The next generation Mercedes-Benz G-Class is being given its official unveiling at the Detroit Motor Show; the first big automobile show of the year currently running from 13 until 29 January.
Mercedes have decided that they know when they’re onto a good thing and kept any major external visual changes to a minimum, giving their luxury traditional looking box a new grille and revising the headlight cluster. The SUV is also actually 2.1 inches longer than before and 4.8 inches wider – yet it is 170kg lighter and boasts a stiffer chassis.
There are more interesting changes if you delve a little deeper though, with the change to an independent front suspension giving more ground clearance plus the option of adjustable shocks. The 2018 G-Class will also be able to wade through deeper water thanks to the improved ground clearance and traverse more angular gradients (should you be brave enough). For on-road handling the G-Class gets electro-mechanical steering for improved stability, while 9-speed automatic transmission handles the 4×4 moving through its paces. While the G-Class competes in a very competitive market with other luxury 4×4 brands that arguably never see any mud, this SUV is still a very capable off-roader.
Inside, a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system is prominent on the dashboard with the option of a further touchscreen should one not be enough. The G-Class also gets the addition of Mercedes DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes, giving the choice of Comfort (for longer trips with relaxed suspension), Sport (responsive steering and tweaked stiffer suspension), Eco (green mode, also gives a display that has the aim of encouraging more frugal driving), Individual (allows the user to combine the best of all the above and fine tune) and G-Mode specifically for off-roading. Just make sure that you spec adaptive adjustable dampers to fully benefit from everything that DYNAMIC SELECT can offer.
In the back, the extra dimensions add an improved sense of luxury for rear passengers, with an impressive near 6-inches of additional leg space all round. Behind the rear passengers on the rear door is the spare tyre, telling everyone behind you that this is a proper off-road vehicle.
The Mercedes G-Class will go on sale in August this year with a starting price of around £140,000. It’s being launched with its popular petrol 4-litre V8 engine with 603bhp. Though if you are willing to wait a while, 2019 will see a 2.9-litre 282bhp become available – which will also likely be a whole lot cheaper.