Com­plete over­haul for lux­ury off-roader

Up­dated high-end SUV is more ca­pa­ble off road than ever and has a lux­u­ri­ous new in­te­rior On sale Au­gust Price from £140,000 (est)

What Car? - - Contents - Dar­ren Moss Dar­ren.moss@hay­mar­

THE MERCEDES-BENZ G-CLASS may have hum­ble ori­gins, but these days it’s more syn­ony­mous with the rich and fa­mous than with se­ri­ous off-road­ing.this new model has re­tained its fairly box-like ex­te­rior, al­beit with new head­lights and a more prom­i­nent front grille.

The most pop­u­lar G-class in the UK is the per­for­mance-ori­ented Mercedesamg G63, and that’s the sole choice at launch. Power comes from a 4.0-litre V8 petrol en­gine de­vel­op­ing 603bhp.a more fru­gal en­try-level G350d model – pow­ered by a 2.9-litre straight six diesel en­gine with 282bhp – will be of­fered from 2019.A nine­speed au­to­matic gear­box is stan­dard.

In terms of ven­tur­ing off road, the new G-class will be able to tackle steeper in­clines and wade through deeper rivers than the out­go­ing model.

But it’s in­side the G-class where the biggest changes have been made.there’s now the same widescreen dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter and in­fo­tain­ment dis­play as in the lat­est E-class and S-class, although the sys­tem is op­tional on most mod­els.

The G-class’s larger ex­te­rior di­men­sions mean there’s now more leg and head room through­out, but par­tic­u­larly leg room for rear pas­sen­gers.the rear seats can split and fold away, too, to in­crease boot space. Ex­actly how much space you’ll have has yet to be an­nounced, but it’s ex­pected to be more than enough for most fam­i­lies and their lug­gage.

Be­cause you’ll only be able to buy the range-top­ping G63 at launch, the G-class looks set to be an ex­pen­sive op­tion, with prices start­ing from around £140,000 – or £156,000 if you go for one of the lim­it­e­drun First Edi­tion ver­sions.the G350d, mean­while, is likely to cost around £85,000 when it goes on sale.

The new G-class prom­ises proper off-road­ing abil­ity

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