In the same way that cutting down on the booze and going to the gym a bit more for the new year would hardly constitute a reinvention, so the G-Class doesn’t want to change too much about itself, either. It wants to be perceived as the same stern old survivor, still brilliant off road, the doyenne of those who want something authentic and prestigious, only it needs to be that bit more habitable than ever to keep them on side.
So there are what seem like very sensible moves. Changes to the suspension will presumably improve the ride and, if they sharpen the steering a bit, that’d be helpful too. Interior changes up the perceived quality and, thankfully, give a bit more leg and shoulder room. The benefit of the G-Class being based on an old design is that it’s narrow: the downside is that it’s narrow. But I’m happy that the G will stay, fundamentally, a G. Even the doors will keep their “characteristic closing sound”, apparently. To you and me, that’s a ‘clack’.
Some say they don’t know why Mercedes bothers updating this ancient anomaly. It’s not like it sells many, after all. Which is true, but recently the G had its best-ever year, selling over 20,000 for the first time. With a starting price topping €100,000, that’s €2 billion a year’s worth of business, which is worth having, even if you’re Daimler.