Mercedes-Benz G-Class: See the changes side-by-side

Posted January 16, 2018

It's slightly longer and wider than the auto it replaces, but 170kg lighter, and features three differential locks, a low range mode, and a rigid rear axle. Double-wishbones bolted directly to the frame, to be precise.

Still a no-compromise off-roader, with ladder-chassis and rigid rear axle. It can be chosen manually, but it activates automatically when the driver fires up any of the three 100 per cent differential locks - front, rear and centre - or the low-range transmission feature.

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Aiding the G-Class's off-road performance is what Mercedes calls "G-Mode", an electronic program that optimizes the steering, throttle mapping, optional adaptive dampers, and transmission programming for off-road use. Instead of redesigning the body, Mercedes-Benz focused on updating the exterior with minor changes such as having smoother surfaces all throughout. The recirculating ball set-up, which dates back to the 1979 G-Wagen, has been replaced by a contemporary electromechanical rack and pinion arrangement, which is claimed to offer a precise and suitable steering response for on and off road.

Although there are elements of the design that stay the same from the previous generation - such as the squared-off bodywork and extended wheel arches and sidesteps - but it also incorporates the new Mercedes design ethos, such as the new grille design and front lights, to offer a more modern look.

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Opinion: can the iconic G-Class really reinvent itself? The new vehicle is 53mm longer and 121mm wider than before.

Aluminum is used for the doors and hood, with high-strength steel employed for the A- and B-pillars, the automaker says. (610 Nm) at 4,750. Mercedes hasn't announced whether there'll be hotter AMG engines for the G, but we'd be shocked if there wasn't. All come with Mercedes' 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox. But in low range you still have all the safety and assistance systems active, but with the thresholds pushed up. The G's growth means the interior is considerably larger, with more space for all occupants.

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As should the new "high-quality" interior which introduces Mercedes' Widescreen Cockpit set-up as well as some rather more meta details like air vents based on the car's own headlamps and speakers inspired by its indicators. The G-Class is one of the most recognisable SUVs on the road that appeals to a particular audience - one that needs a very durable, albeit luxury, vehicle. That heavy click is what caused this author to fall in love with the original G-Class, so we're glad it's made a return. Round analog gauges are standard, but G-Class buyers will be able to opt for the same expansive digital display as in the E- and S-Class that places a second 12.3-in. screen behind the steering wheel. Some of its edges are a little more rounded than before, and Mercedes touts smaller panel gaps, but it's mostly just classic Geländewagen here. Digital prototyping allowed engineers to trim weight where possible, and Mercedes improved weight loss and tightened tolerances by refining the hand-built production process at the G-Wagen's Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria. Carbuyer found that auto seemed to handle off-road work more easily than before.