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2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Overview
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz G-Class may look like an old-school military vehicle on the outside, but it proves one should never judge a book by its cover. The G stands for Geländewagen (or cross-country vehicle), and that is exactly what it is, but with the luxury of a Mercedes-Benz. Although the body style of the G-Class has not changed since its introduction as a military vehicle in the late 1970’s, the rest of it absolutely has. Its boxy design makes the G-Class very functional, allowing for more interior space, outside views and a more open cabin feel.
The G-Class's single trim, the G550, comes to life with a 5.5-liter, 8-cylinder engine that generates 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. This powerhouse of a motor is slimmed down by the implementation of an aluminum block, which also increases its performance and durability. The 7-speed automatic transmission is one of the most versatile on the market and designed for any driving you may encounter. It also plays a part in increasing fuel efficiency. It is equipped with the Touch Shift system, which allows for manual shifting when you want to indulge in the sportiest side of the G550. All this power does have a price, as mileage is somewhat on the low side with a not-so-attractive 12 mpg city/15 highway rating.
The G-Class combines the confidence of its off-road capability with equally comfortable driving on pavement. The vehicle's 8-inch road clearance combined with an almost identical wheel travel makes the G550 able to handle any rough off-road conditions you may encounter. The stability and durability of its suspension offers the same comfort on paved roads as well. The G-Class comes equipped with 18-inch twin-5-spoke alloy wheels, which are not only lightweight and sporty, but also tough enough for its off-road endeavors. The cargo space in the G-Class is more than ample with 79.5 cubic feet behind the first row of seating and 45.2 behind the second row. Even with all that cargo space, the G550 still seats 5 comfortably.
The interior of the G-Class almost makes you forget it was ever a military-grade vehicle. The interior boasts Premium leather upholstery that is hand fitted. All seats in the G-Class have heat available, with the front seats having the addition of Active Ventilation to cool the seats in warmer temperatures. The interior continues the luxury with complementary wood inserts as well as a leather and wood multifunction heated steering wheel that gives you fingertip access to audio controls, your Bluetooth and the dash readout menu.
Mercedes-Benz takes safety seriously, and this is very evident in the G-Class. A standard 8-way airbag system provides protection for every passenger with front, side and curtain airbags. From rain-sensing windshield wipers to automatic tire pressure monitoring and a rear-view camera, the G550 alerts you to any issue that may affect the safety of you or your passengers.
Owners of the G-Class have many more positives than negatives when it comes to their vehicle. On the positive side, most owners are impressed with the power and unique look of the vehicle along with its off-road capability. They like its immense cargo space and the open feel of the interior. On the negative side, they find the vehicle somewhat louder than they would expect and the gas mileage unimpressive. Overall, owners find it a safe, fun and luxurious vehicle that they are thrilled to own.
by Tammy Lettieri
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