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The facelifted Mercedes G-Wagen has made an adorable effort to be aerodynamic. Seriously.

The big, bluff, blocky G-Class wants to be kinder to the environment. And the air. Really?

Published: 26 Mar 2024

Still looks like a G-Wagen should, dunnit? So, what’s new for the revised 2024 Mercedes ‘G-Class’, then?

Under the skin, Mercedes has squeezed in a 48-volt hybrid boost courtesy of a starter-motor generator that delivers a 20bhp / 148lb ft boost to the engines. Said engine choices are a 3.0-litre straight six petrol (G500, with 445bhp), and a six-pot diesel (G450d, with 385bhp and a monstrous 700lb ft). And yes, there’s a new AMG G63 – tap on these blue words for the full story.

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The G maintains its permanent all-wheel drive with high and low range functions, via a 9-speed automatic gearbox. You still get ground clearance of at least 241mm and a 700mm wading depth.

And when Mercedes proudly tells you it’s moved the rear-view camera from under the spare wheel cover to above the numberplate – with its own washer jet no less – you might wonder if the designers have quietly given themselves the year off, instead of changing anything… useful.

The answer is hell ja – for the G-Class is now aerodynamic and slippery. Sort of.

Keen to reduce wind noise and help the car batter its way through the air, Mercedes has added a small lip spoiler to the front of the roof, just at the top of the windscreen. It’s also modified the blocky bumpers and slapped cladding onto the front pillars in a desperate attempt to cleave the air more kindly. And have you spotted that drag-reducing cutout in the rear wheelarch? Heck, Adrian Newey would be proud of aero wizardry like that.

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Mercedes says these tweaks, along with more soundproofing, make the G quieter and more relaxing on the motorway. Something that won’t deafen you if you’re used to the whispering ambience of a Range Rover. But it’s also very keen you don’t think the G-Class has gone all soft, and road-focused.

That’s why it’s pinched Land Rover’s ‘invisible bonnet’ trick, using a camera to peek at the trail ahead when you’re climbing a slope and can’t see past your turret-like indicator housings. The revised 12.3-inch screens inside also feature a fleet of off-roading menus, which will be used by owners less often than the ‘advanced settings’ screen in your grandma’s smartphone.

A couple of useful changes you might be a fan of: keyless entry makes its way onto a G-Class for the first time, though Mercedes insists it’s kept the iconic unlocking ‘click’; which sounds like a machine gun being cocked. And speaking of the G’s doors, Mercedes has fiddled with that vent in the C-pillar to reduce the air pressure inside the cabin, which is what makes the car’s doors so ruddy tough to slam shut.

And in a fit of ‘let’s make this great big tank safe’ sensibility, Mercedes has sent its safety systems to army boot camp and finally integrated lane-following steering, anti-collision emergency braking and sign-reading cruise control into its throwback 4x4.

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Though, if you really want a G that’ll confuse and confound the neighbours, keep your eyes peeled for the all-electric version, which will be coming in the not-too-distant future. Tank-turns ahoy…

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