Mercedes G-class facelift (2012) first pictures

Published: 11 April 2012

As old as the hills it rumbles over, the Mercedes G-class has been treated to yet another series of design tweaks and drivetrain updates to keep the boxy favourite fresh.

The Merc G-class still looks largely like an military-spec off-roader to me. What's new?

The usual garnish is added to the G's utilitarian design, maintaining the character without fixing what ain't broke. LED daytime running lights and new door mirrors feature on all G-classes, and AMG versions (yes, go-faster models do exist!) are treated to a bespoke grille and front bumper with englarged air intakes.

Red brake callipers hiding behind 20-inch wheels pack even more punch into the AMG's visual arsenal.

On the inside, the G-Class has completed its transition from military-spec transport to a full luxury vehicle. New colour displays in the centre console and between the freshened dials provide access to the G-class's wealth of infotainment features, via the familiar Mercedes Comand system.

Any highlights under the G-class's newly bejewelled skin?

We're now being treated to a two-model G-class range in the UK, and both receive the inside-and-out makeover. The familiar G350 BlueTec remains, with its 208bhp/398lb ft V6 diesel motor and updated seven-speed automatic transmission that's good for 25.2 mpg. 

For those who wish to make life even harder for those barn door aerodynamics, there's now a 536bhp, 560lb ft G63 AMG, featuring the new 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 currently doing sterling service in AMG's hotted-up saloons.

In an effort to bring even the maddest G-class into the 21st century, stop/start capability helps towards a claimed 20.4mpg.

So, it's as esoteric as ever then?

Yup. G-class buyers aren't looking for a convetional SUV - they likely own several already, and Mercedes will cater for more conventional tastes with the new ML and facelifted GL.

Despite its undeniable talents, the G-class will remain a leftfield (and likely very expensive) choice when it reaches the UK in autumn 2012.

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