Classic military-styled SUV; truly off-road ready; truly luxurious
Every year since its introduction in 1979, the G-Class has gotten a few new features, but the basic shape and utility has remained intact. The 2010 model is no different, with tweaks to the interior like improved front seats and a new rear bench seat. New leather upholstery and wood trims are available, and new additions include a leather-trimmed dashboard, ambient interior lighting and a media interface for connecting an iPod or USB device.
The G-wagon, as its proponents know it, comes loaded with so many standard features that there isn't an options list. The navigation system, heated and ventilated seats, rearview camera, 7-speed transmission and much, much more are all part of the package. The base-level G550 comes in an AMG-tuned version, which has a hand-built engine with even more horsepower and torque.
There are two versions of the G-Class for 2010, and one of them is really just a performance-tuned upgrade of the base model -- if you can even call a luxury SUV with so many amenities a base model. The G550 has a 5.5L V8 engine with 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. The G55 AMG has the same engine, but engineers have supercharged it to get 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque out of it.
Mercedes-Benz has been a pioneer in advanced safety systems, and the G-Class has benefited from nearly every new development. It has full-time 4-wheel drive with a 2-speed transfer case, three locking differentials, electronic stability, brake assist, anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring and off-road ready suspension. When on the street rather than the African savannah, the rear park assist and rear-view camera will come in handy. And no matter where you are, a full complement of air bags, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a heated windshield maximize the comfort and safety.
The G-Class features standard 14-way adjustable heated and ventilated leather seats, dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel and burl walnut trim with new chrome accents. The sound system, by harman/kardon, has an iPod and MP3 interface, a 4GB hard drive and Sirius satellite radio with real-time traffic. The 40GB hard-drive navigation system includes a Zagat restaurant guide. The system's COMAND voice recognition system is clever enough to screen out "ums" and understands that "yeah" really means "yes."
Upgrades, though few, are available on the G55 AMG, adding 19-inch alloy wheels, a stainless-steel spare wheel cover, flared wheel wells, backlit AMG instrument cluster and Nappa leather upholstery. Plus, of course, that model's standard 500-hp supercharged engine.
Vehicle Price: 104,875.00
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