Primary Navigation Mobile

Mercedes-Benz G580 EQ review

2024 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 54.0
” Remarkable performance on and off road, at a price “

At a glance

Price new £180,805
Road tax cost £0
Get an insurance quote with Mustard logo
Fuel economy 2.2 miles/kWh
Range 285 miles
Miles per pound 3.5 - 6.5
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types

Fully electric

Pros & cons

PROS
  • Remarkable off-road performance
  • Super-fast rapid charging
  • Calm and quick on the road
CONS
  • Sub-300-mile range
  • It weighs 3.1 tonnes
  • Hefty financial commitment

Written by Colin Overland Published: 24 April 2024 Updated: 14 May 2024

Overview

After teasing us with the concept EQG a few years back, there is now an all-electric G-Class you can buy, and we have driven it on road and off. The production model is awkwardly called the Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology, the aim being to align it with the G-Class rather than EQ-badged electric cars. It has similar peak power to the latest AMG 63 version of the G-Class, and more torque, but its greater weight means it’s not as quick.

It doesn’t have direct rivals in the sense of serious on-/off-roaders that are all-electric. Those are yet to come, in the form of the imminent electric Range Rover and the Ineos Automotive Fusilier, now expected in 2027. If what you’re looking for in an electric 4×4 is luxury and on-road cruising, the likes of the BMW iX and Mercedes’ own EQS SUV might be more up your street.

Mercedes insiders tell us that historically there’s actually very little crossover between 4×4 icons: people want either a Jeep Wrangler or a Defender or a G-Class, and don’t cross-shop. Merc expects the G580 to appeal chiefly to G-Class fans… wealthy ones, specifically.

Practicality and safety

The G580 looks near-identical to the rest of the new-for-2024 G-Class range, aside from a slightly raised bonnet, but has many differences under the skin. Its external dimensions are the same, and so are the cabin and boot space. The huge battery is under the floor, while the electric motors and the rest of the EV hardware is cleverly packaged under the bonnet and under the boot. While you can’t call the G580 compact, it is shorter and taller than most rivals.

25
Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology storage box
The rear storage box weighs less than a spare tyre and is a great place for cables.

Up front there’s masses of head and shoulder room and a driver’s seat that goes back far enough for long-legged occupants. The rear has loads of headroom and an almost flat floor to help when you’re five-up. Legroom isn’t quite so impressive.

Boot space beneath the parcel shelf is good but certainly not great for the class at 555 litres, so we’d be tempted by the optional rear storage box for your cables in place of a spare wheel. The tall roof does mean a total capacity with the seats down of 1,990 litres, but you don’t get a flat load bay. The leather panel on the inside of the rear door and optional wooden boot floor show that this isn’t necessarily a hardworking hauler.

You get loads of safety kit as standard, including adaptive cruise control with steering assist, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and something called pre-safe. This can close the windows and sunroof and even move the front passenger seat to lessen the chances of injury in the event of a crash.

Interior and technology

You get two 12.3-inch displays dominating the dash of the G580. Although they’re the same size as those in the 2018-on G-Class, the digital driver’s display and central touchscreen are running the newer, sharper MBUX software. The rest of the interior should be familiar to current G owners, with closer inspection revealing some differences.

25
Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology review (2024)
The layout remains much the same, but all the tech has been upgraded.

These include a new off-road control panel that replaces the diff lock switches with buttons for the G-Turn function – more on that shortly – and some bespoke screens for the infotainment. Quality remains good, especially if you dip into the millions of personalisation options as part of the Manufaktur programme.

A rear-seat entertainment package with two 11.6-inch screens is on the options list, as is an upgraded Burmester stereo with Dolby Atmos. There’s also for the first time keyless entry. As ever, it often takes two slams to get the doors to shut properly.

Powertrains and battery packs

You get a 116kWh battery pack that’s the same size as that in the recently-updated EQS. But the constraints imposed by the need to keep the battery within the side beams of the ladder frame mean that the cells are vertically double-stacked, which in turn requires a new triple-layer cooling system. The ladderframe has to surrender three of its eight cross members, but the aluminium housing of the battery makes up for any lost rigidity. There’s a carbon-composite bash plate under the battery to protect it from rocks.

25
Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology review (2024)
Barn door aerodynamics aren’t good for range.

The battery will rapid charge at up to 200kW to give a 10-80% charge rate of 32 minutes. It’ll AC charge at up to 11kW – more than your typical home wallbox’s 7.4kW output – for a 10-100% time of nearly 12 hours.

This battery feeds four motors that each drive an individual wheel through a two-speed gearbox. There’s one gear for normal running and another that’s a low range to help low-speed off-roading, just like the petrol and diesel G-Class. Combined, they allow the G580 to perform some neat tricks we’ll go into below.

The motors produce a total of 579hp and a monstrous 1,164nm of torque. That’s enough for a 4.7 second 0-62mph time with the top speed limited to 112mph. It’s not as fast as rivals such as the BMW iX M60, but then the G580 does weigh 3,085kg. This does limit the maximum payload to 415kg to avoid the G580 from wandering into commercial vehicle territory. No towing weight has been given.

25
Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology review (2024)
It comes as no surprise to learn that the G580 EQ is a very polished performer on the road.

What’s it like to drive?

A lot of expertise and testing has gone into making the G580 perform very much like a regular combustion-engined G-Class, despite its significant technical differences and its extra weight.

The revised suspension – with increased spring rates to handle the weight increase – retains the vital ability to let each wheel travel a different distance as the car tackles uneven ground, so the occupants stay well insulated and the vehicle takes all the punishment.

It’s very smooth on road, too, with the option to firm up the suspension at the push of a button for faster driving with less body roll. On the road, depending on your driving mode and speed, sometimes the front wheels will disconnect from the motors, to cut consumption. You don’t notice the transition.

25
Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology review (2024)
It’s hugely competent off road, too. Surprisingly so, given its huge kerb weight.

The electric G-Class is in some ways better off-road than the combustion models, thanks to the way its four motors can deliver instant torque very precisely to the individual wheels. This takes its most extreme form in the new G-Turn function: the car can turn a complete circle within its own length, by getting the wheels on one side to spin in the opposite direction to those on the other.

It’s mostly a gimmick. What’s actually more useful is G-Steering, where the car’s cornering ability becomes much tighter by slowing the inside rear wheel and speeding the outside wheels as you tackle a tight bend. For dodging trees or ditches, this could be a lifesaver, and it’s a lot of fun too.

Despite the weight of more than three tonnes, the G580 is overall superb off-road. There are various aids available to help the driver stick to crawling speed for tricky ascents and descents, or you can turn them off and take full control yourself. Traditionalists might fear that the absence of differential locks – because this is a car with no diffs – will make difficult terrain more of a challenge. But in fact the clever new drivetrain does that job just as well, or even better. And yes, it can jump over hill crests, and it lands with a surprising lack of noise.

25
Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology review (2024)
Despite its bad-boy looks, this is a serene way to travel.

In fact the G580’s hushed progress enhances both on- and off-road driving, putting you more in touch with your surroundings and able to chat naturally with your passengers.

Although the aerodynamics are unavoidably poor, and the slab-sided G is vulnerable to strong side winds, there’s not much wind or road noise. It’s a refined, sophisticated driving experience, but that’s not at the expense of good ride quality, and precise and natural-feeling steering.

The brakes are not so good, though, at least on road. There are three levels of regenerative braking (adjusted via the paddles behind the steering wheel), but they can only go so far in slowing down a fast-moving and heavy 4×4. The traditional friction brakes don’t feel powerful enough or quick enough to respond.

What else should I know?

In the UK, the G580 is initially available (from late 2024) in well-kitted Edition One spec, priced at £180,860. You can expect a slightly plainer version to be available in due course, but don’t assume it will be much cheaper, bearing in mind that the rest of the G-Class line-up now starts at £136,690 for the diesel G 450d, and goes up to £203,595 for the Magno Edition version of the AMG G 63. Good value? Well, they’re hand-assembled, and feel built to survive several zombie invasions and a couple of extreme weather events.

25
Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology review (2024)
The illuminated grille surround is the easiest way to spot a G580. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether it’s tacky or not.

It’s not something Mercedes is prepared to discuss at the moment, but don’t be surprised to find a more powerful AMG version of the electric G-Class joining the line-up at some point, and possibly a swanky Maybach model too. Mercedes has previously confirmed that it is working on a smaller version of the G, too.

Read on to find out whether we reckon the all-electric Mercedes-Benz G580 is worth waiting for…

Review contents