Mercedes G-Class review - Interior, design and technology
Mercedes has blended old and new to perfection, with a beautifully finished cabin and the latest tech
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. When it comes to the design of the latest G-Class, it’s a case of 'if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it'. Mercedes knew it had to tread carefully when updating an icon, so it has kept the styling makeover to a minimum.
That’s not to say the G-Class isn’t all new. All the body panels are completely redesigned, while the chassis has been overhauled, too. It’s 53mm longer and 121mm wider than before, but there are a number of subtle and welcome nods to the G’s heritage.
From the distinctive door handles to the sound the door makes when it’s closed, and the exposed spare wheel on the tailgate to the indicators sat atop the front wings, the new G-Class looks almost identical to the original.
Look closer and you’ll spot a pair of LED headlights, narrower panel gaps and wheel arches and bumpers that look integral to the car. It’s a more cohesive design – a successful evolution of a much-loved icon. Dare we suggest it’s what the next Land Rover Defender should be like?
The evolution continues on the inside, with a cabin that manages to look delightfully old fashioned but totally modern. The shape of the round headlights is reflected in the air vents, while the speakers mimic the indicators. Other ‘Easter eggs’ include the shape of the buttons for the differential locks, along with the passenger grab handle.
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These little touches blend with a pair of 12.3-inch digital displays and a level of quality that’s unmatched in this segment to deliver an interior that’s brimming with class and appeal. Mercedes could have got this so wrong, but thankfully, it didn’t.
There are just two versions available in the UK – although other versions are set to join the range – and most buyers will opt for the G 400 d. As you’d expect from a car costing north of £130,000, the level of specification is high, with 20-inch alloys, LED headlights, AMG fine leather, eight-colour ambient lighting, heated front and rear seats and three-zone climate control fitted as standard.
A Premium equipment line – which is standard on the G 63 – costs £6,000 and includes 64-colour LED ambient lighting, Burmester sound system, electric sunroof, air ioniser, multibeam LED headlights, a 360-degree camera and adaptive suspension.
The G 63 also gains a chrome exterior styling package, an AMG cosmetic makeover, AMG ride control, AMG sports exhausts, privacy glass, a heated AMG performance steering wheel, AMG sports seats and illuminated door sill panels.
Options include 21- and 22-inch alloy wheels, Night and AMG Night cosmetic packs, and a Winter pack comprising a heated windscreen and auxiliary heater. In tune with the G’s Hollywood vibe, there are a choice exterior and interior hues, some of which are more tasteful than others.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The two 12.3-inch infotainment displays are familiar from other Mercedes models of the same vintage and look perfectly at home in the G-Class. They combine to create an ultra-wide display that brings this 40-year-old icon right up-to-date.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are fitted as standard, while a Burmester surround system is standard on the G 63 and available as part of a package on the G 400 d. The 590-watt system comprises 16 speakers, a 10-channel amplifier, and acoustics tailored to the G-Class interior. It’s one of the best systems on the market.
In this review
- 1Mercedes G-Class reviewMercedes' motoring icon is better than ever in its latest guise but prices aren't cheap
- 2Engines, performance and driveIt’s still a formidable off-roader, but the G-Class is also agile enough on the road, especially in G 63 guise
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsExpensive to buy and to run, especially in the case of the G 63
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingMercedes has blended old and new to perfection, with a beautifully finished cabin and the latest tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIt’s not as practical as the dimensions would suggest, while parking the G-Class could be tricky
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe G’s quality shines through, but safety and reliability are harder to judge