For 2008, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class undergoes minor changes. Both the G500 and the G55 AMG receive a redesigned instrument cluster and steering wheel. A rearview camera is now standard, as is hands-free communication potential. Base prices have only slightly increased over 2007.
Known as a Gelandewagen (or cross-country vehicle) at home, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class was originally built as a military vehicle. Offered for many years to European customers, Mercedes-Benz finally brought the vehicle to North America in 2002, and named it the G-Class. Appropriate to its military heritage, the G-Class continues to be built with heavy-duty truck-style suspension and axles for 2008. The solid front and rear axles and three locking differentials will appeal to fans of hard-core off-roading, which is where the G-Class shines brightest.
The utilitarian appearance of the G-Class further illustrates its military heritage. The vehicle's boxy appearance, the front grille and sharp edges seem to suggest that it was machined from a solid block of steel. The spare tire is even housed on the rear tailgate and encased in a stainless-steel shell. The G-Class weighs in at a hefty 5,500 pounds.
The base G500 has a 5.0L V8 that produces 292 horsepower and 336 ft-lbs of torque, which is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The standard bi-xenon headlights, also new, have dedicated high-pressure washers. Mercedes-Benz also includes heated power mirrors and rain-sensing wipers for adverse weather conditions.
Inside, the power front seats have three-position memory and include pneumatic side bolsters. They are, of course, trimmed in leather. Mercedes-Benz COMAND system includes a 6.5-inch LCD screen and allows control of the stereo, navigation system, climate control system, and vehicle systems all with one control knob. For 2008, a rearview camera is added to the list of standard gizmos, as is a hands-free communications setup.
The included SmartKey system allows the user to keep his or her keys in their pocket. The car "senses" the driver approach, activates locator lighting, and unlocks the doors. Once the driver is seated, the vehicle starts with the push of a button.
Rear parking assist and dual-zone climate control are also standard on all G-Class models.
The G55 AMG model features a 5.5L supercharged V8 engine that produces 493 horsepower and 516 ft-lbs of torque. It's connected to a five-speed adaptive automatic transmission with touch-shifting.
The tires are monstrous 285/55VR18 treads with 18-inch AMG-specific aluminum wheels. The upgraded brakes are slotted and vented discs. Four exhaust tips extend out the back. A silver-painted grille and chrome turn signal cages complete the exterior appearance upgrade. Inside, Nappa leather upholstery and hand-polished maple wood trim enhance the aura of luxury.
The 2008 G-Class is Mercedes-Benz' largest SUV, with 124 cubic feet of interior passenger space and 45 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The standard 5.0L V8 and available 5.5L V8 powertrains endow the G-Class with an impressive 7,000-pound towing capacity, and also make the G-Wagen the most powerful SUV in the Mercedes-Benz stable. The G-Class upholds the Mercedes-Benz reputation of unmatched luxury, but it is also sturdy and capable enough to be a rugged off-road machine. Its military heritage and high build quality means it has a pedigree few of its luxury-oriented peers can compete with.
Copious off-road aptitude; military-burly, yet luxurious; spacious interior.
Vehicle Price: 89,075.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
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