Mercedes-Benz G350 CDI review

Mercedes G-Wagen off roader returns in right hand drive, prices start at £79k

Evo rating
Price
from £79,975
  • Charm, strength, off-road brilliance
  • Cash, crudity

A right-hand-drive Geländerwagen hasn’t been available in the UK since 2004, but come October it’ll be back. Sales will be through Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands and the prices will reflect the largely hand-built nature of the beast: £79,975 for this ‘entry level’ G350 CDI.

In terms of NVH, outright performance and handling, a Range Rover TDV8 makes it feel like something from the Cretaceous period, but we already knew that, because the G-Wagen is very, very old. Then again, the 2987cc V6 turbodiesel motor is brand new, giving 221bhp and 399lb ft of torque. Mercedes claims 9.1sec for the 0-62mph sprint, which is perfectly adequate, and 109mph for the top speed, which is probably a little conservative, as I’ll explain in a minute.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Do not, under any circumstances, reject this thing as a cruel joke. For sheer rugged, hand-built charm, there isn’t anything in the SUV marketplace to match it. When North Korea sparks WWIII and the cockroaches finally die, all that will be left are G-Wagens. The doors clunk like a bank vault’s. Trim and build quality are exceptional, and full of pleasant idiosyncrasy too: this is a patchwork quilt of Mercedes bits from the past decade (I think the clocks are B-class), but it blends very well.

You sit a foot higher than in any other SUV, with those light repeaters marking the extremities of the bonnet. The steering is slow, the ladder chassis predictably a little cumbersome, but it grips well enough. Aerodynamics cause it problems at a high-speed cruise: fuel consumption falls drastically at 100mph.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The cabin is vast, as is the boot. All three differentials lock electronically, making it a known genius off-road, and in terms of charm I can’t think of anything truck-like I’d rather spend time in. Speaking of which, in three days I covered 2100 miles in this LHD version. It hit an indicated 121mph, but it also averaged 18mpg. Money no object, I’d love one.

Specifications

EngineV6, 2987cc, turbodiesel
Max power221bhp @ 3800rpm
Max torque399lb ft @ 1600rpm
0-609.1sec (claimed)
Top speed109mph (claimed)
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/cayman/202238/porsche-cayman-gts-40-2020-review-a-cut-price-cayman-gt4
Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 2020 review - a cut-price Cayman GT4? 

The 2020 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 regains its flat-six and therefore top-billing in the class. It’s a brilliant package for those whom a GT4 is a bit to…
16 Feb 2020
Visit/pagani/202249/eu5m-pagani-imola-revealed-with-815bhp-twin-turbocharged-v12
Pagani

€5m Pagani Imola revealed with 815bhp twin-turbocharged V12

As if the £2m Huayra BC wasn't enough, the Italian marque has unveiled yet another limited-run hardcore hypercar
17 Feb 2020
Visit/volkswagen/21153/2020-volkswagen-golf-r-mk8-spied-ahead-of-reveal
Volkswagen Golf R

2020 Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 spied ahead of reveal

Next-generation VW Golf R spotted cold weather testing prior to official launch
17 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019