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The New Mercedes-Benz G-Class Is a Huge Improvement

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2018

As you may be aware, I recently did some complaining about the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. What I mean by this is I devoted an entire article and the majority of a 26-minute video to detailing all the problems I have with the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (and specifically the crazy V12-powered G65 AMG version) and generally implying that you'd have to be crazy to purchase one.

Well, Mercedes-Benz clearly listened to my complaints, because they debuted an all-new G-Class a few weeks later, during this week's Detroit Auto Show. I strongly suspect they watched my video in early December, worked some long nights for a few weeks, and rolled out the brand-new 2019 G-Class model in mid-January. Kudos to Mercedes-Benz for such a quick turnaround.

Actually, I knew the new G-Class was coming, and I really wanted to see just how bad the current model is, which is why I made that video when I did. But given that I complained so bitterly about the outgoing G-Class, a lot of people have been asking me: What do I think of the new one? Is it better than the old one? Does it escape the fits of anger I heaped on the 2017 G65 that I reviewed only a few short weeks ago?

The answer is this: I think it's much better. Let it be known that I haven't yet seen the new G-Class, let alone driven it, so I certainly can't say for sure what I think of it. But it appears they've updated an enormous number of the things I complained about while still leaving untouched some of the things I like the most -- including, especially, the characteristic boxy styling that I truly love.

The main upgrade, of course, came to the interior, and that's where it most needed a change. You can stick up for the G-Class's exposed hinges, and its rain gutter drip rails, and its fender-mounted turn signals -- but you can't stick up for the outgoing model's crappy plastic and truly laughable ergonomics. Mercedes-Benz completely changed all this, finally bringing the G's interior into the modern era, rather than just tacking modern bits onto ugly, old parts that were apparently designed in the 1970s. The interior is no longer a stupid piecemeal of attempted modernity, but finally a cabin befitting a car that costs $120,000, or $150,000, or $225,000, which is the insane price they charge for the G65. I love it.

As for the exterior, I love it, too -- and I hope Land Rover is paying close attention as they develop the new Defender. The latest G-Class stays true to the things most people love -- including those exposed hinges -- but mostly I love that they kept its boxy, upright design largely unchanged. This is why people buy the G-Class over rivals, and it's going to be even more compelling now that it finally has the technology and the interior it deserves.

So far, the new G-Class looks very promising -- and I can't wait to drive it.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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