New Mercedes-Benz G-Class Shines at the Detroit Auto Show

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The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one of the most recognizable cars on the road. It looks rugged and capable because it is, although a fair number of people won’t take it anywhere near the mud.

That’s because the price tag on this SUV has been well over $100,000 making it something only a select few can afford. It’s a status symbol. Even though you could head off-road, drive through water, crawl over rocks, and basically get as far off the beaten path as you like, many G-Class owners aren’t of such a mind.

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Mercedes-Benz gave their famous SUV plenty of updates, but they didn’t stray far from its roots making differences hard to spot at first glance. It still has its signature boxy styling now with an updated front and rear fascia. It’s 2.1 inches longer and 4.8 inches wider, too.

That doesn’t sound like much, but it significantly improves passenger space. There’s more headroom and legroom for all passengers with rear passengers getting an extra 5.9 inches to stretch out their legs.

Mercedes-Benz also upgraded interior quality with better finishes to make it more comfortable. There are standard heated front and second row seats with the option for massage and rapid-heating. Tech gets an upgrade, too, with optional dual 12.3-inch touchscreens.

They kept a few signature elements just as they were on the previous model. There’s still a big grab bar on the dashboard and the three differential lock buttons are still located on the center stack. The interior is new and improved, but at the same time familiar.

Power comes from a 4.0-liter V8 engine with 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque paired to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. That’s for starters, but Mercedes will likely announce additional choice as the year progresses.

Those three locking differentials help make the G-Class an off-road monster. Mercedes also improved the approach and departure angles, raised the ground clearance and increased the fording depth by 3.9 inches to 27.6 inches total.

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They also added a new G-Mode. It automatically activates when any one of the differentials are locked and adjusts the shocks, steering, throttle, and shift points for better off-road control.

The new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class keeps its recognizable style, but delivers capability and convenience enhancements to ensure it maintains its status as a luxury off-roader. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date later this year.

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Nicole Wakelin

Nicole Wakelin