March 12, 2011

Mercedes G-Class finally makes it

The army tried it years ago, decided it wanted Humvees, so bought Pinzgauers instead. Meanwhile, the Aussie army liked it enough to buy 1200. If you pestered a Mercedes dealer he may or may not have been prepared to bring one in for you. A few others arrived with immigrants. But now, you can go down to your Mercedes dealer and a mere $179,900 later, drive home in your brand new G 350 diesel long wheelbase G-Class.
Whether or not you like its mid-1970s looks, the G-Glass is a magnificently- built and -engineered vehicle, but it has far too much luxury stuff on it, and is far too expensive to be a practical proposition even for rich enthusiasts. And to help justify that point of view, here are other things not to like: there isn't a lot of wheel travel; the turning circle, at 13.6m, is almost as bad as a Defender 110's; approach and departure angles are a fairly modest 37deg/26deg; ground clearance is just 210mm.
But there are plenty of things to like: Front and rear diff locks – look at how accessible their switches are, right between the central dashboard air vents; a great seven-speed Tiptronic auto; permanent four-wheel-drive; beam axles front and back; a gorgeous 3.0 V6 turbodiesel with 155kW of power and 540Nm of torque from 1600rpm; the most rugged chassis in the business; wonderful build quality; the ability to order 16-inch rims rather than stock 18s to access a decent range of tyres; its ability to idle down steep slopes in low first; and yes, it might be overkill, but that interior sure is nice.

3 comments:

  1. Phil, the $179k for the latest doesn't seem so bad against the $90k they were asking for the basic soft-top ex-military demonstrator version in 1998.

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  2. It wouldnt make the 1st obstacile in a winch challenge

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  3. Another AnonymousApril 24, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    "It wouldnt make the 1st obstacile in a winch challenge"

    Wow, left field or what?

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