The new 2013 Mercedes Benz G Class, unofficially known by all as the “G-Wagon,” is now on sale. If this is a "Truman Show moment" for you it could be due to the fact that Mercedes has made this announcement earlier in the year. Torque News covered the launch then, and since that time had a chance to sample the G-Wagon off road. Now we get it.
In our prior story we pointed out that the G-Wagon looks like it is built from stapled together prison cafeteria trays. To say it looks like a Lego creation would be an insult to Legos. That is exactly the look that some buyers want however, and if they want a sleek, modern looking (and actually modern) luxury sport ute, Mercedes Benz has an excellent one in every size. What some folks want is unbelievable off-road prowess with ultra premium class luxury, and that is what the MB G-Wagon delivers.
At a recent International Motor Press Association event, Torque News was provided a familiarization ride on a world class off-road loop in the new G. It was an epiphany. Prior to this, we assumed that the G was mostly show and no go. Wrong. The G is the real deal. The G can drive at a 50 degree angle (tipped on its side) like a Joey Chitwood stunt car (see photo taken by author). It can ford water that is so deep you would have to swim to get across it on your own. It can go down a greasy muddy, boulder strewn path with trees on both sides, inches from the mirrors, and never – ever slip. It can creep along in low gear, differentials all singing off the same hymn sheet, and basically climb a tree. While doing this the passengers can all pretend they are on Newbury Street in Boston (think 5th Avenue in NYC). Except that in many cases they are hanging in their seatbelts a few inches from a turtle.
The G has it all off-road. Can a Jeep costing less than a third the cost of this do what this vehicle can? Yes and no. It can go where the G-Wagon goes, but it cannot go in this much style. Does a Range Rover offer this much luxury in a full sized off-roader? Yes, but it does not come with the monster truck tires and grab bars. The G-Wagon is a bit unique.
So if the Dagoba swamp lies between you and a petite fillet, this may just be the vehicle to take Natalie Portman to dinner in.