Can no-one speak up for the G55
Any G55 owners out there who can speak up for their models?
My ambition was to get one of these but I keep hearing about how their ride is too hard, the interior is sub-standard and as for electrical gremlins - sounds as though they need to be replaced every 20,000 miles..
I'm almost persuaded to forget about the idea and start looking at a different German marque.
That must have been from me :). The interior is common to all 2001 - 2006 G-Wagens. More toys, of course, but even the other day I had a screw fall out of the dashboard. On the subject of ride, again perhaps a trait with the higher-powered G's my G400 shocks are just about acceptable when I ride on 16" wheels with winter tyres. Too hard otherwise, on 18" on London, pot-holed roads. For me, the best ride is with a G300, standard, Sachs shocks, and 18" wheels. The G is really not designed as a high-speed machine, so in order to safeguard those who might be buying a G55 or G63, having come from regular cars and not used to slowing-down in cornering when driving a G, the harder shocks have been adopted, but ideally an adjustable damper system (as on some G63) would suit better. Anyway, you should test-drive one and decide. You can always fit softer or adjustable shocks. On the electrical front, yes more complicated, but I've not really had any problems on the G400 with everything controlled by CANbus. G500 or G55 will be similar.
You have to drive one to understand its character; it lacks refinement but that is the appeal to those who love the G55; from a collectors point of view and with the limited choice in RHD, the G55 might be a desirable choice.
...their ride is too hard, the interior is sub-standard and as for electrical gremlins - sounds as though they need to be replaced every 20,000 miles..
Had a 2009 G55 (German specs) in the household for a few years and ran it until engine trouble at 100,000kms (long story). Up to then it had only minor things like the coolant recirculation pump throwing a code (replaced, no difference), one washer pump quitting, aircon leaks that cost $$$ if the heat exchanger has to come out, but that's not a major issue in the UK. Also the transfer case motor was replaced, but this is common to all electrically-shifted Mercs of that age.
Stiff suspension is needed for that kind of power, we replaced the standard shocks with G500 shocks that gave a more compliant ride at the expense of cornering ability and stability at high speed (best put a warning label on the dash for the uninitiated if you replace the AMG suspension).
edit - just to clarify timeline:
2004 and before: naturally aspirated G55 - 354hp
2005 - 2012 kompressor G55, 476-507 hp
2013 onwards G63, biturbo
Hi, G55 owner here.
I had my car for 18 months and on the above:
- Ride is quite hard. G500s ride a lot better but god help you in the corners. You'll get used to it.
- Electrical gremlins do happen but these are common to all old Mercedes, so any independent mechanic should be able to fix those (except the Air Con, which I had failing on mine - in Dubai it's used 100% of the time).
- The interior is an acquired taste. I love it. The design might be old fashioned but the quality is definitely there. If you're comparing it to a Cayenne, you're looking at completely different things.
My car cost quite a bit to run as it wasn't in the best condition when I bought it. Now that the bits I wanted to fix are fixed, I'll be enjoying it for a long time. There's nothing else like it on the road (or off road).