Mercedes are best known for their luxury cars and ultra-reliable diesel taxis but they also make one of the toughest and most awesomely capable 4wd vehicles out there. The Geländewagen, or G-Wagen, comes at a stiff price – but it delivers incredible off road performance. Designed as a military vehicle and used by the German Army among others, it’s easily a match for a Land Cruiser or Land Rover Defender when it comes to getting around. Civilian versions can also be very comfortable, so it makes a great choice for touring. Australia can be pretty rugged but not many places will defeat a G-Wagen.
Unlike a lot of luxury 4wds the G-Wagen suits traditional off-road accessories, and won’t look out of place with visible modifications. That means you can get the benefits of installing a light bar or winch – these don’t look so great on a Lexus, but they fit in just fine on a G-Wagen and you’ll be glad of them when you hit the outback.
A G-Wagen will get across most things but even the best off road driver, in the most agile vehicle, is going to get stuck sometimes. That’s when you’ll find out something else about the G-Wagen – it’s heavy. The factory jack’s a good bit of gear but it’s more designed for changing tyres than hoisting the back end out of a sand trap, so get yourself an exhaust jack as well. Don’t forget a couple of snatch straps and a set of sand channels; with that lot you’ll be able to get out of anything.
When you get where you’re going you want to be able to enjoy your camp, and the G-Wagen will carry everything you need. With a Tough Toys awning mounted on the roof and a Bushpower fridge in the back you’re all set. Throw in some deep dish floor mats to keep sand and mud off the carpets – that Mercedes interior’s too nice to mess up – and enjoy yourself in one of the ultimate off road tourers.
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