Rich pick­ings for Mercedes’ rugged per­former

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - Fred­eric Manby

ONCE upon a time, the Mercedes G-Class was mostly about su­pe­rior all-ter­rain per­for­mance.

Through suc­ces­sive gen­er­a­tions, the boxy 4x4 has main­tained its ex­treme off-road abil­ity while, like the Range Rover, get­ting classier fit­tings – and higher prices.

From 1979 to the mid 1990s, it was known as the G-Wa­gen – as in Gelän­dewa­gen – Ger­man for a cross-coun­try ve­hi­cle. They are ac­tu­ally made in Aus­tria for MercedesBenz and have been pop­u­lar in a mil­i­tary role across the world. The Civvie Street mod­els these days tend to be more glam than gloop and when the facelifted 2013 model goes on sale in March the cheap­est will cost a stag­ger­ing £82,945.

That brings a 208bhp 3-litre V6 petrol engine rated at 25mpg and 295g/km of CO2. The other choice is the G 63 AMG at £123,115. The hand built, bi-turbo 5.5-litre V8 AMG engine de­liv­ers 536bhp and 560 lb ft of torque.

It is more pow­er­ful than the out­go­ing G 55 AMG but CO2 is re­duced by 13 per cent to 322 g/km and com­bined fuel con­sump­tion im­proved by 15 per cent to 20.5 mpg. Each ver­sion has per­ma­nent all­wheel drive, fully en­gage-able dif­fer­en­tial locks, four wheel elec­tronic trac­tion con­trol and a set of low-range gears for those über- slip­pery mo­ments in the mud or snow.

ALL-TER­RAIN: The new Mercedes G-Class.

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