Mercedes simply wouldn’t have bothered fitting adaptive engine mounts onto a car like the new G-Class – having first added structural integrity and AMG-fettled suspension sophistication – unless it had set out to totally transform the on-road driving experience. Which is precisely what the company has achieved.

While it has a long history of being as capable as any off-roader during tough going, the G-Wagen has never been engineered and finished to appeal as a daily-driven luxury SUV quite like it does now. In recent years, attempts were made to make the car palatable to the rich few who had fallen for its military-chic looks – but none of them amounted to a fraction as much as the grand redefinition that this timeless 4x4 has just been through.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Customary capability, charm and ego, now with 21st-century luxury

The G350d now has the space, drivability, fuel efficiency and luxuriant good manners to be used like any other SUV of its size. It still feels like a special car to drive, packed with charm and sense of occasion; and it still offers truly distinguishing 4x4 capability among the luxury SUV set. It’s almost as easy to drive as it is strangely disarming to behold, and would be equally easy to live with.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - Mercedes-Benz G-Class

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