Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV (2018-) details, specifications, prices

PROS

  • Retains characterful styling
  • Modern, luxurious interior
  • Off-road ability

CONS

  • Huge, even if it is lighter
  • Sluggish automatic gearbox
  • Still won’t be cheap to buy…
  • … Or run

Mercedes G-Class

On Friday this week we'll publish our comprehensive review of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, but for now, here's everything you need to know... 

And no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – this really is the all-new G-Class. It’s a completely new car, but it retains all of the charm and character of the model it replaces – lovingly referred to as the G-Wagen – while adding a whole host of modern tech.

Iconic styling remains

The look of the G-Class has remained largely unchanged since the car debuted back in 1979, and the overall styling of this new 2018 model follows the same template. Boxy proportions and an upright stance remain, with other G-Class design details present and correct.

There are the indicators sitting proud on top of the wings, protruding wheelarches, upright windscreen and tailgate-mounted spare wheel, plus the push-button door handles - all of which have been G-Class hallmarks its whole life span.

There are some significant but subtly executed changes, though. Its 53mm longer and 121mm wider than the old model, there’s a slightly softer look to the front-end, with new grille and LED headlamps, and simple lamp clusters at the rear.

Interior gets a significant upgrade

The biggest difference between the 2018 G-Class and the model it replaces is the interior – it’s almost unrecognisable.

Its high-set driving position continues, but the dashboard is much more cohesive in its appearance, with the widescreen digital display found in other Mercedes-Benz cars (such as the E-Class and S-Class) available as an option at extra cost. The standard set-up features traditional analogue dials.

Other fixtures and fittings found in other Mercedes models – the Comand infotainment rotary controller, climate control buttons and circular air vents – also feature, but typical G-Class cues such as the passenger-side grab handle have been retained for the new car.

Due to the growth in exterior dimensions, the G-Class now offers more interior space. Headroom was never really an issue in the old car, but legroom in the rear was quite tight.

The new car offers 150mm more legroom for passengers in the rear, while those in the front also benefit from more space, and the option of upgrading the seats to Multicontour chairs, featuring massage function, heating and cooling and electrically adjustable lumbar support.

Off-road prowess at the forefront

One of the most impressive things about the outgoing G-Class is its off-road ability, and Mercedes promises big things from the new car.

The chassis is still a ladder-type frame with the body sitting on top, the three 100% differential locks remain (but now electronically controlled) and a low-range gearbox for off-road pursuits.

The suspension has been uprated, with five-link rear axle and double-wishbone at the front. Adaptive dampers are available which offer more flexibility and customisation when it comes to comfort on- and off-road.

These can be configured through the Dynamic Select system, with a choice of Eco, Sport, Comfort and Individual modes. There’s also a new G-Mode for serious off-roading, where the car sets itself up in the most effective way possible to tackle tougher terrain.

Mercedes claims the new G has greater ground clearance than before, it’ll wade through water 70cm deep and has improved departure and approach angles for more articulation over tricky off-road terrain.

Engine line-up

So far, Mercedes-Benz has announced a new G 500 petrol variant in the G-Class offering 422hp and 610Nm of torque, however this won’t be coming to the UK.

What we can expect is a diesel G 350 d and a Mercedes-AMG version similar to what’s available in the UK for the outgoing car.

A new nine-speed automatic transmission is fitted to the G-Class to make it more responsive on- and off-road, and also more efficient.