YOUR EYES are not deceiving you: this isn’t the same Mercedes-Benz G-class that Jeremy Clarkson reviewed in 2011; its the latest G 63, which, despite appearances is a very different beast from the similarly slab-sided G 350 that he drove before.
For starters, the latest version of Merc’s hulking 4×4 is far faster than the example JC tried out all those years ago. Whereas that model made do with a diesel engine that “produced very little power, and certainly not enough for a car that weighs more than Scotland”, the new G 63 has a V8 under the bonnet producing a wild 577bhp. No wonder Clarkson found the 2.5-ton SUV’s 0-62mph time of 4.5 seconds “hilarious”.
Despite using a similar chassis setup to the old G-Class, the Mercedes is also now much nicer to use on the road. According to the Grand Tour host: “Although it’s still restless as you drive along, it does go where you want it to go. And because it’s bigger than it was, you no longer feel like Stanley Tucci at the end of the film The Core.”
So far so good, then. Sadly, Clarkson can’t bring himself to recommend the G-class over more well-rounded cars like the Range Rover. Being so expensive probably isn’t doing the G 63 any favours: with the cheapest V8 model starting at £143,305, it costs about the same as the opulent Bentley Bentayga.
Despite that, Clarkson still hopes the Mercedes-Benz G 63 does well, mainly because it is certain to annoy the anti-car lobby. Read his review in full review at thesundaytimes.co.uk.