or G-Class series is also comparatively expensive, and even the Used one’s price will be relatively higher than other affordable brand’s new vehicles.

Therefore, keep a note of the G Wagon models with major issues and avoid them for your next purchase.

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