By Dumi Xaba

The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon (an abbreviation of Geländewagen) is among car names that require no introduction. A head-turner and a stunning high-riding beast of an SUV, the G-Wagon is a familiar sight in affluent neighbourhoods the world over. If you were to get one in black, you could easily pass off as a member of the highflying pack…even a mafioso.Notwithstanding its mobster image, the G-Wagon overflows with charisma and personality. Its squared proportions have solicited some nasty comments from envious crowds, but frankly, it is a fabulous throwback. Say what you will, this boxlike all-terrain-basher stands head and shoulders above its rivals with its distinctiveness. You would be hard-pressed to find a luxury SUV that can successfully compete with the G-Wagon’s retro looks. When it comes to the delivery of savagery off and on-road performance of this wagon, most SUVs fall short.The Geländewagen was first commissioned by the Shah of Iran in 1972 who held a significant stake at Mercedes back then. He wanted a nonsense-stripped-down go-anywhere survival machine without compromising the proven quality of Mercedes. He wanted a beast that could easily devour the desert dunes and gravel roads.After much research and numerous trials, the final product was launched in 1979. This box-shaped beast was built to put smiles on both military commanders and the Middle East’s super-rich. Even Pope John Paul II gave the G-Wagon a blessed stamp of approval by choosing it to accompany him on his visits around the globe – the papal wagon was christened the Popemobile.It does however make a lot of sense for those in the Middle East who had to commute for over 500 kilometres on dunes without any tarmac in sight. Pricing became a barrier for those of us with depleted funds, making the G wagon a dream car. It has remained a status symbol for the super-rich and A-list celebrities alike. This beauty has been tweaked on several occasions, but the blokes at Stuttgart have ensured that it still retains the same DNA as the original vehicle. The exhaust notes are insane and exciting. It announces your presence from miles away. The W463 second generation has sent chills down the spines of the fellows in the high-performance SUV industry. As I have alluded to above, the G-Wagon is in a class of its own. It is no longer just an adorable beast but a handsome stallion. It has earned celebrity status as one of the most photographed vehicles on our roads. There have been a lot of arguments in the motoring world as to which high-end SUV is a real beast that unashamedly announces its presence. German engineering or British no-nonsense quality. Based on the excitement drawn when they arrive in a G-Wagon and the several millions of votes of approval across the world, I would like to crown the G wagon the undisputed King of SUVs. Admiring the KingThe 2021 model is a revamped 2019 model…with just a negligible facelift. As is the norm, it comes loaded with all the bells and whistles.Approaching it from the front, you are greeted by the round led halogen and a square in the middle lights. These are premium lights that turn night into day. The headlights washer nozzles are pointing right at them in case you decide to try your luck in the mud. The chrome brushed grille is stunning. The door handles are still the same with that indestructible quality feel. Closing and opening the doors makes you feel that this is a real tank. The spare wheel cover is now covered with a black ring all around. Inside, the instrument cluster is now fully digital. There are still analogue controls like temperature control which is great for driving. The boot space, if you allow me to exaggerate, can fit a teenage elephant. The size of the car does not in any way make it a lumbering giant. The back seats also recline if you need that rest on long trips. There are individual cupholders at the back and also climate control. The back seat space is roomy but almost double-cab-like. I was inside G63 with black and red-toned seats which looks and feels premium. The cup holder next to the driver’s left leg which made driving a long distance a bit uncomfortable has been removed. Hit the start button and you are treated to that AMG warning loud growl for about 30 seconds which slowly goes down to a gentle purr. The windows are low enough to give you a good view all around the car. However, because of the box shape and big tyres, there is a lot of cabin noise. It is as fast as a sports car but still has that wild off-road vehicle feel. The driving positioning has been greatly improved since 2019.

Engine: 5.5L turbo

Layout: V8

Petrol Capacity: 96 litres –  Good enough for about 690kms Consumption: 13.8 litres per 100kms

Power: 400KW Torque: 760Nm O – 100kms: 4.6s

With almost a lifetime of warranty and service, there will be no worries on the road besides being the envy of everyone looking at you.

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