When it comes to the Mercedes G-Class the favoured trims of choice tend to come with a bunch of AMG badges – but instead of the boilerplate G 63, you should really be ordering this new straight-six engined G 350d
A proper Mercedes-Benz has a proper straight-six engine, or so the laws of the land read before the world went mad for niches, preferably ones with four-door coupes and big ride heights involved.
But back when things were simpler you bought a Merc and you got an inline six, and now if you’re going the whole retro route you may as well go all the way. Since 1979 the G-Class hasn’t changed much, except in status, going from an ambulance to the Pope mobile and then to the front of the valet car park.
Now that the second-generation G is out, it heads Mercedes’ SUV line-up as the flagship model serviced by AMG’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 in the G 63. However for the full G experience and to really stick to tradition, you should actually be ordering your 2019 Geländewagen in the new G 350d trim which packs an appropriate straight-six engine.
Even better, it’s a diesel, so you’ll always have bags of torque at the ready and you’ll never have to queue at a fuel station in the UAE again. Available to order right now, the 2019 G 350d uses the company’s new OM 656 diesel engine with two-stage turbocharging to produce 286 horsepower and 600Nm of torque. Fine, that’s less than the 850Nm you get in the G 63, but the diesel’s power comes on from just 1,200rpm. In addition the Germans claim this is the most efficient G of all time, yet it will still do zero to 100km/h in 7.4 seconds and top out at 199km/h. Not bad at all for a gasthaus on wheels.
There is also the matter of looks, and to our eye the slightly more utilitarian G 350d looks way better than the kitsch AMG model. It’s also fair pointing out that even though the diesel version is the entry-level model we’re still talking about a AED400,000 vehicle here.
Still, if you really want to go the traditional route and embrace retroism, there’s always the second-hand market and all the proper Gs to consider. After all those old tartan seats are hard to beat.