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Mercedes-Benz G-class (Geländewagen)



  • I find myself in situations now where people are asking me why I have mud and swamp grass hanging from my front bumper and trailer hitch. Time to put the lift on and buy some bigger tires.

    I was watching a special on TLC about 4x4s and they had a section on a Rover driving school where they would take the vehicles over a 40 deg side slope. Apparently most people begin to feel uneasy at around 15 deg because the angles feel so much worse than they really are.
  • steve, maybe this street doesnt qualify as an actual street(more of an alley), but I am not kidding when I say this street had an angle of at least 40 degrees, no overestimation or exageration.
  • Hey, Im sorry that I have to ask this stuff in here, but it seems like the Gwagon folks are the only people that are serious about Off-Roading in Town Hall.

    But I am curious, what do you guys think of the new Toyota 4 runner? It sounds like a great new SUV with a continued emphasis on offroading and affordability. Kinda like a less luxurious baby Land Cruiser.

    Read about it in the first drive section on edmunds.

    BTW, saw my first G500 the other day, driving a trail to the top of one of our mild local peaks in the San Luis Obispo area. It had no visual difficulty whatsoever. I also saw it traverse a side slope of about 12-15 degrees, without any wobble or sway. Impressive. Just make it cheaper!!!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Wishnhigh1, you bring the clinometer, I'll pick up a loaf of the extra sour. Shouldn't take us more than an afternoon to put this to rest, and then we can head across the bay to Spengers for a shrimp scatter plate. :-)

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  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Yep I've seen that one. The guy speaks with aplomb into the camera as his "tyres" chew the gnarly slop crossing the sidehill. He calmly discusses rolling your truck, at which point he aims downhill and punches it. Great footage!

    Although it happens only at extreme angles, it IS possible to roll a Rover. This one went over backward.


  • Hey does anybody think that engineers rate these vehicles for ratings that they are not capable of in real life?

    Hypothetical example, SUV1 is rated to withstand a 40 degree sideslope...however with the driver in the cockpit it is only capable of 36 because of the new center of gravity?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    That's an interesting observation!

    I just did a quick back of the envelope calculation and a 200 pound passenger in a 4000 pound vehicle could cause the center of gravity to be raised by 5% which translates to about 1.5° shift in the "critial angle." It's in the ballpark.

    Of course it depends on vehicle details (I'm just making a very crude estimate here) and whether the driver is on the upslope or downslope side of he vehicle.

    Obviously, the engineers do the calculations more precisely and I am certain they take it into account - if for no other reason than liability concerns.

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  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    There is certainly more to it than even that. Trail conditions of course make a big difference too. Many times as you approach the limit there may be a little bump that goes along with it. That bump may provide enough acceleration momentum to go over at under the rating.

    sbcooke, There is no actual differance in body panels. The front fascia is different from old to new. In addition fender flares are standard now and were optional on the old ones. The look is different, the body is actually the same.

    On the G's cost. There are many of us writing MBUSA to send us a less expensive stripped version at reduced cost. I think the thing would sell like crazy at say $40k new. They have a great engine coming here already in the Sprinter Van. It is a 2.7 inline six turbo diesel. That engine in a stripped G would make an awesome off road and general utility vehicle. While I doubt it will happen, I sure hope it does :-)

    I am back from Moab! I come bearing many pics! If you want to see a nice picture of lean angle, I have it. I think it is the third or fourth one in. 2000 G500 on a nice sidehill with one front wheel in the air. He scared the heck out of me, and I was just watching! There are about 70 pics that take a couple minutes to load on a slow connection. I think it is worth it but, they are my pics ;-)

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I think the difference on the one I saw was that the spare was more centererd and on a different style carrier, rather than on the door and the interior was very sparse.

    Nice pictures. Some of those climbs look pretty hairy. Nice Job!
  • Yeah, even a momentary turn uphill will cause enough momentum to tip at the limit. I am just wondering how the engineers come up with that rating. Is it a non-moving, zero payload test, or is it real world conditions.
  • 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: 52,683
    Road Test: 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500



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  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    What a crock, and what makes the Rover so much more desirable, a viscuos center differential?.
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