New Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The infamous G-Class has for years been the symbol of superfluity for the adventurer, and now it’s received an update.
They haven’t changed much – the G-Class is generally accepted for what it is and has a generous fan base, even here in southern Africa. If you’re one of them, you’ll be happy to know it’s still pretty much the same boxy shape it’s been since its inception – tough, rugged and simplistic.
For many, the very term “luxury off-road vehicle” is problematic and paradoxical. Yet, judging just by how many ‘fashionable’, ‘luxurious’ and ‘hip’ vehicles that are also able to go off-road are entering the market, it’s a highly popular concept at the moment. South African drivers seem especially taken by the notion, as is evident in our FUV article in the May edition of Leisure Wheels.
The G-Class, however, is not a luxury vehicle that happens to be able to go off-road, as much as it is an excellent off-road vehicle that happens to come with rather hefty price tag.
ON THE SURFACE – You’ll find most of the changes on the inside. The new G-Class features a brand new instrument cluster and center console design – different colours, different shapes. Standard features like a updated infotainment system bring navigation and internet access to the rugged off-roader, while on the exterior sees minor tweaks such as LED daytime driving lamps and new mirrors. Mercedes has mentioned nothing regarding upgrading the primitive seating or increasing comfort – a case of “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it?
SAFETY – parking aid (Parktronic), blind spot assist and Merc’s adaptive cruise control system (Distronic Plus) have been added to the basket.
A NEW MODEL! The G 63 AMG model joins the line up. This monster of a machine features a V8 biturbo engine (paired, ironically, with an Eco start-stop system as standard)
A bit about the G-Class
The G-Class is famous for its durability. Despite the price tag evolving, the vehicle itself has remained simple and basic. This draws much criticism, but there’s no denying that its simplicity has helped it attain it’s reputation of being virtually unbreakable. Much of the G-Class is still mechanical where similarly priced vehicles use electric systems, and the loading bay even has a wooden base. The Gelandewagen was originally conceived in 1979 as a tough off-roader, but has since attained an aura of exclusivity and the ultimate show of excess. A lesser vehicle would draw more criticism for this, but as a result of its seemingly-infallible ability, it’s generally forgiven for its price tag.