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Mercedes-Benz G-class (Geländewagen)



  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    I kind of doubt it is real world. What the heck would you choose as the "real world" scenario. My guess is that the test is non-moving with a small load like a driver and a small payload. I think the Hummer H1 gets rated at max payload not moving.

    As you can see in some of my real world pics, side lean is rarely the only lean. You are generally going up or down, sometimes at a substantial angle, at the same time.

    IMO the G and Rovers are the best at building in a low center of gravity. That is the biggest factor. For instance Jeeps are pretty tippy in stock form. Ideally they get lengthend wheelbases and get wider at the axles. If you look at the frame on a jeep, there isn't much steel there. If you look at a G you will see at least three times as much steel. The majority of the wieght is near the tops of the tires, the towering body does not carry nearly as much relative mass. So the G and the Rovers are heavy beasts compared with similar competition. They use much of the wieght in the frame to make a sturdy vehicle. The added benefit is a low center of gravity.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    I agree. You get the weight down low around the tops of the wheels and you can get some pretty spooky roll angles going. My Rover's center of gravity (mass) is just above the top of the wheels, so take a look:


    You get her over to 45 degrees and the static angle where gravity wants to roll her over is nowhere near the downhill contact point of the tire (XX). But adding weight (bodies and gear) effectively raises that CG, and you're soon spooky-close to the rollover point.

  • good illustration!
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    I must say that you guys are pretty knowledgeable! I have heard the same thing about the Discovery and G500 having a low center of gravity, preventing rollover on inclines.

    I have a '02 4Runner Limited 4x4. I am an avid off-roader. I was just wondering if you guys have any idea about the 4Runner's rollover status. The 4Runner has a very strong body-on-frame design, which i guess would lower it's center of gravity. The only difference is that it has an IFS. Track width on the 4Runner is pretty wide for the body. Thanks.
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    Toyota does a pretty good job from the factory. The clearance is good, no springs or shock hardware hanging down like many newer SUVs. I have heard of and seen a few 4-runners and Toyota pick-ups roll. I think that most that do go over are probably where they should not be or just plain foolish. Your truck should take you through some awfully serious stuff. Recall that the Disco is a good 500lbs heavier, likely concentrated down low in the frame. The G is a good 1000lbs heavier with the wieght low in the frame. This offsets the wieght carried higher, lowering the center of gravity considerably. Still I suspect that the rollover point lies well beyond the pucker point on your 4-Runner, Enjoy!
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Now THAT is a great term! I have to agree, the times we're SURE we're about to go elbows-over-teakettle it's just not that steep. But wow does it get your attention! When you're looking out the window and it seems you can almost reach out and touch the ground... that's spooky.

    Here's a trick, hang something small from a string on your mirror. When you get leaned WAY over, pause for a moment before continuing and refer that dangle-angle against something vertical like a tree. Then compare that to something on "your" vertical, like the edge of the mirror. Form the angle in your mind by comparing the two. It's a quick reference. You can even mark a safety line (say, 30 degrees) on your mirror glass with a magic marker before you go out.
  • If you put that line on the mirror you could really freak out passengers.

    It's a poor man's incline guage. Cool.

    Has anyone read the latest review of the G-500 on Edmunds? Reminded me of all the reviews that I read when I was looking for my vehicle and how much I didn't have in common with the "average" car buyer.
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    It is intersting isn't it. Car and Driver, which I have been subscribing to for a decade and a half, reviewed the 2000 G500 from Europa the importer at the time. They lambasted it, as they do all Discovery's they test too. They "off-roaded" on a rutted dirt road, hey good job guys, test it like and Explorer or Jimmy, good thinking. All they could do was complain about the admittedly steep price. The irony was that the same issue had a $250k+ Bently in it which was not slandered for its pricing. I wrote a letter. They published it :-)

    Funny thing is, back in '94 they tested one with someone to actually demonstrate the cars capabilities. They proclaimed the $120k, in 1994!, G320 to be likely worth the price of admission. You are absolutely correct though. Vehicles like this are not meant to have mainstream appeal. You gotta be a little wacko.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Road Test: 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500



    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    What a crock, and what makes the Rover so much more desirable, a viscuos center differential?.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I believe the point was that anyone who has $75K to plunk down on an SUV will probably not be taking their SUV into serious enough terrain to warrant the G's capabilities and obvious retrofit of luxury into a military vehicle. Where the Rover was designed around luxury and capabilities.

    Maybe the reviewer's should have taken a look at v12's pics first.
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    The new one is a much better car than the G500. IMO LR really has abondoned the off-road market altogether with the new model. The Disco is improved and did I hear rumours of the Defender coming back?

    Even with luxo stuff bolted to the G500, it is still crude in many ways. Just to get the triple sealed doors to close they have to be slammed. This just doesn't equate in todays soft genteel society. What sells to most $75k customers is wood and stainless trim, a good stereo, comfy seats and a creamy ride. Then package it all in a rugged looking vehicle with a pedigree, walla, you have sales.

    That is OK though. I would prefer that all of my nieghbors didn't run out and buy G's. Prior to MBUSA importing the buggers I had one of six in my state. Now I have two of probably 40. I still probably have the only two within a hundred mile radius of home though :-)

    The fact that most never go off-road is a shame, they are really fun to use. People are always very surprised to see the G getting some exercise. Most are intrigued by it, some Jeep guys though look the other way in disgust. Oh, Well!
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    V12, you're right. People will buy what appeals to them, and if the manufacturers want to stay in business, they have to deliver. This gives us the M series and the G series; one is a minivan and the other is a truck. It gave us the Rangie and the Defender; one focused toward onroad use with "some" offroad capability and the other focused toward offroad work with just enough creature comfort to get you there and back.

    Unfortunately many SUV owners now use them only to run to the mall, and independent suspension, low NVH and humongous cupholders are what sell. I'd wager you could ask 100 SUV owners what side their differentials line up under and 95 would have no idea... nor know why it matters... nor even have two solid axles.

    In my humble opinion the Discovery is perfect: it's affordable and it's basically a Defender with 10" more wheelbase (and bodywork your wife won't divorce you over). Sadly, the new DiscoveryII has gotten softer and with its overhangs I wouldn't even think of offroading one now. In my book the DI is just right. Add some lockers and tall springs and you've got a real workhorse.

    Like you, I've surprised a lot of people showing up in gnarly places with my "luxury" 4WD. The best definition of "luxury" to me is the luxury of not having to replace it every 5 years.

    Best regards, -Bob
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    This G Wagen came on top of its class in this off road event in Venezuela, notice is figthing in the mud and not in the Mall in suburbia.

  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    I find that lots of vehicles are not used as designed. I am a PCA member too. I have a Porsche that sees the racetrack several weekends each year. In my region there are thousands of members. The biggest track event brings less than 200 to truely appreciate these fine machines. Most owners are more concerned with the level of shine obtained by their favorite wax than the best brake pad compound for the track they are running. What do we call these folks? Poseurs? But again, they earn the money, they are entitled to spend it as they wish, even though in almost all cases Honda makes a better product for their use. That unfortunately would make life rather boring. So while I pity them to some extent for not fully enjoying what they have purchased, maybe their idea of "enjoyment " is different than mine. ;-)
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Well said. Consider also that many vehicles produced now have capabilities far beyond the skill of their owner. How many of the original Porsche Turbos were wrecked by someone backing them off the outside of a turn with oversteer?

    For some, it can never be fast or powerful enough. For others, it can never be too red. For me, it's all in the suspension, and it's all at walking speed.

    I just hope the court cases remain sensible enough that we don't lose our selection of truly fun toys.
  • does anyone have experience using the g 500 pulling a trailer. i have a 4000 lb trailer and wondered if using a g 500 would be like having the tail wagging the dog?
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Recently I had a chance to drive a Gwagen and tow (over 5000lbs) none of that stuff your are thinking, very steady.

    I have an ML430 and I tow my fishing boat on a tandem axle (5000lbs) and it does fine, but the Gwagen tows a lot better, first, is a heavier vehicle, (rated at 7000lbs tow cap Vs 5000lbs tow cap for the ML). Second, it has a very short distance from the axle to the hitch point, very little overhang (main problem with swaying). Third, it has solid axles and a lot sturdier frame and suspension, if you know anything about the history of the Gwagen, it was designed as a military vehicle, it was the first 4x4 in the world with three lockable differentials, used by many NATO armies for years, later MBZ experimented with the vehicle to see if civilians would be insterested in the vehicle, more or less like AM did with the Hummvee, in essence what you are getting is a military vehicle "with added" luxury.

    With the Gwagen think military, in its class is second to none.

    From the danish army, this is a serious hitch on a Gwagen.

  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    I tow my 4000lb boat with the G320. I have had six people, gear, AC running and towing the boat. It still drives like a proper Mercedes. I have towed my car on a trailer with the G as well. That is closer to 5000lbs. Just make sure you have trailer brakes. The G is a very good tow platform. The only issue may be how narrow it is. A wide trailer may be hard to see around without some mirror extensions.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Did they really call it a "Dorkmobile" or did I just have a brain cloud?

    It underscores the vast differences in use by potential buyers. Some want cush (hence the Escalade) and others want capability ... hence the Gwagen. Too bad they didn't include the new Land Rover and let it take both categories!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I had some time to kill waiting on a van at Hartsfield the other day, and I was sunning out by valet parking. There was a G-Wagon in the lower lot and I was trying to figure out what the attraction was.

    And then I got it. Have you seen the rain gutters on this thing? Perfect! You could custom build a killer Quik 'n Easy setup with those gutters. Almost worth the price of admission just for them.

    Steve, Host
  • It's been three months since the last post and it remains unactive in this discussion.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Not a lot of pent up demand, eh?

    Steve, Host
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Perhaps it's still in the penting up process! :-)

    tidester, host
  • Hi !
    Did you hear something about mounting a GM diesel V8 6.2/6.5L into an old series 460 Mercedes G? I only saw one converted G in Germany but don't have further information or details about this beast. Many Land Rovers have been upgraded with this engine in Britain but such a conversion is rare with Mercedes G's. As I'm planning to upgrade my sluggish 300GD, I would appreciate as much information as you could gather regarding this operation. ( links, texts, magazines or whatever)
    Thanks in advance,

  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    I have not had good experience with the 6.2L diesel GM engine.

    I had a job in the far north arctic and many of the trucks there had this engine. Once I buried a Suburban in a huge snowdrift at -75F ambient with 35mph winds. The engine didn't have enough power to spin all 4 wheels until I went to low range. Then I was able to do a little digging and "rock" the truck fore and aft until I freed it. I was seriously concerned for my safety, due to conditions... but largely because I didn't have the power to get through the drift, or to free myself once stuck.

    I understand the desire for a diesel... perhaps there's a better choice out there?

    Best regards
  • Hello "nanuq", good to find you here, my "old LR friend". It's interesting that this "G" board is so inactive compared to the LR board. Is it because the G people don't experience as many problems? Or do they just not care about on-line friendship, and information exchange as much - too busy maybe?

    Anyway, I just got myself a new G500 (well, actually it's a 2002 with 12,000 miles), and I just hope it is as good, fun, and reliable as my 00 DII was. I sure do miss my old friend "Rovie".

    I was also surprised at the low re-sale, or trade-in value of my "perfect" Discovery II (it cost $ 44,000 new equipped with all the goodies I had, and got a trade-in of $16,000). I was also equally surprised that I could buy an '02 $76,000 window sticker G for $56,000. I guess that's the used car business.

    I can't wait to use the G as it was intended and get some pics as it does it's thing. I've done the LR test track at the dealer, as well as the Hummer test/show-off track, and the G just laughed, and said: is that all you got to offer?.

    Happy holidays to all..
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    Both positions forward on the t-case stick are 4wd high range. To the right and back is low range 4wd and to the left and back is 2wd high. There is absolutely no difference between the two SA positions.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Look for an article by the editors about the G-Class soon!
  • johnkjohnk Posts: 2
    After owning multiple SUVs and other assorted German vehicles, the G is simply the best. I didn't buy it to cruise high end neighborhoods, bars or restaurants. This is a performer - a virtual beast of a machine. It eats my off-road trails - it makes it's own. But yet, has that head turning quotient. Great vehicle.
  • steven2steven2 Posts: 37
    The current G-Class's styling was quite unseen by most of North Americans, so of course it was a smash hit when it came out. But now, people seem to be getting over the craze, and it's type for a new G-Class. Do you think they (Mercedes) could use the next G-Class as their full size, luxury, 7 passenger SUV?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
  • johnkjohnk Posts: 2
    At 20,000 miles the G has been perfect. Eats trails and runs circles around everthing but H1s. No one should review this car unless they go off-roading. How could a reviewer ever compare the G to cushy American products. Beats out any other non-American competition.
  • jcjjjjcjjj Posts: 1
    I need advise on selling my 1985 G280 that is in great condition. I am the son of the owner and must sell this vehicle. How much is it worth? Where is the best place top advertise? Web sites don't even recognize the vehicle. Please help.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The G280 doesn't seem to be in the pre-1990 section. Heck, it's not even on eBay. It must be an odd duck :-)

    Steve, Host
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Edmunds has some good historical information on this vehicle but not pricing: - - e.html

    As for pricing, this is the kind of vehicle where you should really get a professional appraisal, so you know where you stand. Being a gray market truck in 1985 means you really can't price them against the newer US models very accurately.

    Sometimes if you cruise on Google, you can find a couple 80s models for sale. I saw a 1989 for sale through a dealer for $13,500 but just offhand that seems pretty high, and this one was four years newer and with very low miles. So I dunno.

    What you need to do is a lot of Internet research to come to an accurate number I think. You may find more comparables for sale in Europe than in the US, say through searches on, which is fine, since with Ebay and the INternet we now enjoy a much more "international" market for unusual cars and trucks.

    As for where to sell, I think is one good place and the bulletin boards of any G-Wagon clubs would be another good place. And don't forget Ebay--this type of "vintage SUV" might do very well there. Just be sure to include LOTS of pictures and a good deal of detailed description if you do an Ebay auction.
  • Are you selling the truck still and for how much?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Must be a unique vehicle; no one is talking about it.

    Steve, Host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Either that or you have to be sworn to secrecy in order to own a G-wagen.

    Steve, Host
  • makayemakaye Posts: 81
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    When is a G Wagon Not a G Wagon?

    When it is that thing. It looks like anybodys SUV. All wrong for a true G imo.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Oh dear. I bet the external rain gutters got lost in the translation too. Someone mentioned the G-Wagon in the Mazda chat tonight (chat topics go all over :)), but I've been on holiday for a few days and didn't realize it was changing this much.

    Steve, Host
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    The G Wagon is a world wide desert/all terrain military vehicle. That was its appeal to me. Granted it was old and basic, however so is the scout and that is one of the best offroaders.
  • adaviesadavies Posts: 1
    I am trying to find an older G Class two door. Where did you find yours?

  • assetsassets Posts: 4
    Does anyone know a good source for grill gurads, lamps guards and etc. for teh g 500? I've Googled teh hell out of it and can't find anything but the dealer and one outfit in the USSR. Any referrals to a good source would be much appreciated.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Did you try a search for "Geländewagen accessories?"

    Many hits were in German, but I found a few like Planet Auto.

    Steve, Host
  • assetsassets Posts: 4
    Thanks Steve, I'll try that! I'm looking for tail lamp guards, a grill/brush guard, and possibly turn signal cages like those found on the G55, but in black. If anyone has a source -please share.

  • assetsassets Posts: 4
    For those of you who have been on the same search I have for G500 GRILL GUARD AND ACCESSORIES, hope has arrived. I'm obviously not alone because a call to the dealer left me with a warning about a long back order and a quote of , get this... $2,200 for the grill guard and $1,900 for the taillight guards!!!!!!!! OUTRAGEOUS! They sell the pieces separately and charge you for every bolt and screw. I did find an aftermarket chromed stainless model for $699.00 which I am going to order, and another source for the turn-signal cages for $299.00. If one of the US truck accessory mfgs. reads this, make some bolt-ons for this damn truck and you will make a killing!
This discussion has been closed.