Even in its 28th production year, Mercedes-Benz is rigorously continuing a model strategy for the legendary G-Class which is just as unique as the classic off-roader itself: the striking body shape and indestructible base structure have been retained since 1979, and at the same time constant evolutionary improvements still reaffirm the technical leadership of the "G". The latest model facelift mainly affects the interior. Externally the new model is only distinguishable by discreetly modified rear lights.
In the interior a new instrument cluster provides a more up-to-date look. Together with a centrally located display for the driver, four analogue dial instruments with fine chrome bezels provide a clearly laid out information centre. The elegant, four-spoke multifunction steering wheel has also been redesigned; its illuminated keys allow information to be accessed or various functions to be operated merely by thumb pressure, without the driver being distracted from the traffic situation. The modified centre console with new controls and switches for the air conditioning system and comfort functions both improves operating safety and upgrades the cockpit in visual terms.
The standard appointments in the G 500 and G 55 AMG petrol models include the control and display system COMAND APS with a DVD navigation system, integral radio, CD-player and telephone keypad. An integral compass function provides orientation when driving off-road. The diesel model G 320 CDI is equipped with the Audio 20 radio with CD-player and telephone keypad as standard. As a further enhancement, this cross between a modern SUV and a dyed-in-the-wool all-terrain vehicle features heated front seats and a 12V power socket in the front passenger footwell. The G 320 CDI has a leather-lined steering wheel as standard, while the driver of the G 500 and G 55 AMG even has the benefit of the luxurious wood/leather version. Externally, the latest generation is distinguishable by its rear lights, which use up-to-date LED technology to lend a youthful look to the rear end. The standard appointments also include bi-xenon headlamps and foglamps with cornering lights.
Three body variants, exclusive optional extras
Mercedes-Benz has accompanied this model facelift with the introduction of a number of exclusive optional extras for the G-Class. These include a reversing camera, which shows the driver what is happening behind the vehicle on the 6.5-inch screen of the new COMAND APS unit. Other attractive features include a tyre pressure monitoring system with information displayed in the instrument cluster, the interior package with robust "ARTICO" man-made leather or the new "Cognac" leather upholstery, which adds another colour to the previously available black or grey (optional at no extra cost in the G 500).
The "G" is available in three body variants, two station wagon versions with a short or long wheelbase, and an extravagant convertible with an electro/hydraulically operated roof. The engine range begins with the 165 kW/224 hp model G 320 CDI, which combines the advantages of the preceding G 270 CDI and G 400 CDI models: it matches the low fuel consumption of the 156 hp five-cylinder unit, but also excels with a performance similar to that of the V8 diesel with 250 hp. Naturally the G 320 CDI also meets the currently most stringent EU4 exhaust emissions standard, and is equipped with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard. In addition to the G 320 CDI, the model range still includes the 296 hp model G 500 with a V8 petrol engine, which has been equipped with the 7G-TRONIC transmission since last year. The top model is the supercharged V8 model G 55 AMG with 500 hp.
Superior drive system for any conditions
Now as before, the classic among Mercedes-Benz off-road vehicles offers a superior synthesis of effective drive and dynamic system. In addition to permanent four-wheel drive with a low-range, off-road gearbox which can be selected while on the move, standard equipment includes the electronically controlled traction system 4ETS, the Electronic Stability Program ESP and three differential locks which can be selected at the touch of a button. Magna Steyr in , has been producing the G-Class on behalf of Mercedes-Benz since 1979, with around 190,000 produced to date. And no end to this success story is yet in sight. The "G" will continue to complement the Mercedes-Benz model range of highly capable SUVs in the coming years.
G-Class: an outstanding off-roader
Hardly any other vehicle has received so many automotive awards as the G-Class. This year – as in 2006 – the readers of the highly respected motoring magazine OFF ROAD voted the venerable G-Class "Off-roader of the Year" in the "Classic" category. More confirmation of the eternal youth enjoyed by the G-Class recently came from the well-known off-road magazine "4wheel fun": in a vote for the "2007 Superstar" in the luxury category, this classic vehicle was declared the winner by a wide margin. No less than 13 times, the readers of "auto, motor und sport" have voted the G-Class the world’s best off-road vehicle, and in 2003 it was nominated as a "classic of the future" by the magazine "Motor Klassik".