The most rugged G-Wagen gets a heavy update for 2017

LISTEN 08:15

Mercedes has announced its updated version of the G-Wagen Professional – the rugged, utilitarian version of the G-Class without the leather and Alcantara-lined interior or high-horsepower AMG engines. Debuting as a 2017 model, the G350d Professional replaces the G300 CDI and comes with an updated interior, engine, transmission, and exterior pieces that bring the G-Wagen Professional into modern times without losing its no-nonsense attitude.

The G-Wagen’s modern image of posh luxury with a high-horsepower engine is a far cry from the rugged off-roader Mercedes designed it as in the late 1970s. Yet the AMG models with their twin-turbochargers and low-profile summer tires aren’t the only G-Wagens still available today.

The 2017 G350d Professional is Mercedes’ direct competitor with the recently axed Land Rover Defender – the go-anywhere Brit with little in the way of creature comforts. Mercedes says the G350d Professional is the “highly purist variant suited to grueling off-road use and professional applications.”

The Professional model keeps the G-Wagen tied to its cross-country heritage. The original G-Class debuted in 1979 and has been used by military and humanitarian organizations for countless applications where a stout 4WD was essential.

So let’s dive in and see what the 2017 G350d Professional is all about.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional.


2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Exterior
- image 678151
2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Exterior
- image 678150
2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 678147

The G350d Professional shines as a rouged off-roader thanks to its all-black color scheme. This includes the 16-inch wheels with all-terrain tires. Mercedes does offer a wide variety of colors, though, including two non-metallic finishes and 11 metallic colors. The G350d Professional also comes with protective side steps, protective guards on the headlights and turn signals, and the roof-mounted cargo rack with its rear-mounted access ladder.

Further differences include old-school towing mirrors and an optional steel bumper that is capable of accepting a recovery winch. Out back, the rear steel bumper is split, giving room for the tow hitch and twin recovery hooks.


2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Interior
- image 678154

Though the outside looks relatively the same as the outgoing G300 CDI Professional, the interior of the new G350d Professional is all new – at least for the Professional line. Gone is the old-school interior from the W461 series of Mercedes, replaced by the modern W463 series. This brings the Professional model in line with the other G-Class variants.

The interior of the new G350d Professional is all new – at least for the Professional line

Included is a four-spoke, multifunction steering wheel, dual analog gauges with a driver information screen in between, and a modern center stack and console area. The center stack includes a more modern radio head, satin chrome buttons, and dual-zone climate controls. The center console now features Mercedes’ electronic shifter.

Though heated seats are present, the chairs forego leather and Alcantara for cloth, while the floors come covered in rubber mats. The G350d Professional even comes with drain holes in the belly pan. That’s when you know it’s hard-core.

The rear cargo area is treated to a rather appealing wooden cargo floor that slides out for easy loading. There’s also a metal cargo barrier behind the second row, protecting passengers from flying items when roads get bouncy. Most folks would certainly call the G350d Professional’s interior sparse and utilitarian, but it’s far more livable than before.


2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 678156
Horsepower is rated at 245, while torque comes in at 442 pound-feet

Powering the G350d Professional is a new 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel. The engine is vastly improved over the outgoing 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, and produces significantly more power, yet is better on emissions and fuel consumption. Horsepower is rated at 245, while torque comes in at 442 pound-feet. That represents a 64-horsepower and 147-pound-feet increase. The G350d is rated to achieve 9.9 liter per 100 kilometer, or 23.8 mpg on the U.S. scale. That’s a 15.4-percent improvement.

Backing up the engine is Mercedes’ seven-speed Tronic Plus automatic transmission. Behind that is the G’s full-time 4WD system with low-range gears. Three honest-to-goodness mechanical locking differentials distribute power equally, both between the front and rear axles, and side to side between the wheels. This gives the G-Wagen an uncanny ability to climb and crawl its way over nearly any obstacle, with all four of its all-terrain tires spinning at the same speed, regardless of traction.

Off-Road & Towing Capabilities

2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Exterior
- image 678160

Speaking of tires, the Goodyear Wranglers found on the model pictured here are sized at 265/60 and provide plenty of grip while maintaining decent on-road manners. The G350d Professional also sports an extra 10 mm of ground clearance – almost half an inch – over the standard G-Class. This gives the G350d an impressive 9.6 inches of total ground clearance.

Approach and departure angles are also affected by the increase in ground clearance. It now boasts 36 degree of approach and 39 degree of departure – six and nine degrees more than the standard G350d, respectively.

Despite its taller suspension set-up, the G350d Professional is capable of hauling 1,305 pounds of cargo or towing an impressive 7,054 pounds.


Prices for the 2017 G350d Professional start at €79,968, which converts to roughly $89,500 at current exchange rates. That’s a pretty penny to pay, but the functionality is certainly there. Order books open June 1, 2016 with deliveries starting the following September.

Sadly, the G350d Professional is not available within the U.S.


Land Rover Defender

2015 Land Rover Defender Heritage Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 609167

The Defender might be out of regular production, but no other vehicle in the world comes close to matching the G350d Professional in high-class utilitarian off-roading. The Defender has long been the archrival of the G-Class.

Over the years, the Defender has come with a wide variety of engine options ranging from four-cylinder diesels to 4.0-liter V-8s. 4WD has always been standard, though, making it a beast in the bush.

When it comes to buying one, a large amount of looking and money is required to find one that’s not completely beaten up. Inside the U.S., quality is generally better, but prices are astronomical, often reaching six figures for one that simply drives.

Read our full review on the Land Rover Defender here.


2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Exterior
- image 678148

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional is a modern take on what the G-Wagen was originally designed as. Its rough and tumble attitude, combined with its very capable powertrain, 4WD system, locking differentials, and 9.6-inches of ground clearance, give it a certain honesty – a non-pretentious demeanor that suggests its owner isn’t the Beverly Hills type. In fact, it’d be rather easy to imagine James Bond or Jason Bourne flying around dirt roads through some third-world village in the pursuit of international criminals.

Regardless of my imagination, the G350d Professional is definitely a welcomed addition to the G-Class. It’s just too bad U.S. customers don’t’ have a chance at ownership.

  • Leave it
    • Expensive for a utilitarian version
    • Not sold globaly
Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
About the author

Press Release

Mercedes-Benz augments the legendary G‑Class line-up to include a highly purist variant. With a striking exterior and optionally available Professional Off-Road package, the new G 350 d Professional is ideally suited to gruelling off-road use and professional applications. Compared with its predecessor, the G 350 d Professional offers a new, functional interior and luxurious ride comfort. All the other G-Class models benefit from a technology update for the infotainment, navigation and communications. Additional options for the interior and exterior further enhance the individuality and comfort of the classic cross-country vehicle.

2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 678147

Making its debut as a purpose-built cross-country vehicle for robust off-road use in 1979, the G‑Class has been further developed into the luxurious all-rounder. Ongoing design and technology modifications make the legendary "G" fit for the future while piquing the interest of the worldwide, loyal fan base. The current model line-up ranges from the all-rounder with V6 diesel engine to the range-topping V12 model from Mercedes-AMG.

With the new G 350 d Professional the Stuttgart-based automotive manufacturer now once again has a cross-country vehicle in its portfolio which, thanks to its pronounced purist design, stands out from the other G-Class models, making it the ideal companion for challenging off-road use and adventurous, off-the-mainstream expeditions. Like all the other G‑Class models the G 350 d Professional also benefits from the sturdy ladder-type frame body, permanent all-wheel drive with off-road ratio and three electrically selectable, 100‑percent differential locks.

V6 diesel engine with 180 kW (245 hp) output

The V6 diesel engine with 2987 cc of displacement offers superb traction. While the engine output of the G 350 d Professional was increased by 33 percent to 180 kW (245 hp) compared with the outgoing G 300 CDI Professional, the NEDC fuel consumption has been reduced by 15.4 percent to 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres. This is equivalent to CO2 emissions of 261 g/km. The 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission combines excellent ride comfort and contemporary efficiency.

Visually, the G 350 d Professional comes across as a robust off-roader capable of mastering any challenge. Its purist design is characterised by the matt black radiator grille and the black painted light-alloy wheels in 5‑spoke design. All-terrain tyres in size 265/70 R 16 ensure perfect traction even for harsh off-road use. The Professional outperforms its technical basis, the G 350 d, off the beaten track in various disciplines. Thanks to its modified suspension, which provide it with an additional 10 millimetres of ground clearance (245 instead of 235 millimetres), it takes difficult terrain in its stride. The angle of approach/departure of 36 degrees and 39 degrees respectively (G 350 d: 30/30 degrees) ensures mobility even under extreme conditions.

Thanks to the payload of 592 kilograms, the G 350 d Professional is also ideally prepared for challenging transport tasks. It is likewise ideally suited as a towing vehicle thanks to a towing capacity of up to 3200 kilograms.

Interior with contemporary dashboard

In the interior, the G 350 d Professional essentially differs from its predecessor, the G 300 CDI Professional, by virtue of its contemporary dashboard. The outgoing model was based on the functionally oriented W461 series, whereas the new model takes its technical cue from the more comfortable W463. Thus Professional customers benefit from all the advantages, such as the high-quality equipment and appointments, greater comfort and better ergonomics. A multifunction steering wheel also comes as standard, as does the electric steering column that can be adjusted for height and reach, as well as partially power-adjustable front seats. The practical aspects of off-road use are not neglected in any way, as the floor with anti-slip surface and drain demonstrates: dirt can easily be sprayed off and the interior thoroughly cleaned.

2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Exterior
- image 678148

Numerous extras are available for customers that prefer to use the G 350 d Professional for the daily rigours of harsh off-roading:

A steel front bumper with preparation for a cable winch is available as an option
The optional Professional Off-Road package includes a protective grille for the front bi-xenon headlamps; a protective grille is also available for the indicators as a further option. Added to this is dark-tinted glass for the rear side windows and the rear window. This package also includes the load compartment in wood finish and the preparation for a hands-free system. A roof rack with ladder further enhances the capabilities of the G 350 d Professional
Side running boards on the left and right enhance practicality and enable objects to be lashed easily to the roof rack, which is included with the Professional Off-Road package
The Load Protection package is designed to ensure optimum safety during transportation. The package includes a cargo net, load compartment cover and a fixed trailer coupling

Two non-metallic paint finishes and eleven attractive metallic paint finishes are available for the G 350 d Professional. The off-road icon expresses its unmistakable style with exclusive special paints such as desert sand or china blue, reminiscent of "Otto", the G-Class owned by Gunther Holtorf, who impressively demonstrated the capabilities of the G-Class during his world tour.

The sales release for the G 350 d Professional starts on 1 June; the market launch begins in September 2016. The price is €79,968 (incl. 19% VAT for Germany).

Technology updates for the infotainment, navigation and communications

All the other variants of the Mercedes-Benz G‑Class are now also fully up to date in terms of connectivity thanks to numerous technology updates. The equipment already familiar from numerous other Mercedes models raises the comfort and convenience for occupants to a wholly new level. The latest telematics generation includes, for instance:

COMAND Online including high-resolution 20.3 cm (8-inch) colour display and WLAN hotspot
Mercedes-Benz emergency call system (available in 20 European countries as well as in the USA, Canada and China)
Live Traffic Information for up-to-the-minute, accurate traffic data
Smartphone integration consisting of Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto
Car telephony in the armrest for telephony and internet connectivity with separate SIM card reader
Universal telephony package in the armrest with universal interface, enhanced telephone function, charging function and exterior aerial for optimum reception
Media Interface cable kit for universal interface in the centre console consisting of micro-USB, iPod® dock and iPod® Lightning connector

The optional anthracite poplar trim is new for the G 500 and AMG models; customers can select this trim option as an alternative at no extra charge. The exterior of the cross-country vehicle legend can be upgraded further with matt black painted light-alloy wheels in 5‑spoke design with 265/70 R 16 tyres as well as the optional roof rack.

2017 Mercedes-Benz G350d Professional High Resolution Interior
- image 678149

The market launch for the revised G-Class models starts in September 2016. Prices start from €90,636.35 (incl. 19% VAT for Germany).

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: