This is an utterly pointless exercise. I’m OK admitting it. I mean, if six suitcases can’t fit in the back of a Mercedes G Wagen … well, it would be pretty stupid, wouldn’t it? Normally, I wouldn’t luggage test something so obviously capable of fitting all the bags in question, but I did the Land Rover Defender 110, which is sorta the G Wagen’s closest rival. Also, it’s a G Wagen, so it’s inherently fun to do ridiculous things with it. Also also, it’s a G Wagen Professional Edition, which adds a handful of elements related to cargo capacity. I’ll be doing a more complete review of it soon, but in the meantime, let’s put some suitcases in the thing!
Officially, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has 38.1 cubic-feet of space behind its raised back seat. That would be less than a Kia Sportage, so I’m going to say that Mercedes is measuring from floor to top of seatback as I’ve found the brand to do in the past. In other words, ignore the official number and pay attention to me!
While the placement of bags might be a foregone conclusion here, there’s still a ton to talk about regarding this particular cargo area.
First, the swing gate. It weighs approximately 8,000 pounds and utilizes the same CLACK door latches that make absolutely everyone stand next to a G Wagen and open and close the doors for 10 minutes the first time they come across one. The G Wagen has been compared to a bank vault for more reasons than its shape. It has the door of one. Just needs one of those spinny latch things.
Second, the swing gate is accented by quilted leather, in this case Classic Red. It.s actually one of the standard colors available. There are 21 G Manufaktur Upholstery colors/options available, too.
Third … um, is there a hardwood floor in the back?
Sure is! A “G manufaktur Cherry wood luggage compartment floor” to be exact. It’s included with the Professional Edition. Cause nothing says “Professional” like a less useful cargo floor.
Actually, “less useful” isn’t quite accurate. It could be just as useful as a carpeted cargo area, but you’d have to treat it with reckless abandon, not caring that it could be scratched by just about anything you throw back there.
Now, you do get these rubber strips that prevent things from sliding around upon the wood. These would actually be a handy feature on carpeted surfaces, so thumbs up for those.
OK, might as well get to the bags. As with every Luggage Test, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
There’s a cargo cover, but because of where the beltline is relative the cargo floor, you can see how much space there is between the cargo cover and top of the back seats. Usually, space under the cargo cover and space between the floor and seatback top are roughly equal. Not here.
As a result, all of my bags don’t fit under the cargo cover. This is only an issue if I wanted everything kept out of prying eyes.
If you simply forgot to remove the cargo cover or just want to bring it along, no problem, everything totally fit. Easy cheese.
OK, now let’s remove the cargo cover.
I didn’t bother with the usual bonus items of coolers, Pack ‘N Plays, etc. because, again, futile. You can see here, however, that there would be room for another medium-sized bag near the swing gate and then another large check-in bag behind it. I’m also pretty sure there’d still be room leftover.
I didn’t see the option for an accessory cargo net/divider, but it would be a good idea to get one if you have greater storage needs than this. There’s just so much space up high you can’t use since whatever you’d place up there would fly into the cabin.
Of course, if you can’t fit everything IN the G 550 Professional Edition …
Put it on the roof! Sure, you might want to tie it down in some way, but the sky’s the limit here, baby!
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.
To get up there, there’s a handy ladder. It’s a bit tough to get to it, since the grippy step bits on the bumper are not in line with the ladder. The G 550 is also rather high off the ground.
Max capacity on the ladder is 220.5 pounds, but you’ll need some awfully dainty feet to step onto the top two rungs. Or be 3 years old.
The manual insists that children not be left unattended near the vehicle as they may climb the ladder and fall. Nothing about letting them climb up after doing a luggage test.
I closely supervised this (wide angle makes it seem like I’m further away than I am). The kid found it quite amusing.
Luggage test over.