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Car Review

Mercedes-Benz G580 review

Published: 13 May 2024


What is it like on the inside?

A G-Wagen, with very little to tell you that you’re powered by electricity. The three buttons in the middle no longer house the diff-locks (front, centre, rear), and now feature the G-Steer, Low-range and G-Turn options. There are different animations, but it’s very much like the ICE cars.

There’s still a quite upright feel (so you can still see those indicator lights on top of the front wings), a big Jesus handle on the dash in front of the passenger, and still relatively tight room in the back. The G580 doesn’t suffer in particular for space compared to the ICE variants either; just a 10mm rise in the boot floor, but nothing to write home about.

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What about connectivity and screens?

This is probably where the biggest interior change lies, but it’s common to this next-generation of G-Wagen. There’s now a big 12.3-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash, complementing the driver’s information screen directly up front. Connectivity is good, ADAS all present and correct. Textures and materials are all still top-notch, though Mercedes’ light obsession with silver trim still irritates.

There’s a load of features, too. An ‘off-road cockpit’ that displays all the relevant functions (tyre pressures, inclination, compass, torque-to-wheel), camera-based ‘transparent bonnet’ so you can see which rocks you’re about to scrape over, off-road cruise control… everything you might need. And the screens are clear, crisp and fast. Maybe a little bit grandiose, but we’ll take it.

Anything else?

Off road range. It’s a thing. Essentially, electric is much better at off-roading than anyone imagines. Torque, quiet and control. But the one thing that people miss is that range really isn’t that much of an issue. You use brake recuperation more off-road, and you’re not pushing the car through the air all the time. The G580 also has a low-range ‘box (actually ‘boxes) as a torque multiplier, so the motors are less stressed.

It’s more about hours of operation than linear mileage. Most people aren’t seriously overlanding - more having a day out off-road - and the G580 will do more than 99 per cent of people want or need. Just don’t ask about the paint repair costs when you take it down that green lane with brambles all down the sides.

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