The 1970s called and they want you back

I’m old enough to remember when the Mercedes G-Class was originally introduced back in 1979. It was heavily based on its military counterpart, it was heavy and underpowered, and it was far from luxurious. But it became an instant hit, and I loved it. And it remained one of my favorite SUVs for decades. The boxy hauler was significantly revised in 1990, and it remained largely unchanged since then, despite technology and drivetrain upgrades. Almost three decades later and Mercedes launched the third-generation G-Class. And the Germans almost ruined it.

Now why would you keep the dinosaur alive design-wise when everything else is new?

Before you bring out the tar and feathers, let me say that I’m fully aware of the new technology and power under the skin and that I actually like the clean, S-Class-inspired interior. What I don’t like is the exterior. "How can you not like it dude?" a friend asked me the other day while debating the subject, adding that "it looks just like the old model, an SUV you’re supposed to love." Well yeah, that’s the thing, it looks (almost) identical to its predecessor. Now, why would you keep the dinosaur alive design-wise when everything else is new?

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I know, I know, it’s iconic and blah blah, people pay to get the boxy design, and all that jazz. But it’s not impossible to redesign an iconic model without ruining its classic lines. To me, it seems that Mercedes-Benz is plain lazy and doesn’t want to take any risks.

2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
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The new G-Class looks like it was designed in the 1970s

And it’s ridiculous. Mercedes has taken great risks with many models up until, and I’m just going to mention the CLS, CLA, and the S-Class Convertible. Electrifying the AMG range, which is already happening with the CLS53 and E53 models, is also risky business.

So why not take risks with the G-Class? It’s not like it’s the company’s best-selling model. For crying out loud, it costs more than $120,000 in base trim. And I’m not even saying that Merc should’ve redesigned the body entirely. I don’t want a bigger, slightly boxier GLS. Just a few tasteful changes that make the design fresh and modern, not just LED lights and a few nips and tucks. The Jeep Wrangler is the best example out there.

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It’s been around since 1986, and it recently entered its fourth generation. The new JL is still very similar to the outgoing JK, but it looks fresh. It looks as if it was designed in the 21st century and not back in 2006. Not to mention that its a significant departure from the original YJ from 1986. Meanwhile, the new G-Class looks like it were designed in the 1970s. Actually, it WAS designed in the 1970s. Mercedes didn’t even bother to make notable changes over 40 years.

And that’s not how you preserve heritage. It’s just a stupid thing to do.

Nope, the New Mercedes G-Class Isn't Cool. It's Just Stupid
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Mercedes G-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
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Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

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