Mercedes-Benz G-Class in South Africa
New interior for this true character
- LED daytime driving lamps and new exterior mirrors
- Completely redesigned dashboard and centre console
- High-quality trim
- COMAND Online with internet access
The exterior of the G-Class has changed little since 1979. It retains the timeless design that has made it a trendsetter in the off-road vehicle segment. This luxury off-roader from Mercedes-Benz has long been considered a design icon. So, even with this latest facelift, there seemed little need to make major changes.
Instead, a little subtle upgrading of the exterior design has brought the G-Class into line with the current state of the art. The upgrading includes new exterior mirrors with integrated directional indicators and front area lighting, painted in the vehicle colour. The warning signal for the standard new Blind Spot Assist system is also integrated here. A memory function allows up to three drivers to store their personal settings for the electrically folding mirrors.
Also new are the LED daytime running lamps located underneath the round headlamps in the headlamp unit and the optional 18-inch bi-colour light-alloy wheels.
Generally speaking, the exterior design of the G-Class serves to underline its robustness, sense of purpose and outstanding off-road capability. The side view is characterised by its clear lines and broad, flat surfaces. The side skirts, beltline and roof edge are aligned in parallel. Similarly severe and functional in its horizontal alignment is the rub strip at door-handle height. Two large windows in the rear are a further characteristic of the long-wheelbase 5-door vehicle.
Characteristic features of the front of the vehicle are, above all, its distinctive three-louvre radiator grille featuring a central three-pointed star, the steeply raked A-pillars and the upright windscreen. The round headlamps feature state-of-the-art bi-xenon technology, while the oval fog lamps integrated into the front bumper incorporate the cornering light function. With its broad track and distinctive wheel arch lining, the G-Class displays a very solid stance when seen from the rear. The rear fog lamp and reversing lamp are integrated into the rear bumper. Access to the load compartment is via a large rear door, hinged on the left, which carries a spare wheel prominently mounted on the outside.
The G 500 runs as standard on 18-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels (265/60 R18 on 7.5 J x 18 ET63). The standard specification of the G 350 BlueTEC is the 18-inch 5-twin-spoke light alloy rims (265/60 R18 7.5J x 18 ET 63) and includes 16-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels (265/70 R16 on 7.5 J x 16 ET63) as a no charge option.
New options for the exterior of the G-Class include the colours magnetite black, tenorite grey and indium grey. All in all, the paint range comprises 21 colours, of which 13 metallic, and eight designo shades.
Interior - with added luxury and comfort
A low window line and the raised seat position have always ensured exceptional all-round visibility in the G-Class - an advantage not only in arduous terrain. The fundamental off-road character of the vehicle forms a successful symbiosis with the high-grade luxury appointments. Just a glance - and a touch - are enough to recognise that only the finest materials have been used here. Every single detail is a fine example of meticulous handcraftsmanship.
Mercedes-Benz has now enhanced this high aesthetic standard still further with the introduction of a redesigned dashboard with a new instrument cluster and a completely new centre console with centre dome. Many of the characteristic elements in the interior have, however, been retained. These include the grab handle for the front passenger, the switches for the three differential locks, which are clearly positioned in the driver's field of view and highlighted in chrome trim, and a redesigned selector lever in the centre console. When it's dark, ambient lighting helps to create a stylish atmosphere.
The cockpit is well laid out and functional in structure. The dashboard incorporates an instrument cluster with two sporty round dials plus, in the middle, a multifunction TFT display with a screen diagonal of 11.4 cm, which shows information from the on-board computer relating to the assistance systems.
The driver sits behind a new, electrically adjustable 4-spoke multifunction steering wheel with a rim trimmed in nappa leather and twelve function buttons. The steering wheel can be adjusted electrically and pivots automatically upwards in order to make getting in and out of the vehicle easier.
The centre dome, with vent openings in the middle and a free-standing central display, is slightly convex in shape and tapers away towards the base. Thematically grouped clusters of controls, with flawlessly designed and yet extremely functional switches, are intuitive to use. The COMAND Online system is controlled via the COMAND Controller on the front of the armrest.
The switches for the three differential locks have a high-quality chrome finish. The various controls are similarly new and high-quality in design.
The stylish detailing of the vehicle includes the generous use of high-quality trim. The G 350 BlueTEC and the G 500 models are fitted as standard with burr walnut wood trim. The G 63 AMG includes designo black piano lacquer trim elements as standard, as well as the optional AMG carbon-fibre trim including a designo wood/leather steering wheel with a designo black piano lacquer finish.
Seats with long-distance comfort
The seats in the G-Class are equipped, even in the standard specification, with numerous convenience functions. These include, for example, a memory function for the driver's seat, seat heating front and rear, and NECK-PRO high-comfort head restraints on the front seats.
The seats also include electric lumbar support for both driver and front passenger, making them particularly comfortable on long journeys. Such ride comfort is further enhanced with the standard comfort package seats, comprising multi-contour and climatised seats.
Leather seats in black, grey and chestnut are a further standard feature for the G 350 BlueTEC and for the G 500 models. The G 63 AMG offers the designo Exclusive package that includes sports seats in two-tone design leather (choice of six colours) with diamond-patterned quilting for the seats and door panelling as standard.
State-of-the-art infotainment with internet access
A visual as well as functional highlight that is fitted as standard in all versions of the G-Class is the new COMAND Online "Cockpit Management and Data System" with internet access and 6-disc DVD changer. This is a car radio and a CD/DVD player in one. Bluetooth telephony and simplified car telephone operation are included in the scope of this system. The free-standing, high‑resolution TFT colour display with a screen diagonal of 17.8 cm (800 x 480 pixels) is positioned above the centre dome. Positioning the monitor here minimises the extent to which the driver is distracted.
COMAND Online is operated via what is known as a “Controller”, located just in front of the armrest on the centre console. This is the optimum ergonomic position for it, allowing easy and safe operation. The Controller is a very high-quality rotary push-button with a galvanised finish, and can be moved intuitively in eight directions. Functions can also be activated or confirmed by turning and pressing it. A user-friendly new control logic for the main menus as well as for the sub-menus, which open up step by step, enables drivers to leaf through the menus safely and in a targeted manner.
COMAND Online encompasses the following features:
- FM radio twin tuner with phase diversity and an additional RDS/TMC tuner for traffic information,
- entry-level 4 x 25 W audio signal amplifier,
- six-disc DVD changer,
- internet access
- integrated navigation system with map display including bird's eye view and 3D map,
- integrated hard disc for navigation data and additional functions (e.g. music server),
- LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system,
- Off-road functions such as route recording or a compass function are
also built in, enabling the driver to find his/her way in rough terrain. In this case the compass direction is shown both on the display of the new instrument cluster and on the COMAND screen.
COMAND Online also supports the following components:
- Harman Kardon Logic7® surround sound system,
- Media Interface,
- TV receiver.
COMAND Online provides internet access, making it possible to browse freely on the internet and gain quick access to the Mercedes-Benz Online service whenever the car is stationary. These integral services include weather information and a POI search via Google. A route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps can also be sent to the car in this way.
The navigation function in COMAND Online also has new functions to offer, such as a 3D display with three-dimensional city views. Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be stored or imported via an SD card, plus four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, including a particularly economical variant.
COMAND Online also incorporates digital operating instructions for the G-Class. Owners can thus browse at their convenience through this reference work, enhanced here with special graphics, on the COMAND display unit.
New online services for COMAND Online
Three Mercedes-Benz apps are available to customers for use with COMAND Online:
- for calling up weather forecasts and maps,
- for a Local Search from Google, displaying Google Street View images,
- plus Google Panoramio photos, with the option of searching for
destinations in the extensive Google archives.
All COMAND Online users also have access to a Facebook app.