By Matthew Baxter-Priest
The latest Mercedes G-Class edition makes it more relevant than ever
Burj Khalifa, The Palm Jumeirah, Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Mercedes G-Class, each have – in their own way – become icons of the UAE.
While, yes, one could argue that the last one is perhaps the least obvious of the set, but with the sheer amount of ‘G-Wagens’ on the road across the emirates, one can certainly make a case for it.
Sure, the success of the G-Class in the UAE is often marked down to being a favourite of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a fair portion of credit has to be given to the vehicle itself.
Here in the region, the G-Class is serious business, and the release of the all-new G-Class is very good business.
While the quirky ‘box on wheels’ has been part of the Mercedes family since 1979, the latest edition offers its most complete makeover with improved cabin design, ride and steering to make it more relevant than ever.
Sure, it still retains classic elements of its previous versions: the shape, door handle buttons, headlight washer nozzles, sun visors and the spare wheel cover but, well, that’s kind of it.
The 2019 model has a longer and wider frame, independent suspension and an interior befitting an S-Class sedan. It helps that with a new 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, which produces 416 horsepower and a maximum torque of 450 lb-ft, it is also really fast.
One of the main goals of the G-Class revamp was to double down on its off-road capabilities. Cue a re-imagined powertrain, full-time 4WD system and independent front suspension with a double-wishbone front axle to give the vehicle more rigidity and maximum ground clearance.
Its interior is characterised by supple leather seats with luxury head rests, optional massage functions and integrated air chambers that fill or empty for better support based on the driving dynamics.
Speaking of driving dynamics, the new features include five driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Eco, Individual and the all-new ‘G-Mode’. In G-Mode, the vehicle automatically adapts the damping of the chassis, the steering and the acceleration, avoiding unnecessary gear shifts and providing precise manoeuvring even in the most treacherous terrain, or, y’know, on smooth empty roads on the way to The Palm Jumeirah.