By Sala Masindane
In a country where size and sound matters, mind the pun. The introduction of the G400d would not make sense in terms of sales and popularity. There’s probably an explanation to the madness but also scope for some of us who prefer the body more than the sound. The G63 sells like hotcakes considering the 3 bar (million) price range but you hardly ever meet these drivers off-road. Not saying the car is not capable, we all know how it does however the G350 or G400 seems more suited for daily and off-roading.
The G-Wagon retains what has worked for it through the years but with evolution in design. The former includes the spare wheel on the tailgate and the indicators that are on top of the front wings. While the updates include front LED headlights and a bumper that looks part of the SUV. Not to mention the “Stronger Than Time” logo that can be seen across the body.
Inside, is where the G-Class shows its modern nature. The new materials, steering wheel, centre console, and double screens dominate the dash and lift the slightly roomier interior. The two 12.3-inch displays with extra crisp visuals offer a digital odometer and infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While the cabin is a pleasurable space to be in, it’s not roomy as appears from the outside. The rear legroom is a bit cramped but thankfully there is 667 litres of boot space that makes up for the limitations.
The real changes can be found underneath the “skin” of the new G-Class as it features a new fully independent suspension with Mercedes-Benz’s latest safety assist systems and electromechanical power steering, with locking differentials and low range gearing ensuring that the W464 is as capable off-road as the outgoing model.
Under the hood, Mercedes-Benz has fitted a 243kW/700Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder Diesel engine while the power is sent to all the wheels with the assistance of a nine-speed automatic transmission. The G400d is well equipped to take on most terrains and is comfortable as a day-to-day drive. Thanks to the high seating position the ride height is and of course that lends itself to some body roll. Though it may not have the thunderous V8 engine sound compared to its older sibling the G63, it is also capable and fuel efficient. Our best consumption came in at 11.9l/100km which is not far from the 9.6l/100km that the manufacturer claims. Which are good numbers for an SUV of this size.
The updates may be subtle but there’s something about the old-fashioned styling that still demands attention from the on-lookers and will save you 500k from the G63.
The Mercedes-Benz 400d is priced from R2,892,840 and the price includes a 2-year warranty with no mileage limit and 5-year/100 000km.
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