The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class full-size sport-utility vehicle might not be on the radar of many luxury buyers, but the rarity - and resultant exclusivity - of this truck is a big part of its appeal. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is the urban assault vehicle of choice for families who can appreciate its throwback looks, the splendor of its comfy interior, and its ability to ford rivers, climb mountains, and pretty much conquer any terrain that might be thrown its way. Refreshed for the current model year, the G-Class now boasts even plusher digs than the previous model, as well as a few other key changes that should speak to its (hard)core audience.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
01. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Features Subtly Revised Styling
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class displays a kind of classy brutality when it comes to its exterior styling. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is all right angles and hard lines, from its dramatically upright greenhouse to its stiff, bolt-straight posture, and taken together these cues communicate to even the most casual observer that this SUV means business. Mercedes-Benz elected to garnish, rather than alter the G-Class' external architecture for 2013, which means that LED running lights now add detail to the vehicle's front end and turn signal indicators grace the vehicle's side mirrors. Aside from that, buyers get what they have been offered for decades: a purpose built, industrial beauty that is unlike any other luxury suv on the market.
02. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Comes From A Military Background
A big part of why the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class looks like an extra from a movie about the Second World War has to do with its military roots. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is in fact derived from the platform of a vehicle that was originally developed for use by European armies. The civilian version was not originally sold in the United States, but Mercedes-Benz became aware of a potential market for the vehicle after grey-market importers began shipping the car to America in order to satisfy the demands of off-road enthusiasts who craved the full-frame, tough-as-nails design of the G-Class.
03. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Delivers Extreme Off-Road Capability
As might be expected given its origins as a military transporter, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class does far more than look the part of an all-terrain master. In fact, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class comes with a wide spectrum of off-road friendly features, including a full-time four-wheel drive system with low-range gearing, not one but three locking differentials (which can be individually controlled via toggle switches on the dash), and excellent departure and approach angles. A Hill Start Assist feature reduces wheel spin when navigating steep inclines, and downshifting the vehicle's transmission allows it to creep forward when descending from those same heights at a controlled crawl without the need to engage the brakes.
04. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Comes With V-8 Power
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class features a revised version of the previous year's 5.5-liter eight-cylinder engine. Now tuned to offer 388 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque, these mammoth figures represent an increase of seven ponies over the older G-Class mill. The vehicle's seven-speed automatic transmission has also been given special treatment, with an eye towards doing whatever it can to improve the SUV's fuel mileage. Of course, such a large, heavy, and low-geared beast isn't the most frugal option in the Mercedes-Benz stable - at least not in the gasoline-only versions sent to North America - and the G-Class returns fuel economy figures of 12-mpg in stop and go driving and 15-mpg on the highway.
05. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Provides An Updated Cabin
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class' exterior styling may have received but scant attention for 2013, but inside it is a different story. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class features a dramatically improved interior aimed at bringing the full-size SUV in line with the rest of the German automaker's lineup. An all-new dashboard arrangement sees deep-set gauges flanking a color information display, snug behind a more modern-looking steering wheel, and the vehicle's center console is graced by a top-mounted LCD screen. The console itself has been re-organized to provide a more logical and aesthetically-pleasing home for the many buttons and controls necessary to operate the G-Class' HVAC and entertainment systems, and wood or carbon fiber trim (your choice) abounds throughout the interior.
06. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Is A Very Luxurious All-Terrain Vehicle
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class' ability to cross a desert or two before lunch time is made even more impressive by the fact that, when experienced from the inside, stepping the truck from boulder to boulder feels almost like gliding down smooth two-lane blacktop. Incredibly quiet and refined, the passenger compartment of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class resembles that of a high end sedan rather than a brutal rock crusher. Standard equipment on the G-Class includes heated and ventilated leather seats, dual automatic climate control, a sunroof, a heated windshield, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a voice control system for the vehicle's Bluetooth telephone and entertainment features.
07. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Offers High Tech Accoutrements
In addition to its standard brace of luxury gear, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class also comes with a number of technology features that many top-tier SUV shoppers have come to expect. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class offers the COMAND interface, which manages telephony, the vehicle's 40-gigabyte hard drive for storing multimedia entertainment files, and the SUV's navigation system. The vehicle also comes with PARKTRONIC parking assistance (a system of sensors that help out when maneuvering the full-size SUV through tight spots on crowded streets), and adaptive cruise control, which automatically matches the G-Class' speed with that of traffic ahead.
08. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Can Be Had In AMG Trim
Just in case nearly 400 horsepower isn't enough, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is available in the G63 AMG edition. This monster version of the massive SUV gains a twin-turbocharged 5.5-literV-8 that grinds out an incredible 544 horses and 560 lb-ft of torque. This makes the G63 the mightiest AMG version of the G-Class to have ever been built, and it helps the weighty SUV hit 60-mph from a standing start in just 5.2 seconds. The vehicle's four-wheel drive system also aides it in launching off of the line at the drag strip, where it burns through the quarter mile in 13.9 seconds. The G63 AMG's off-road capability - although not as formidable as that of the standard G-Class - is still present and accounted for, and the soundtrack that blurts from the side pipes that exit just to the rear of the driver's left ear gives it a visceral edge over almost every other high-powered SUV.
09. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Is Safe On or Off-Road
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class doesn't skimp when it comes to safety gear. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class comes standard with the mbrace2 telematics system, which offers the ability to automatically contact emergency personnel in the event of an accident, as well as track the vehicle's speed and location should it be lent out to teenagers for the evening. Electronic stability control and traction control are present and accounted for, as are a blind spot monitoring system and a rearview camera. Dual forward airbags, side curtain airbags front and rear, and seat-mounted side airbags round out the protective features offered with the SUV.
10. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Has No Competition
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is essentially in a class by itself. Yes, there are other off-road capable premium SUVs like the Land Rover Range Rover, and vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler match the G-Class in terms of capability, but not comfort. When it comes to combining toughness with luxury, however, there simply isn't a model that is comparable to the Mercedes-Benz truck. This is doubly true for the G63 AMG - a vehicle that represents 50 percent of all G-Class sales in the United States - as full-frame hot-rod luxury SUVs are a dying breed in the American market. With a price tag of over $100,000, the G-Class continues to confound the expectations of critics and over-deliver when it comes to performance, opulence, and style.