Mercedes-Benz G-Class

The UK now gets a G500, huzzah. Alas, it is not a V8. The only way to get your hands on an eight-cylinder G is to go down the AMG route.

The ‘regular’ G-Class, is only available with 3.0-litre inline six engines. The G500 is a 443bhp petrol, while the G450d is a 352bhp diesel.

Makes sense, really. Keep the V8 for the people who really, really don’t care about MPG and the regular G for those that simply just don’t really pay attention to it.

The diesel is a peach. It (along with the G63 and G500) now gets a 48v mild hybrid ISG, which lifts power by 20bhp to 362bhp, which explains the rebaging from 400d to 450d.

On rational grounds this is the G, really. It’s uncomplicated to drive, with that swell of torque and high seating positioning mating for effortless overtaking and off-road work. It’s also the most economical and in real-life, it’s easily as fast as the G500. It’s all out of ideas at 3,500rpm, which isn’t strictly a bad thing.

The G500 is faster but ultimately doesn’t feel like the baby AMG it could do with a V8. It’s smooth alright, and when hassled along with the steering-wheel paddles it will rev beyond 5,000rpm. But it can venture into the ‘strained’ sounding category too often.

Officially the diesel will crack 30mpg too, and even on my mixed test route I achieved 28mpg.

They both have the same 9-speed auto that’s a bit hesitant from the off. You also get the impression it’s working a lot harder with the petrol than the diesel.

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