New Car Test Drive World's Leading Provider of Automotive Reviews
Home Car Reviews Pricing Comparisons Awards & Advice Finance & Insurance About Us


New and Used Car Reviews
Search Site

Car Reviews   |   Sneak Previews   |   Most Researched   |   Mercedes-Benz G-Class Prices in Your Area

2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
This one will go just about anywhere on the planet.

By Phil Berg

Review Pages
----------------------------------------
1. Overview
2. Walkaround and Interior
3. Driving Impressions
4. Summary, Prices, Specs

    Compare Vehicles
    Email to a Friend
    Print version

    Get a New Car Price Quote
    Search Used Vehicle Inventory

Overview

Mercedes-Benz has officially introduced its Gelandewagen to the U.S. The G-Class presents a utilitarian appearance with flat glass and flat body panels made of thick steel. It backs that up with its truck-based ladder-frame, permanent four-wheel drive, and a heavy-duty off-road suspension. The G prefix comes from the German word "Gelandewagen," which roughly translates to off-road car. The U.S. gets the top model, loaded with luxury features and the Mercedes 5.0-liter V8.

Its progenitor was born from a request by the Shah of Iran for some military vehicles. The Shah's existing military vehicles were too slow and cumbersome on normal roads, so Mercedes designed a sturdy utility vehicle that was ready for production by 1979. By then, however, the Shah had been deposed. Next, the Argentine army came to Mercedes, looking for an off-road car. Strained relations with Britain had prevented the Argentines from buying British Land Rovers, so there was pent-up demand. The current generation began production in 1989 and was revised last year, but overall, the looks haven't changed.

Model Lineup

G-Class is available as one model: the G500 ($72,500).

The top model in Europe, it comes with leather seating, wood-and-leather steering wheel, power windows, seats, locks, heated front and rear seats, automatic climate control, navigation, six-disc CD changer, hands-free phone, and arc-discharge headlamps. It's powered by a V8 that generates 292 (DIN) horsepower and has permanent four-wheel drive, a low-range transfer gearbox, traction control and stability control. Equipment for the U.S. model is basically everything that Mercedes is currently putting on all its European top-line models, with the exception of the occasional specially built 5.5-liter hot-rod AMG-built engine. The G500 has got every power accouterment on it that the factory can add without slowing the already meandering production line.


 2   3   4   Next page >