The Mercedes G-Class: Luxury off-roading from the '70s

When most people think about luxury off-roaders built in the '70s, they think of the Range Rover. However, Mercedes has one of its own -- it's a bit of legend, and it's called the G-Class. Or G-Wagen to its mates.

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Mercedes makes a car for every niche nowadays -- need a car for transporting the President? Why not an S-Class. How's about for taking the kids to school? There's a C-Class or E-Class for that. Need some supercar kicks? SLS AMG for you, sir. There's a Merc for every occasion. There didn't used to be though, so when the G-Wagen appeared in the late 70's it was quite a big deal.

Mercedes wanted to build a car that could take on any terrain, that a farmer could use (if he was minted), or a military could pop on its fleet.

It was tested in extreme conditions to ensure that it could tackle everything the world threw at it.

Each G-Wagen is hand built at a special G facility in Graz and feels pretty special. It's rare to have a car built by hand in 2013. Well, a car on the more acceptable side of £100,000 at least.

Our car was the 350 diesel, and it had plenty of power and enough torque to tow a battleship, but because it has the aerodynamic properties of a brick, it's not all that efficient. It's a decent steer, but you won't be outpacing or out cornering too many things on the road, if I'm honest. Tractors definitely, but a Ford Focus? Nah.

It's also mammothly expensive -- out test car, even though it's the base model, came in at over £80,000. That's Range Rover money. And Range Rovers drive better, too.

But...as a thing to drive, a car to experience, the G-Class is infectious. It gets under your skin. Its look and presence make you love it, even if you feel it's just a little bit silly.

Rumours have been floating around that the G-Class is going to be killed off soon. But rumours like that have been around for a very long time, and thus far it's stayed alive.

 

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