What is it like on the inside?
The cabin has improved almost as much as the road manners. The old one was hopelessly cramped front and back and the environment was utilitarian. Now there’s actual elbow and knee room and an extra 150mm of legroom in the back. If that suggests it’s now class-leading… it’s not, it’s just that is was terribly small before. The high floor still means the seating position in the back isn’t particularly relaxing and if you open the side-hinged tailgate you’ll find the boot is probably a bit smaller than you expect as well. The downside of a ladder-frame chassis is that it’s not anything like as space efficient as a modern monocoque.
But Merc has done a great job of tarting this one up into something relatively glamorous, something that’s going to appeal to its urban audience. The dash employs the S-Class’s twin 12-inch screens, and thoroughly modern infotainment and functionality, up to and including a 15 speaker, 590-watt Burmester sound system.
Rear visibility isn’t great, but the upright pillars, slab sides and visible bonnet actually make the G-Class easy to place for manoeuvring. That can be your excuse when your friends ask why you’ve bought a G-Class when you never drive outside the M25.
Couple more things. Apparently G-Class owners were so wedded to some of the old car’s features that Mercedes has had to engineer them into the new one, too. Specifically the door slam and door lock noises. Once heard, never forgotten. Especially the latter, if only because of its volume...