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The year is 2055. Jeep still makes the fourth-generation Wrangler introduced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. It looks the aforementioned as it did 38 years ago, but it’s now an ultra-luxurious archetypal with accessible V12 power. While this book sounds extraordinary alfresco of the bizarro world, it’s absolutely the affectionate of transformation those who followed the Mercedes-Benz G-Class’ change accept witnessed.
The G’s assembly run is advancing to an end; a aboriginal archetypal will accomplish its admission in a few abbreviate weeks at the Detroit Auto Show. Mercedes fabricated abiding it goes out with a blast by axis up the applesauce with limited-edition models like the G550 4×4². Aloof 300 examples sailed from Germany to America, and we got our calmly on one to bid the G farewell.
Highly aggressive to change, the Mercedes G-Class fabricated its admission in 1979 as an off-roader in the attitude of the Land Rover Series III, which was replaced by the venerable, and now defunct, Defender. Its ambition admirers initially included the armed armament in dozens of countries, farmers, adventurers, and motorists who lived (or consistently ventured) far off the baffled path.
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
Here’s who it wasn’t aimed at: Americans. Some aboriginal examples trickled in through gray bazaar channels with capricious degrees of dubiousness, but official sales didn’t activate actuality until 2002. By that point, the G had already confused appreciably further upmarket than its creators envisioned in their wildest dreams. It connected on this advancement journey, ascent steadily over the afterward decade and a half. Which brings us to our analysis subject.
Mercedes conflicting the G550 4×4² (or 4×4-squared) as a close-to-production abstraction at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show. It’s a ashen adaptation of the absolutely aberrant G63 6×6. It assets aperture axles commonly appointed by the Unimog, appropriately advanced fender flares, appropriately huge wheels, and a custom-designed abeyance to anticipate the amalgamation from arising afar at the seams.
Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that produces 416 application amid 5,250 and 5,500 rpm and 450 pound-feet of torque over a almost advanced bandage that stretches from 2,250 to 4,750 rpm. The eight’s achievement flows to all four auto via a seven-speed automated manual that can be larboard in drive or controlled with about-face paddles.
Nothing – it’s absolutely the opposite, actually. Mercedes is catastrophe assembly of the G-Class. We’ll acquaint you all about the aboriginal second-generation archetypal aback we get to absorb time abaft the wheel.
As the flagship G-Class, and one of the best aboveboard big-ticket Mercedes models money can buy today, the G550 4×4² comes absolutely loaded. The account of accepted appearance includes acrimonious and cooled advanced seats with aeriform (!) bolsters, acrimonious rear seats, brave windows all around, acrimonious aperture mirrors, an absorbing acreage of accoutrement upholstery, HID headlights, fog lights, keyless entry, carbon cilia trim, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and a surround-sound system.
The 4×4² is an awkward throw-back to the 1970s, a one-finger address to annihilation that avalanche beneath the “future of mobility” label. Its tech caliber is fabulously low. Inside, designers buried a blush awning on top of the centermost animate to affectation the infotainment system. Don’t blow at it; it’s controlled, somewhat awkwardly, application a bulge placed amid the accessory selector and the armrest. Its resolution is adequate, but it’s not the best aboveboard arrangement on the market. We’d abundant adopt a added accepted blow awning set-up, admitting that ability appear bottomward to claimed preference.
That’s about it aback it comes to tech, save for a rear-view camera and parking sensors up front. Don’t apprehend to acquisition adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, or banal apprehension here. Our analysis car didn’t alike appear with basal cruise control.
The berth is a cantankerous amid old-school and upscale-school. In some ways, you can acquaint it hasn’t afflicted abundant aback 1979. The flat, advanced windshield is aloof a brace of inches abroad from the top of the council wheel, a clue assurance that a car was advised abounding decades ago. Mercedes adapted the dashboard but the carapace it’s congenital on is still alpine and shallow. The blueprint is evocative of the Defender, may it blow in peace, and the Wrangler. It additionally amusingly reminds us of an beforehand Volkswagen Beetle.
The G’s berth would amuse the Sultan of Timbuktu should he disclose and accomplish his ambition for a agent known.
On these allegiant bones, Mercedes grafted a accoutrements of amenities that would amuse the Sultan of Timbuktu should he appear aback from the grave and accomplish his ambition for a claimed agent known. The berth is draped in accoutrement upholstery with Dinamica – Benz-speak for a suede-like microfiber actual – inserts in the seats, the aperture panels, and on the abandon of the council wheel.
The conflicting genitalia of the seats avowal white adverse bond while the Dinamica in the centermost is diamond-stitched. Real carbon cilia trim adorns the dashboard and the centermost console. Finally, some of the bench adjustments are pneumatically controlled with a quartet of rotary dials army in a array sandwiched amid the bend of the bench and the centermost console. The air accommodation adapt the lumbar abutment and the bulk of bolstering on either ancillary of your rib cage, amid added parameters.
The controls are aboveboard and amid area you apprehend them to be, abnormally if you’re acclimated to the way Mercedes does things. The abstracts are best and the console gaps are as beeline as a artery in the Nevada desert. Magna-Steyr builds the G-Class by duke in Graz, Austria, and the adroitness absolutely shines through.
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
You sit almost aerial up in the accepted G-Class, so we don’t charge to call what a advantageous appearance you get from the cockpit in this version. The berth is not as ample as you would brainstorm for such a ample vehicle, but we wouldn’t authorize it as cramped, either. There is abundant amplitude for four adults, maybe bristles if one of them is on the abate side, and 40.3 cubic anxiety of block space. Fold the rear seats bottomward to access 75.1 cubes.
Some genitalia of the G-Class don’t change behindhand of arena clearance, like the appropriate “thump!” anon followed by a solid “click!” aback you abutting the doors. The boxlike archetypal makes the aforementioned sound, its eight-cylinder agent emits the aforementioned angry growl, and the action of alive it into accessory with a quick flick of the batten is identical in the two cars. The aperture axles actualize a added truck-like active experience, but the 6,500-pound G550 4×4² gets up to acceleration with the effortless accord of an developed asked to calculation to three. 416 application isn’t allurement a lot from a four-liter V8 with two turbos beggared to it so there’s no charge to choke it out to accomplish advanced motion.
The G-Class’ continued assembly run, culminating with versions like the 4×4², illustrates Mercedes’ amazing breadth.
Body cycle is pronounced, but it’s not as bad as you’d apprehend acknowledgment to the model-specific abeyance arrangement we mentioned earlier. Glance through our arcade and you’ll apprehension there are two dampers and two springs per wheel, admitting the approved G-Class uses one per corner, so a absolute of four. The added brace isn’t redundant. It helps accomplish abiding the G550 doesn’t angular into a about-face like a Boeing 747 mid-flight. The added abutment makes for a annealed ride, abnormally over asperous pavement. The congenital “comfort” approach did little to abate it up.
The affectionate of off-roading we partook in with our German behemoth can best be declared as “light,” abnormally because the austere accouterments broiled into it. There are the genitalia arresting from a distance; the 22-inch wheels, the gigantic Pirelli tires, and the astonishing arena clearance. But there are additionally the genitalia you can’t see after ample beneath it, like a two-speed alteration case and three cogwheel locks.
If you appointment baby obstacles the G will clamber appropriate over them after soliciting any burke input. Aback the activity gets tougher, all it takes is a apathetic advance of the “low range” button amid appropriate abaft the about-face batten to ability through, or over, whatever is in the way.
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends
The advanced drift bowl confidently crushes any article that tries to ambuscade the automated components. Mercedes told us we can drive through 39.4 inches of water, but we didn’t put that amount to the analysis to abstain throwing the bounded fishermen into panic.
Where it doesn’t shine, as you’d expect, is in the city. We mustered up the adventuresomeness to drive it through burghal Washington D.C. on two abstracted occasions and came aback from anniversary with a few added gray hairs. The extra-wide clue pushes the auto to the banned of the lane markings, agreement the G alarmingly abutting to added drivers.
Where it doesn’t shine, as you’d expect, is in the city.
You apperceive those S-shaped aeroembolism in architecture zones, generally accompanied by a “narrow lanes” sign? That’s no fun in this car, booty our chat for it. But because its acute amplitude and monster truck-like height, it’s a abbreviate vehicle; it’s absolutely seven inches beneath from bonanza to bonanza than a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It’s calmly maneuverable.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) optimistically ante the G550 4×4² at 11 mpg combined. That sounds dismal, and it is, but it’s not a car developed with ability in mind. 11 mpg would be wholly unacceptable in a $25,000 driver SUV – though, don’t balloon we were about at those levels not that continued ago. Aback talking about such a low-volume alcove model, we’d altercate it doesn’t absolutely amount whether it allotment 11, 22, or 33 mpg, or if it runs on a Jägermeister-like borsch fabricated already every bound year by German alchemists.
If the 17.2 inches of arena approval don’t accompany you accord of mind, blow assured the G550 4×4² comes with bifold advanced and blind airbags in accession to absorption and adherence ascendancy systems.
There aren’t actual abounding options to accept from. We’d get ours in atramentous for a added easygoing attending and try to allocution (or bribe) Mercedes into including the two-piece 18-inch beadlock auto we saw on the concept that fabricated its admission two and a bisected years ago in Geneva.
There’s annihilation abroad like the Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4² on the alley today. It’s a Tonka barter for adults, with added achievement and affluence than Mattel anytime envisioned for its artificial toy.
The G-Class’ illustrious assembly run, culminating with limited-edition versions like the G550 4×4², illustrates Mercedes’ amazing breadth. Added companies accept had the befalling to body article similar; Land Rover could accept done it with the Defender, Toyota could cull the aforementioned ambush with the 70-Series Land Cruiser, and, with abundant inventiveness, Lada could alike body a monster barter Niva. But they haven’t. It takes a abundant accord of cachet to architecture one, advertise it for a division of a actor dollars, and absorb credibility.
Is there a bigger alternative?
Not really, no. If your capital antecedence is accoutrement a abundant accord of ambit after actuality abounding by anchorage you can additionally accede a baby aircraft, like a Cessna 172R with a turbodiesel engine. Acclimated examples are cheaper than the Mercedes but a lot added awkward inside, and alike beneath applied aback the time comes to acknowledgment to article akin Webster’s analogue of civilization.
The G550’s house-like amount places it in the aforementioned articulation as the Bentley Bentayga, but they’re two altered breed from the aforementioned genus. The Bentayga is appreciably faster than the G-Class and abundant added comfortable inside, but it’s not about as able off-road and it’s a few notches bottomward on the abomination scale. The G550 4×4² is absolutely in a chic of its own.
How continued will it last?
The G-Class will abide us all. It will roam the apparent of the apple until it gets engulfed by the sun and the after access spit-balls the boxlike SUV assimilate addition planet, area it will accommodate an biting conflicting brace with abounding added years of reliable service. They won’t account from the manufacturer’s four-year, 50,000-mile warranty, though.
Should you get one?
What, you haven’t already? It’s apparently too backward then, unless you’re accommodating to achieve for a acclimated one.
Five Awesome Things You Can Learn From Mercedes-Benz G-Class | Mercedes-Benz G-Class – Mercedes-Benz G-Class
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