Silverstone Fleet Management

MERCEDES-BENZ G CLASS DIESEL STATION WAGON

G400d AMG Line Premium Plus 5dr 9G-Tronic

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Google rating: 5 | 171 reviews

Review

The indestructible Mercedes G-Class soldiers on in second generation form. Jonathan Crouch gazes in awe.

Background

You might well know it as the G-Wagen, that slab-sided truck more readily associated with squaddies trailing in convoy along autobahns, but the G-Class has come a long way from its utilitarian origins. It was first sold to the general public way back in 1979 and as it ploughs unstoppably into another decade on sale, it's been treated to an extensive redesign that's left almost everything changed, but nothing much different. Don't think that means the G-Class has gone soft in its dotage. Although it's no longer a stripped-back, rough and ready mud plugger, it's still built from the same solid materials. It's just that the market for these cars has changed and the G-Class has changed to reflect a newer, more moneyed customer base. You can now spend some serious coin on a G-Class and there's a privileged queue of people looking to do just that.

Driving Experience

On the face of it, putting a 577hp engine into a tall off-roader sounds a bad idea. No, scrub that. It sounds an absolutely certifiable notion. The Mercedes-AMG G 63 is that car and it's the flagship model in the G-Class range. This time round, it uses the AMG brand's 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and it clouts the G 63 to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and onto an electronically limited top speed of up to 137mph. Believe me, you wouldn't want to go faster, despite improvements to the car's suspension, stability control system, monster brakes up front and the clever AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 9G-TRONIC automatic gearbox. The G 63 AMG might hog the headlines but the G 400d diesel model with its 2.9-litre straight six diesel engine offers a touch more real-world relevance. This powerplant has an output of 326hp and has available torque of 700Nm across an engine speed range of 1600 to 2400rpm. Whichever version you buy, that mountain of torque should be adequate to drag you out of most sticky situations, while the G-Class' three electrically controlled 100-percent differential locks, ladder frame and rigid axle characteristics also underline its mettle in rough off-road terrain. There's a 3.5-tonne towing capacity with both engines.

Design and Build

The G-Class still has one of those faces that even its mother would find hard to love. Lantern-jawed doesn't even cover it, but its sheer anti-fashion nature has, rather perversely, made it quite a chic item. Mercedes has always resisted the temptation to substitute straight edges for Bezier curves and the latest car continues to feature the sort of aerodynamics last seen when whole warehouses were swept away in the Boston Molasses Flood. The plus side of this is that there's a decent amount of space inside. The external modifications have been kept deliberately subtle to preserve the classic look. This second generation model is 53mm longer and 121mm wider than its predecessor. But measuring 4,715mm long and 1,881mm wide, it remains more compact than its Range Rover rival. Previous owners will recognise classic G-Class details such as the distinctive door handles, the exterior protective strip, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door and prominent indicator lights. Less familiar are the narrower, more precise panel gaps this time round. Things have taken a big step forward inside, where there's multifunction steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls for the infotainment system, plus an electric handbrake and a gear selector stalk mounted on the steering column. An analogue instrument panel comes as standard, but a 'virtual' display is optional. Hallmarks of the original G-Class include a grab handle in front of the front passenger and chrome switches for the three differential locks. Boot capacity is 667-litres - or 1,941-litres with the seats folded.

Market and Model

Pricing starts at around £101,500 for the base G400d 'Edition' variant; it's around £108,000 if you want sportier 'AMG Line Premium' trim - and around £116,000 with 'AMG Line Premium Plus' spec.which comes with 'AMG Line' trim. The Mercedes-AMG G 63 variant costs just under £154,000 - or just under £172,000 for the top 'Magno Edition' version. Standard equipment on the Mercedes-AMG variant includes a 12.3-inch digital cockpit display and a 12.3-inch infotainment display - creating a widescreen cockpit. Plus there's 64-colour ambient lighting, Thermatronic three-zone automatic climate control, a Burmester surround sound system and a 'Parktronic' parking system with a 360-degree camera. Other features include Multibeam LED headlights with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, an electric sunroof and smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto). AMG kit on the G 63 includes the AMG sports exhaust system, 20-inch alloy wheels finished in titanium grey, AMG Ride Control suspension and AMG high-performance brakes. Plus as usual with a G-Class, there's permanent four-wheel drive with three 100% locking differentials.Safety-wise, there's a Driving Assistance package that features Blind Spot Assist and Active Distance Assist Distronic. Options include an 'AMG Night package' that includes 21-inch alloy wheels (22-inch alloys available as a cost option) and exterior details finished in obsidian black. There's also a 'Winter package' that adds a heated windscreen and an auxiliary heater.

Cost of Ownership

Given that the G-Class tends to be purchased by individuals of rather hefty net worth, the day to day running costs aren't hugely relevant to the buying decision. That said, Mercedes is a company that likes to measure itself by some tough criteria and inefficiency is seen in company circles as an example of engineering laziness. It's not something that looks good on the corporate account. To that end, Mercedes has worked at improving the efficiency of the G-Class range across the board but even so, the monster G 63 AMG model only manages 17.2mpg on the combined cycle. Emissions are no better, with this MK2 model G 63's 373g/km showing; Al Gore won't be tooling about in one of these. The G400d fares a little better but maybe not by as much as you'd imagine - 26.4mpg and 281g/km. Most rivals do better. But can any of them get you where a G-Class will go? We rather doubt it.

Summary

Judging the Mercedes-Benz G-Class by the usual criteria just doesn't work. The normal rules resolutely don't apply. It's an oddity but a rather wonderful one and long may it continue. This second generation re-design offers proof that the G-Class has moved with the times, whilst maintaining its essential character. It's unashamedly expensive and when you examine the actual prices these cars leave dealers for, it's hard to justify. Best not to even try. With huge sales mopped up by the Middle East, Russia, China and the US, the UK is very much a minority interest market, but that doesn't mean the G-Class doesn't attract interest. The G400d diesel model would appear to be the most relevant to our requirements but if you're going to be silly, go the whole hog and stretch to the G 63 AMG. It's something strange and wonderful and the motoring world is better for its existence.

Key Information

Transmission Type
Transmission TypeAutomatic
Fuel Type
Fuel TypeDiesel
Emissions
Emissions282.00g/km
Top Speed
Top Speed130mph

Full Details

Standard Equipment

Technical Data

Emissions - ICE

  • CO
    0.092
  • HC
    Not Available
  • HC+NOx
    0.04
  • Noise Level dB(A)
    71
  • NOx
    0.019
  • Particles
    0.0007
  • Standard Euro Emissions
    EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb
    282

Engine and Drive Train

  • Camshaft
    DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor
    Yes
  • CC
    2925
  • Compression Ratio
    15.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout
    IN-LINE
  • Cylinders
    6
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm)
    82
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm)
    92.3
  • Engine Layout
    NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery
    COMMON RAIL
  • Gears
    9 SPEED
  • Number of Valves
    24
  • Transmission
    SEMI-AUTO

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies
    No
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb
    10.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High
    11.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High
    9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low
    12.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium
    10.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb
    26.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High
    23.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High
    31.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low
    22.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium
    27.7

General

  • AdBlue
    Yes
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying
    No
  • Badge Engine CC
    3.0
  • Badge Power
    330
  • Based On ID
    Not Available
  • Coin Description
    d
  • Coin Series
    AMG Line Premium +
  • Generation Mark
    2
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years
    30
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years
    3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %
    90
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %
    83
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09
    5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %
    78
  • NCAP Safety Assist %
    72
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?
    No
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months
    12
  • Service Interval Mileage
    12500
  • Special Edition
    No
  • Special Order
    No
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage
    Unlimited
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years
    3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class
    M1

Performance

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs)
    6.4
  • Engine Power - BHP
    330
  • Engine Power - KW
    243
  • Engine Power - RPM
    3600
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT
    516
  • Engine Torque - MKG
    71.4
  • Engine Torque - NM
    700
  • Engine Torque - RPM
    1200
  • Top Speed
    130

Test Cycles

  • Emissions Test Cycle
    WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level
    RDE 2

Tyres

  • Alloys?
    Yes
  • Space Saver?
    Yes
  • Tyre Size Spare
    SPACE SAVER
  • Wheel Style
    AMG 5 TWIN SPOKE
  • Wheel Type
    20" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Height
    1969
  • Height (including roof rails)
    Not Available
  • Length
    4817
  • Wheelbase
    2890
  • Width
    1931
  • Width (including mirrors)
    2187

Weight and Capacities

  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
    100
  • Gross Vehicle Weight
    3150
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)
    1941
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)
    667
  • Max. Loading Weight
    661
  • Max. Roof Load
    150
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked
    3500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked
    750
  • Minimum Kerbweight
    2489
  • No. of Seats
    5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb
    13.6
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  • Competitive Prices
  • Full Warranties
  • Price Match Promise

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Customer Reviews

   
Julie Judge

Julie Judge

"Excellent Service I would definitely recommend. Scott and Holly have been outstanding. Thank you so much I love my new car!!."

"a week ago"

Sean Annells

Sean Annells

"First class service from start to finish. Great communication and very competitive on pricing. Always wanted to help and nothing was to much trouble. Tom always replied to my emails as soon as he could and always went the extra mile to answer my questions. Would definitely recommend Silverstone Fleet to anyone."

"3 months ago"

Jen Lamplough

Jen Lamplough

"Excellent friendly, advice when helping me to choose a new electric vehicle. Customer service has been great thank you :)"

"a week ago"

Sonia Smyth

Sonia Smyth

"Very professional service, great communication from start to finish. I would highly recommend."

"a week ago"

Craig Ablett

Craig Ablett

"The whole team at SFM have been great from start to finish! Aby talked me through lots of options before I finally made a choice and ordered. Holly has kept me updated through out and been on hand to answer any questions I have had. Scott also spent time with me and rid me of my range anxiety going across to a full EV. I would highly recommend getting in touch with SFM for any of your car needs."

"a week ago"

Google reviews
Google rating: 5 | 171 reviews