G-Wagon Years to Avoid – Common Problems of G Wagon Used Models

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you on the hunt for the ultimate luxury SUV, the Mercedes G Wagon? Well, before you make that significant investment, there are some crucial factors you need to consider.

Not all G Wagons are created equal, and some years have been plagued with issues that could leave you with a hefty repair bill and frustration. But fear not. We’re here to help you navigate the tricky waters of G Wagon ownership.

In this article, we’ll deeply dive into the years of the G Wagon that have raised red flags among experts and owners alike so you can make an informed decision.

From electrical failures to suspension issues, we’ll give you the inside scoop on what to avoid when shopping for your dream G Wagon.

So, buckle up, and let’s explore which G Wagon years to steer clear of.

G Wagon Years to Avoid

Why We Avoid Certain G-Wagons

Firstly, the 2015, 2016, and 2017 G Wagons have been reported as less reliable than other years.

These models underwent several upgrades, redesigns, and technological advances but needed to be more flawless.

By avoiding these years, you’ll save yourself from potential issues with your G Wagon purchase.

Another year to steer clear of is the 2001 G Wagon, the first year of production for this iconic vehicle.

Many early models needed help with quality control, electrical problems, rust, and paint defects. You’re better off choosing a different model year with improved quality and fewer potential concerns.

The 2004 G Wagon model year is also one to avoid due to similar issues as the 2001 model. If you want to own a G Wagon with fewer problems, staying away from the 2004 version is best.

Finally, G Wagons produced between 2002 and 2020 have been known to experience door handle failure. This issue has been more frequently reported in models from 2015 to 2020, but it’s worth considering when looking at any G Wagon from this time frame.

Additional concerns with window regulators and lock actuators further reinforce the need to be cautious when selecting a G Wagon model year. TIPS: Here are the best years for Mercedes ML350 models.

Years to Avoid

Early G-Class Models

In the early years of the G-Wagon, Mercedes-Benz was still refining its design and build quality. One of the specific years to avoid is the 1993 model year.

This was the first year the G-Wagon was offered in the United States, and its poor build quality led to complaints about doors falling off, windows leaking, and generally shoddy construction.

Common Problematic Years

Looking at more recent models, a few years stand out as having more problems than others. The years you should avoid are:

  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2019
  • 2020

These specific years have been flagged as having more frequent failures and issues. By avoiding these years, you can minimize the risk of encountering problems with your G-Wagon.

The years mentioned above might have issues such as:

  1. Premature wear and tear
  2. Electrical issues
  3. Engine problems
  4. Transmission troubles

Considering these problematic years, you can make a more informed decision when shopping for a used G-Wagon.

Common Issues

Electrical Problems

Many G Wagon owners have reported electrical problems with their vehicles. Some of the common issues include door handle and door lock failures, especially in models produced from 2002 to 2020.

Window regulators and lock actuators also tend to fail at an average of 90,000 miles. It’s essential to be aware of these potential issues and regularly monitor the functioning of your door handles, locks, and windows.

Engine Issues

G Wagons also faces several engine-related problems. One of the most common issues is a faulty fuel delivery system, which can lead to leaks and poor performance.

Another known issue is a failing crankshaft position sensor, which affects engine timing and overall performance.

On top of these, engine oil leaks are also a concern. To mitigate these problems, it is essential to perform regular engine maintenance and have your G Wagon checked by a professional mechanic if you notice any irregularities.

G Wagons reliable

Rust Issues

Rust and corrosion are another set of common G Wagon problems. In almost all released models, excess corrosion has been reported by consumers as a significant issue. Some areas where you may find rust in your G Wagon include:

  • Undercarriage
  • Prop shaft
  • Wheel arches

To address rust and corrosion issues, it’s crucial to inspect these areas regularly and take any necessary steps to prevent or treat rust spots. This may include regular washing and waxing, applying rustproof coatings, or repairing rust damage.

Are G Wagons Reliable? Discover The Best Years

This section will explore the ideal years to consider and what to inspect before purchasing.

Ideal Years to Consider

According to various sources, the most reliable years for the Mercedes G-Wagon are between 1996-2002 and the 2011 model.

The 2021 Mercedes G-Class is considered the best due to its modern upgrades, luxurious interior, and powerful twin-turbo V8 engine.

On the other hand, it’s recommended to avoid the following G Wagon years:

  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2019
  • 2020

These years are associated with frequent failures and should be avoided when buying used.

Inspecting Before Purchase

Before purchasing a used G Wagon, complete a thorough inspection to ensure the vehicle is in good condition.

Here are the key areas to focus on:

  • Exterior: Check for dents, scratches, and rust. Pay close attention to the undercarriage, as G Wagons are often used off-road, leading to excessive wear and tear.
  • Interior: Inspect the upholstery, carpets, and headliner for signs of damage or excessive wear. Test all electronic components, such as the infotainment system, air conditioning, and power windows.
  • Engine and Transmission: Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations from the engine and transmission while driving. Check for any leaks or other issues that may indicate potential problems.
  • Tires and Suspension: Examine the tires for uneven wear and ensure sufficient tread remains. Test the suspension by pushing down on each vehicle corner and checking for proper rebound and stability.
  • Service Records: Request the vehicle’s service records to ensure regular maintenance has been performed and check for any outstanding recalls or technical service bulletins.

G-Wagon Competitors


The BMW X7 is another luxury full-size SUV with premium interior and exterior design. One great advantage of the X7 is its impressive handling and robust performance.

However, despite its luxurious feel, the X7’s quality might be different from the G Wagon, as it sometimes faces reliability issues that could be bothersome down the road.

Lincoln Navigator

If you’re leaning towards an American luxury SUV, the Lincoln Navigator is a strong contender. Besides offering abundant features, the Navigator has a spacious and comfortable interior.

However, regarding off-roading capabilities, the G Wagon has the edge with its remarkable performance compared to the Navigator’s capability.

Jeep Wrangler

For those seeking adventure, the Jeep Wrangler is a popular choice. Well-known for its off-roading prowess, the Wrangler is more affordable than the G Wagon.

However, it needs more luxury and upscale feel the G Wagon is renowned for, and its on-road performance could be more refined.

Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser offers luxury and off-road capabilities as an alternative to the G Wagon. The Land Cruiser’s best years are known for being reliable and long-lasting, giving you peace of mind on your journeys.

However, regarding styling and the latest tech features, the Land Cruiser is less appealing to modern tastes.

Land Rover Range Rover

Last but not least, the Land Rover Range Rover is another competitor in the luxury SUV market. With its sophisticated design and elegant cabin, the Range Rover often comes close to the G Wagon in terms of luxury features.

One downside is the sometimes questionable reliability of Range Rovers, which is worth considering when deciding.


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