Mercedes-Benz have built cross country vehicles for many years, but it is not until now that they have produced a competitor for the Range Rover, equally at home being used as a conventional estate car on ordinary roads or as a cross country hack. Their new G-series vehicles, to be introduced to the UK market shortly, will be available in four basic forms, with useful options available to enable customers to buy the specification they require. There are two wheelbase lengths and two engines, a 3.Iitre, 5-cylinder diesel and a 2.8-litre, 6-cylinder petrol. The petrol engined cars drive through a four speed automatic gearbox, while the diesel uses a manual change (the automatic is available on the diesel as an option). Rigid axles are used and the suspension ishy coil springs and double shock absorbers. Two wheel drive is used for normal road work, but a “cross country ratio” which lowers the gearbox output speeds at the same time as engaging four-wheel drive is fitted for off road driving. Cross country performance can be enhanced by the uve of differential locks fined front and rear.
Interior trim is comfortable, yet functional and the levels of equipment are good. as one would expect from Mercedes. Prices will start at £13,560 for the two door diesel version and rise to £14,610 for the four-door petrol car. P.H.J.W.