Mercedes G-Wagen gets a big luxury upgrade

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has had a modern makeover without losing those classic looks

Mercedes G-Class
(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

The Geländewagen, or G-Wagen as it’s more commonly known has been Mercedes-Benz’s off-road vehicle for the last 45 years. Launched in 1979, this utilitarian, boxy 4x4 is a far cry from the look and feel of the S-Class, GL and Maybach models but it retains a huge following. And while it may be all function on the outside, inside it can be just as luxurious as anything else adorned in that three-pointed star. 

To celebrate its long service, the G-Class has been given some serious upgrades for 2024, bringing it up to date – and beyond – the rest of the fleet. The good news for fans of the OG-Wagen is that despite these upgrades, the vehicle doesn’t look that different from the outside. Instead, the focus has been on the engines and the interior. 

Yes, the W465 shape is a subtle change on that iconic G-Class shell. There’s a redesigned front bumper with an improved front camera, four bars on the grille (rather than three), a more aerodynamic A-pillar, which also reduces interior noise and a lower-mounted rear camera for better vision.

Mercedes G-Class

(Image credit: Future)

Electrified engines

There are three new G-Class models with three different engines, but all three are mild hybrids, featuring a 17kW motor to provide an additional 20 horsepower and 200Nm of torque. The G500 uses a 6-cylinder 3.0-litre petrol engine, while the G450d is the 6-cylinder 3.0-litre diesel model. The top model is the Mercedes-AMG G63 with a 4.0-litre V8, with 605hp and a 4.3-second 0-62mph acceleration. 

Of course, as these are designed to be off-road vehicles, that torque is all important too. The G450d will give 950Nm torque, while the G500 provides 760Nm and the G63 a huge 1050Nm from that mild hybrid V8. To ensure optimal traction, 40% of this is delivered to the front axle, while 60% goes to the rear. There are three mechanical differential locks and a low-range gear available, with switching available at up to 43mph (25mph downshifting). 

The dynamic select system provides four on-road and three off-road driving programmes, while the AMG version features five on-road options and three off-road, with the added benefit of the AMG ride control suspension and the AMG Active balance control to adjust the stiffness of the suspension. 

Mercedes G-Class

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)


Tech on the new G-class starts from the moment you unlock the door, as it features integrated Keyless-Go. This automatically unlocks the door when you grab the door handle – providing it detects a key nearby. This also allows a keyless start just by pressing the start button. Purists will be pleased to hear that, despite this door tech, you still get that reassuring slam shut, rather than a modern soft close when shutting the doors.

On the dash, there is a 12.3-inch driver display and a 12.3-inch touchscreen centre display, running the latest version of the MBUX operating system. This includes augmented reality navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and the MBUX voice assistant. You still get the touchpad in the centre, too. 

The G-Class even comes with dual 11.6-inch rear displays for the passengers and the Burmester 3D surround sound system, with Dolby Atmos, as an option – which is one of the best sound systems on the market.

Driver assistance hasn’t been forgotten here either. The G-Class features Active Lane Keeping, Brake Assist and Park Assist as standard. There’s also Active Steering Assist and route-based speed adjustment available. 

Mercedes G-Class

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Ultra lux

For those wanting luxury, the Mercedes-AMG G63 model will be the go-to. Not only does this have that powerful 4.0-litre V8, active hydraulic suspension and dynamic drive modes, but it has a bunch of extras to make it look and feel special. 

For those that don’t want it in black (the G Wagen always looks good in black), the Manufaktur hyper blue paintwork is exclusive to the G63 and looks stunning. There’s a special AMG badge on the bonnet and an AMG fuel cap and up to 22-inch alloys as an option. Carbon Fibre details include the radiator grille, bumper guards and an impressive spare wheel cover. 

Inside the car, there’s a special AMG performance three-twin-spoke steering wheel, finished in Nappa leather to go with the Nappa leather trim and a special Supersport driver display mode, which includes AMG displays for driving data and telemetry. 

Prices for the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class (G-Wagen) start from 122,808 Euro (£105,270) and will be available later this year. We expect the new AMG G63 to start from around £180,000 / $180,000.

Mercedes G-Class

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

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Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.