First Look: 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes reinterprets maker's military-based classic.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class gets a makeover for the 2018 model year.

Daimler AG has updated its G-Class sport utility vehicle, which like the Jeep Wrangler, began its life more than 40 years ago as a military vehicle but is now one of the most coveted vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz model line.

The G-Class or Geländewagen or G-Wagen as its now known was developed as cross-country vehicle for use in remote places such as the desert or Arctic region is a midsized, boxy style SUV that is built for Daimler by Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria.

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The redesign, which is described as the most extensive in the vehicle’s long history and includes a more spacious cabin, maintains the ute’s iconic elements to give the G-Class its unique appearance such as distinctive door handles, exterior protective strip, exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights.

Aside from the clear, geometric lines, the contemporary interpretation is also evident in the round headlamps.

G-Class drivers are able to control the full infotainment system without taking their hands off the steering wheel. The Touch Controls on the steering wheel respond to swiping motions in the same way as the surface of a smart phone.

Every G-Wagen must be able to climb the Schöckl, the mountain course near the plant. Once it does, it gets this badge.

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Through haptic impulses and additional back from the onboard speakers, the driver can use the touchpad without looking away from the road. The driver sits close to the windscreen and enjoys good all-round visibility from behind the wheel.

The very clearly laid-out and completely redesigned instrument panel features timeless tube-look analogue dials as standard. In other words, fans of classic round instruments will certainly not be disappointed in the new G-Class.

As with the new E- and S-Class, an alternative instrument panel in the form of a large display screen showing virtual instruments in the driver’s direct field of vision and a central display above the center console is available as an option. Two 12.3-inch displays blend visually into a wide-screen cockpit beneath a shared glass cover.

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The standard specification, the G-Class’s timeless and authentic open-pore wood trim gives it an air of classical elegance. Its stylish details include the generous use of high-quality metal or carbon fiber trim, and its leather seats.

In addition, every G-Class is put to the test on the “Schöckl,” the Graz plant’s local mountain, used by Mercedes-Benz for its hard testing, and which each off-roader must be able to conquer. Every “G” comes with a certification mark in the form of a “Schöckl” badge at the base of its B-pillar.

The doors are very solid, clear evidence of that hallmark “G” functionality. The stowage space concept has been thoroughly overhauled, with numerous new storage areas ensuring that everything has a home. Under the armrest, for example, is an illuminated compartment for small items such as chewing gum, handkerchiefs or perhaps sunglasses.

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A wireless charging point here can be specified as an optional extra. In front of the touchpad in the center console are two removable cup holders and an oddments tray. The rear doors are each capable of accommodating a 1-liter water bottle. The rear bench seat has a freestanding backrest, so allowing maximum variability and better visibility through the rear side windows.

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