Home / Home / Mercedes G 350 d Road Test Review – Conquer All

 

The behemoth but more sensible Geländewagen, the Mercedes G 350 d, came to our part of town and, with the terrible weather and road conditions, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Mercedes G 350 d

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Born in tough times and raised in times even tougher, the Geländewagen or all-terrain vehicle ― G-Wagen for short ― has become an icon in the enviable stable of Mercedes-Benz car models. From the 250 GD diesel-powered German army workhorse to an all-conquering behemoth on wheels, the G-Class has done it all. It’s a proper SUV. In a world where over-inflated hatchbacks with strap-on parts are identifying as SUVs, the term has now been reduced to simply a body-style where form takes precedence over almost all function; save for an inch higher ride height, maybe. The G 350 d is a premium luxury off-road icon, nothing less. Its timeless design has been frozen solid since the Iron Age, seemingly, and there’s no reason not to persist — there are fans the world over and, thanks to its cult following, it’s still selling strong.

Built in the Styrian capital of Graz, the G-Wagen has been endowed, over the decades, with virtues many others can only dream of. Nothing blends luxury with capability and pretty much a block design with a rich character that — with equal disregard for terrain and opinion — simply fits in anywhere and in any situation. True to its traits.

Mercedes G 350 d

This Mercedes G 350 d is the new model — yes, a lot of it is very new, almost bespoke — and it’s finally available in diesel guise here in India. This one is equipped with the new Night Package magno, thanks to G manufaktur offering additional accents in black, while the matte magno paint finish further accentuates its unique identity; it truly looks like nothing else on the road.

Mercedes G 350 d

The interior, too, has been updated with a new layout and a whole list of new equipment. Most evident are the dual wide displays, steering wheel, dashboard, and the updated instrument display. The twin screens bring in the new MBUX, or Mercedes-Benz User Experience, interface with smoother touch or voice control capabilities.

The AMG G 63 is one thing, but I, for one, was looking forward to driving this Mercedes G 350 d diesel — more torque low-down, lower CO2 and NOx, and just cleaner overall, with a torque peaking at 1,200 rpm. Yes, the 2,925-cc in-line six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine produces 286 hp and 600 Nm. Power peaks at just 3,400 rpm and stays strong till 4,600, although the beautifully balanced crank never really needs to spin that hard. Most of the driving on the road was handled at between 1,200 and 1,600 rpm; the latter for overtaking with a minor flex of my little toe. The drive is handled by a 9G-Tronic nine-speed torque converter automatic driving a transaxle that distributes it in a rear-biased 40:60 split.

Mercedes G 350 d

The Mercedes G 350 d is more than adept off-road and can handle more than several cars’ fair share of rough stuff in one go, one after another, and not need a breather; unless there’s a lake involved and a snorkel for the air intake is called for. The ground clearance is 241 millimetres and the generous approach and departure angles make short work of tackling terrain. There are three differential locks — front, centre and rear — for the more hardcore off-roaders taking it to places other “SUV” owners won’t even think possible. They keep things in line and pointing straight in the most challenging situations.

Mercedes G 350 d

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez

 

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