The new generation Mercedes G-Class retains its legendary off-road capabilities, but is now far better to drive on the road. It’s somewhat more elegant and somewhat more refined but the distinctive features such as the exposed spare wheel on the tailgate, the door handles and the indicators sat atop the front wings, make the new G look almost identical to the original.
The unique DNA of the G-Class was first developed over 40 years ago, and continues to define its iconic appearance to this day but the G’s boss Gunnar Guthenke also knew some things had to change: “we identified three key areas: to drastically improve interior comfort, to drastically improve ride comfort and to further improve off-road behaviour.”
With exceptional powertrains and even more impressive 4x4 capabilities, the new G has the grit to perform on nearly any solid surface on this planet. There are three differential locks, low range gears for off-roading and a new G-Mode, which allows the car to creep slowly but steadily over rough ground. There’s also an additional 10cm of wading depth – now up to 70cm when driving through water or mud. In addition, every model has 24cm of ground clearance and four-wheel drive. If you really, truly want off-road capability, the G won’t let you down.
Inside the cabin, off-roading meets luxury. The G-Class combines timeless design with cutting-edge technology to create an atmosphere that is revolutionary for 21st century adventures. The utilitarian architecture contrasts with the high-end luxury of the interior. Everything is beautifully finished, from the 12.3-inch digital displays to the leather upholstery and cushion-like head rests giving you the impression you are sitting in an S-Class. Who says you have to do without comfort in an off-road vehicle? The G provides a level of quality that’s unmatched and a blend of utility and luxury like no other 4x4 on the road.
Would it function as an everyday car? The G comes equipped with a 360 degree surround-view camera and parking sensors which make day-to-day manoeuvring a breeze. Its particularly high level of ride comfort ensures great visibility too. The flat front end and sides leave almost no doubt where the vehicle ends meaning parking is easier than in most big SUVs as a result, though the wide turning radius can require an extra manoeuvre at times.
Powering the G400 is the latest Mercedes 3.0-litre straight-six turbodiesel unit producing 325bhp and a big swell of torque, at 700Nm, the performance it delivers is more than adequate for the big SUV and within the car’s double-glazed cockpit you can barely hear the outside noise. All models come with active lane keep assist, attention assist (which senses when you’re tired) and forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking. The Driving Assistance package standard on all models also bundles a range of highly intelligent features to help you stay safe on the road including blind-spot monitors, active park assist, adaptive cruise control plus so much more. The sense of reassurance and confidence it brings is unlike anything else.