Mercedes-Benz is an auto manufacturer based in Stuttgart, Germany. Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, first used the name in 1926. Mercedes-Benz is one of the Big Three German luxury auto manufacturers, alongside Audi and BMW. The brand is one of the best selling luxury automotive brands in the world, and Mercedes vehicles, including Mercedes sports utility vehicles, are exported to a wide variety of countries and regions.
One of the oldest luxury SUV vehicles in the world is actually a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle model. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, also known as the G-Wagen, went into production in 1979 and it is still available. This Mercedes sport utility vehicle is produced in a Magna Steyr assembly facility for Mercedes in Graz, Austria. It was originally developed as a military sport utility vehicle, and development began in 1972, focusing on safety, comfort, and off road ability. In 1981, Mercedes made some upgrades to the G-Class, such as an automatic transmission and air conditioning. A facelift in 1990 was the beginning of other interior, exterior, and mechanical revisions, helping the vehicle remain competitive with other high class truck and SUV models. Although the G-Class fits in the mid size SUV category, it has a rigid, boxy shape and features body-on-frame construction, which makes it unlike any other mid size sport utility vehicle of recent design. Mercedes-Benz planned to replace the G-Class in 2006 with the GL-Class crossover, but the G-Class remained popular enough that it escaped its planned discontinuation. Late model examples of the G-Class offer modern features such as navigation, Bluetooth wireless integration, and voice control. This Mercedes sport utility vehicle has enjoyed the longest production run in the company’s history, and is planned to continue at least through 2015.
Another long-running Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle model is the M-Class, which was also intended to be a replacement for the G-Class. The M-Class is a mid size SUV that was introduced in 1997 as a 1998 model year vehicle. For the second generation, it was redesigned and reclassed as a crossover rather than a traditional sport utility vehicle. The M-Class remains a popular offering in the Mercedes-Benz SUV lineup. And even though the GL-Class, another Mercedes sport utility vehicle, did not replace the G-Class as planned, the GL-Class was still released in 2006. This addition to the Mercedes-Benz SUV lineup is a full size crossover that offers three rows of seating for a total of seven occupants. Two other crossover models followed: the compact GLK-Class in 2008, and the compact GLA-Class in 2013.