As you now know, I recently bought a 1999 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet. It is a tremendously weird vehicle. It looks like a Photoshopped version of a normal Mercedes G-Wagen — I call it the Mercedes-Benz G500 Suzuki Sidekick Edition. So what would possess me to buy this vehicle?
Believe it or not, I wanted something even more rational than what I already had. I might be the only person to ever buy a G500 Cabriolet because it was a step forward on the scale of rational automobiles.
I say this because for the last year and a half, my daily driver has been a 1997 Land Rover Defender. It’s a great vehicle, but it’s just a bit of a nightmare. It has absolutely no safety equipment, no anti-lock brakes, no airbags — nothing. It’s also incredibly slow — 0-to-60 mph time is around 12 seconds — and it’s not very reliable. I’ve owned it for two and a half years, and it’s left me stranded me twice.
But I love it. I love the idea of a convertible off-roader — a top-down, wind-in-your-hair vehicle that you can take on the trails. I just want one that’s … better. The same basic idea as the Defender, but more, well, rational.
And that’s how I arrived at the G500 Cabriolet. Yes, it’s ugly, and, yes, it’s way too expensive. Mine cost well over $100,000, which sounds absurd. And it absolutely is. But that’s where the market is for these things. Even in Europe, G500 Cabriolets from my G’s era mainly trade for between 90,000 and 115,000 euros — or somewhere between $100,000 to $125,000.
But here’s what I got: a smooth, more reasonable ride than my rough, crashy Defender. Power windows, compared to windows that slide open and thus can never be opened more than halfway. Heated seats, and heat and air conditioning, compared to no climate control whatsoever. Airbags! Remote keyless entry! A power-operated top! Door locks! (Not just power door locks. Doors that lock! At all!) And more than enough power for highway merging and anything I might want to do. It’s the Defender, but modern. Find a Mercedes-Benz G-Class for sale
Now, you’re probably going to say that I could’ve had all of that stuff in a Jeep. And, yeah, that’s largely true. But I love weird, quirky cars, so I don’t want a Jeep. I want a weird, quirky car. And the G500 Cabriolet is exactly that.
Yes, it’s overpriced. Yes, it’s ugly. But it’s also very cool and unique and special, and it does precisely what I want. I’m thrilled to call it mine, even though it’s one of the strangest Mercedes-Benz models in modern memory. Find a Mercedes-Benz G-Class for sale