The Mercedes-Benz G350d, the high-end 4x4 built like a tank on the out­side and a pri­vate jet in­side

Esquire (UK) - - Contents -

In the rightly for­got­ten 1990 com­edy Crazy Peo­ple, the late Dud­ley Moore plays a dys­pep­tic ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive on the brink of a break­down. Ev­i­dence for his frag­ile men­tal state is over­whelm­ing: he wants his com­mer­cials to start telling the truth. Wit­ness his pro­posal for a new slo­gan for a cer­tain Swedish car com­pany: “Volvo. They’re boxy, but they’re good!” (Later he’s carted off to a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion where he gets off with Daryl Hannah, a woman half his age and three times his height. Happy days!)

Volvos back then were boxy. And good. Had they not been both, the joke never would have landed. But Volvos have noth­ing on the Mercedes-Benz G-Class — not so much boxy as ac­tu­ally a box, on wheels.

And not so much good as gob­s­mack­ingly bril­liant.

The G-Class is the Ger­man mar­que’s dis­tinc­tive four-wheel-drive. It has been in ser­vice since 1979, and de­spite the trans­for­ma­tive changes in car de­sign which have oc­curred since, the G-Class has re­tained its unique looks and re­bel­lious spirit: hard as nails on the out­side, lux­u­ri­ous and re­fined on the in­side.

To­day, it is avail­able in the UK in three ver­sions: the G350d, a com­par­a­tively sen­si­ble fam­ily 4x4; the bonkers AMG G63, with its thrilling biturbo V8 and men­ac­ing styling; and, for re­ally Crazy Peo­ple, the AMG G63 Colour Edi­tion, which comes in var­i­ous vivid shades and will set you back a jolt­ing £152,600.

Esquire re­cently had a few days in the least Dud­ley Moore-doolally of the three, the G350d. We loaded up with kids and pets and lug­gage and hit the road feel­ing like we were in a posh ar­moured ve­hi­cle. We didn’t want to give it back. The G-Class is ex­cit­ing, a bit odd, and much cooler than one of those jel­ly­mould SUVs that every­one seems to want these days.

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