There are some cars that do a lot of things well, but the G Wagon does basically everything well.
Let’s think about for a second about what it is we use our cars for. We commute to work in them. We haul people around when it’s required. We take our stuff with us wherever we go, like skis to the mountains, boats to the lakes and rivers, our clothes and other belongings on road trips. If we want to be adventurous, we can use our cars to drive over various terrains. We run mindless errands in them like grocery shopping and if you are like me you like to open the taps every so often….or all the time. For some, these use cases mean having different cars to perform these various functions. You may want an SUV or a truck specializing in off-roading when you want to be adventurous and possible haul your items, or a 2-door sports car with ample power for going fast and possibly even tracking the car, or a large luxury 4 door sedan for cruising down the highway in supreme comfort and meeting clients. This got me thinking. There really aren’t many cars out there that can claim to be good at everything, a jack of all trades if you will. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. There is one brick that can do everything. The Mercedes Benz G63 AMG! I leaned back into my chair and started thinking it over and this is how I arrived at my conclusion.
“... the G wagon was created with one thing in mind, to be not only comfortable on the battlefield but to also moving people along rough terrains. Its intent was to be a brawny looking four by four that was uber capable.”
Let’s first start with the subjective aspect. The looks. Yes, this thing is a brick but why it continues to look like this after decades of existing comes down to 2 major things. Legacy and the almost cult-like followers and owners of this car. We’ve all heard of the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well this car sticks to that philosophy like rubber cement. The design is legendary and is virtually untouched going all the way back to World War II. Not to get into the history, but the G Wagon was created with one thing in mind, to not only be comfortable on the battlefield but also to move people along rough terrains. Its intent was to be a brawny looking four by four that was uber capable. Over time, its style ended up becoming synonymous with luxury appeal. As the years went on, Mercedes kept inflating the price, sometimes added in consumer-friendly features to make it easier for people to use, modernized some features here and there, kept the production limited and voila! A status symbol was born. Today, after its nearly 40-year history, Mercedes decided to refine the SUV further and give it the largest update yet to cement this as an upscale consumer SUV. The exterior style remains unchanged as a box shaped SUV with circle headlights and doors that sound more solid than some safes. The door locks, which are also carried over, sound as if you are cocking a rifle and the rear trunk door still possesses a full spare wheel. These just some iconic features the fans just couldn’t let go and a big reason why they remain a part of the G wagon .
The biggest changes we notice however are on the inside of the car. The interior has been given its biggest refresh ever with a full suite of technology and luxury Mercedes is known for. The interior space has been given a boost with nearly 2 additional inches of space added to this new model. You can feel that nearly all of it went into adding legroom into the second row. Aside from the additional space, the whole cabin has become more refined with generous use of leather everywhere. From the doors to the dash and even the soft Alcantara pouring up the ceiling. The seats are new and supportive with heating, ventilation and inflatable bolsters to keep you in place. There is rich wood along the central and main dash areas, and the wood stretches out to the door and the grab handle mounted ahead of the front passenger. It’s a beautiful place to be. The biggest tech upgrades include a full digital display and a large central display running what is now Mercedes last gen infotainment system. I’m sure an updated version will be out soon. There’s also a full suite of safety tech which includes radar guided cruise control, blind spot monitoring, self-parking features and the list goes on. This is a thoroughly modern car, updated with mostly all of Daimlers amazing technology and luxury refinements .
What can this thing do?
“The G63 AMG packs Daimlers 4.0 Twin Turbo V8 with 577 horsepower on tap making 627 lb-ft of torque. That means this car can sprint to 60 mph in 4.5 Seconds!”
Now we move to what makes this a great SUV. The capability. This is thing is a brute in a freaking suit. For real. The G63 AMG packs Daimlers 4.0 Twin Turbo V8 with 577 horsepower on tap making 627 lb-ft of torque. That means this car can sprint to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds! Some claim it can go even faster, reaching 60 in under 4 seconds. In comparison a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R gets to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, just 0.7 seconds faster than the G Wagon. That’s insanity for a nearly 7,000-pound SUV. It’s actually neck breaking speed for an SUV and with that amount of torque you can easily slam yourself in the back of your seat doing a launch. It’s properly aggressive acceleration. Here’s the kicker now. Not only can this thing dart fast on smooth pavement, this car is very comfortable when the road gets rough too. This is one of the only cars in the segment (it’s actually the only car in its own segment) where you have access to 3 different locking differentials to make that rough terrain seem like a walk in the park. The traction is some of the best you can get when taking it off road. It’s so good in fact, some publications pitted this up against what some consider to be a better off-roader, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and it performed the tests much better. Another reason it can perform so well is that the car has superior departure and approach angles and higher ground clearance. Almost 9.5 inches of ground clearance to be exact. This thing can attack a 45-degree slope with no problem at all. That’s tough to achieve on many new SUVs that come straight out the factory.
Lets add it up
Looking back at what this thing to do, I started to check the boxes. Is this a good looking car? In my opinion, that’s a yes. There are few cars out that that can stand the test of time with design and with its iconic design it managed to stand tough for 40 years. Is it a nice place to sit on a long journey? Yup! The cabin is just quality. Crafted with solid materials, enough tech to keep you safe and entertained and it’s all wrapped up in a beautiful package. Can you take your stuff and people anywhere you want to go? Hell yes! This can haul 5 people and their belongings to almost anywhere on earth. Whether it’s a blast down a highway or an off-road adventure, this has got it covered. Okay then, is it fast? Oh yeah. This is a one fast SUV; it can even be quicker than some sports cars. Lastly, can you take it to a fancy party and hand the keys over to a valet? Umm yes, it’s a Mercedes after all. All totaled up my answers. I arrived at my conclusion there really is no other car that would qualify as the only car you would ever need. I know some must to be thinking how about the Range Rover and how it is all that too, but the problem is the Land Rover falls short in several categories. While it may look good, that design will never stand the test of time like the G Wagon and my biggest concern of all: it’s not a reliable car. I hear stories from almost all Land Rover owners I know, about their cars spending a lot of time in the shops. Not good. The G Wagon in contrast is a properly well-rounded vehicle. It’s got some serious credentials along with a name and legacy that carries on even today. Some people see it as the definition of a middle finger on wheels. But in my head, I don’t think that’s really such a bad thing.