Mercedes’ faithful G-Wagen is getting some welcomed updates for 2016, including a new engine and a host of upgrades that make this militaristic machine feel less combat weary.

Headlining the changes is the new 4.0-liter Biturbo V-8 previewed in the G500 4x4², and the Mercedes-AMG GT and C63 before that. The new mill brings a healthy 422 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. Those are respectable gains over the 5.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 in the outgoing G550. The new powertrain also brings a new name to the “entry level” G-Class – the G500. The new V-8 also meets the Euro 6 emissions standards for our friends in across the pond.

Beyond the powertrain, the 2016 G-Class will come with updated shock absorbers and a retuned ESP system. Mercedes says the new shocks improve on-road manners by controlling body movements and keeping roll to a minimum – all without hampering the G-Wagen’s off-road abilities. What’s more, the G500 is available with optional adaptive dampers that offer driver-selectable Sport and Comfort modes.

Cosmetically, the G-Wagen gets some minor updates. The G350d and G500 now come with restyled bumpers, body-color wheel arches, and new 18-inch, five-spoke wheels. Five new body colors are also added. A slightly updated instrument cluster keeps things fresh, while a new range of leathers and colored stitching is available.

Lastly, those selecting the AMG version of the G-Class can opt for the all-new AMG Edition 463. This limited model offers a sportier look, both inside and out, with a stainless steel front skidplate, AMG sport stripes on the sides, unique 21-inch wheels, and a two-tone interior color scheme.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mercedes G-Class.

  • Year:
    2016
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    seven-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    422 @ 5250
  • Torque @ RPM:
    450 @ 2250
  • Energy:
    Direct Injection, Twin Turbocharged
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, AWD w/ Low Range
  • Price:
    117400 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628887
2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628873
2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628881

The G-Class’ updates for 2016 center around the G350d and the G500. A new front bumper with large air intakes sits up front. It houses the front parking sensors, along with the “eye” for the radar cruise control. Vertical bars pull in the chrome accents that match the other accents around the G. The bumper certainly gives the G-Wagen a much sportier look, though it does compromise its approach angle. Matching the bumper are AMG-style wheel arches finished in body-colored paint.

A new crop of colors is available for the AMG-spec models, and includes solar beam, tomato red, alien green, sunset beam, and galactic beam. Parts like the side mirrors, bumpers, wheel arches, roof, and ring around the spare tire cover are painted obsidian black.

Interior

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628896
2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628898
2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628891

The G-Wagen’s familiar cabin remains, touched only slightly with updates. Those include a revised gauge cluster with upgraded needles and a new chrome-spoke steering wheel.

Beyond that, Mercedes is offering a new, special edition model called the Edition 463. It offers a two-tone dashboard with matching, two-tone, designo leather seats. The side bolsters feature “carbon-look” leather. Real carbon fiber acts as trim pieces. The stitching throughout the cabin then pulls in the exterior body color, adding a yards of color. The Edition 463 is only offered on the G63 and G65.

Drivetrain

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628877

Here’s where all the fun changes take place. Gone is the 5.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-8, replaced by the new 4.0-liter Biturbo V-8. The new engine features direct fuel injection with piezo injectors, a hot-V with two turbos, cylinder walls with Daimler’s Nanoslide coating, and an aluminum block. That Nanoslide coating is said to be twice as hard as traditional cast-iron linings while also offering reduced internal friction.

All told, the 4.0-liter Biturbo V-8 kicks out 422 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. That’s a marked improvement from the 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque from the old 5.5-liter. Efficiency will also increase, though the numbers haven’t been released yet.

Mercedes didn’t stop there. The G-Wagen’s other powerplants have also been updated. The G35d now makes 34 more horsepower and 44 more pound-feet of torque, totaling 245 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The AMG G63’s 5.5-liter Biturbo V-8 now makes 27 horsepower more, bringing the total to 571. Torque stays the same at 560 pound-feet. Lastly, the AMG G65’s monstrous 6.0-liter Biturbo V-12 gets an 18-horsepower bump to 630 horses while torque remains at 737 pound-feet.

The G355d, G500, and AMG G63 all come with an ECO Start/Stop function that further increase efficiency.

Regardless of engine choice, the G-Wagen comes with Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic transmission and full-time AWD system, which features a selectable low range and three, yes three locking differentials. This gives the G-Wagen its superb off-road abilities, despite its on-road biased tires.

Drivetrain Specifications

Cylinders V8
Cylinder angle 90°
Valves per cylinder 4
Displacement 3982 cc
Bore x stroke 83.0 x 92.0 mm
Cylinder spacing 90 mm
Compression ratio 10.5 : 1
Output 422 HP @ 5,250 - 5,500 RPM
Torque 450 LB-FT @ 2,250 - 4,750 RPM
0 to 60 mph 5.9 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

Prices

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628869

Mercedes has not released any details on pricing, but expect a small increase across the board thanks to the extra power and updated looks. Currently the U.S.-spec, 2015 G550 starts at $115,400. A price hike of $2,000 wouldn’t be unexpected.

Competition

Land Rover Range Rover

2015 Land Rover Range Rover LWB - Driven - image 615431

The Range Rover offers up a strong competition against the G-Wagen. It’s high-tech, all-aluminum chassis and powerful, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 give it the a nimble feel on the road while its Terrain Response 2 system offers crazy amounts of off-road ability. Much of that ability is credited to its air suspension’s ability to ride high, giving it impressive ground clearance.

Inside, the Ranger Rover is drenched in luxury. It comes in either the standard or long wheelbase version, giving customers more options. Those in Europe can opt for the diesel powertrain. The ZF eight-speed auto comes standard across the board.

Prices for the Range Rover start at $83,495 and quickly grown into the $150,000 area.
Read our full review here

Porsche Cayenne

2015 Porsche Cayenne - image 561990

The Cayenne takes after the Range Rover in terms of its size, design and versatility, though it still matches up with the Mercedes G-Class. Like the others, Porsche offers a variety of engines – spanning from a diesel up to the 550-horsepower Turbo S model.

The Cayenne’s interior takes after Porsche’s other vehicles, though with its own flair. Sportiness is the Cayenne’s main attractor, so Porsche only offers it in one wheelbase. Regardless, the SUV still offers plenty of creature comforts.

Prices start at $58,300 and top out just under $160,000
Read our full review here

Conclusion

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628871

The G-Wagen might have old bones, but Mercedes has done a great job at keeping this war vet young. These continual updates keep sales coming in and vehicles moving off showrooms. With a more powerful and more efficient engine under the hood, things should only get better. Mercedes sold 3,090 G-Wagens in the U.S. in 2014 – more than in any other year in the last decade – but there’s always room for improvement.

  • Leave it
    • Visual changes not drastic
    • Expensive
    • Compromised off-road performance

Truck Finder:

Competing Vehicles

Press Release

All Mercedes-Benz G-Class models will in future offer up to 16 percent more power and lower fuel consumption. The range includes the G 500 with a new, powerful 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine. All engines are compliant with the latest Euro 6 emissions standard. A new suspension setup, together with more sensitive ESP® control results in increased driving stability, safety and road comfort. The exterior and interior have also been given an upgrade. At the same time, an exclusive AMG special edition will be available.

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628871

Mercedes-Benz’s classic off-roader is beginning a new chapter of its success story which spans more than 35 years. With its continuously improved technology and high-class equipment specification, this cult all-terrain vehicle has consistently satisfied the highest expectations of off-road fans. True to this tradition, a new 4.0‑litre directly injected V8 biturbo engine already unveiled in the G 500 4x4² show car is now celebrating its world premiere in the G‑Class.

The new 8-cylinder powerplant in the G 500 can point to an exclusive heritage. It is based on the new generation of Mercedes-AMG V8 engines that have already coaxed exceptional levels of performance out of the Mercedes-AMG GT and Mercedes-AMG C 63. For use in the G-Class, the V8 has been modified to deliver 310 kW (422 hp) with torque of 610 Nm.

Other standout attributes include a spontaneous response and high tractive power which are made possible, for example, by two turbochargers, which instead of being configured on the outside of the cylinder banks are arranged between them in the V – the so-called "hot inside V". This layout allows a compact design, optimal response and low exhaust emissions. High efficiency is ensured by Mercedes‑Benz’s use of piezo direct petrol injection with spray-guided combustion. Maximum strength with lowest possible weight is guaranteed by the aluminium crankcase of the V8 engine. The cylinder bore surfaces feature Daimler’s NANOSLIDE® technology, which makes them twice as hard as conventional cast-iron linings. This minimises both internal friction and fuel demand.

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628872

More power, lower fuel consumption

The engines of the other G-Class models have likewise been further developed and improved in the interests of superior tractive power and optimised fuel economy:

  • The G 350 d benefits from a hike in output from 155 kW/211 hp to 180 kW/245 hp, with its torque climbing from 540 to 600 Nm.
  • The AMG G 63 now delivers 420 kW/571 hp (i.e. an extra 20 kW/27 hp) with torque of 760 Nm.
  • Instead of 450 kW/612 hp, the 12-cylinder powerplant in the AMG G 65 now puts out 463 kW/630 hp with torque of 1000 Nm.

The G 350 d, G 500 and AMG G 63 are equipped as standard with an ECO start/stop function that reduces fuel consumption and emissions by switching off the engine when the vehicle is at rest, e.g. in a traffic jam or at traffic lights.

As is typical of the G-Class, the new models retain the familiar sturdy basis of body and ladder-type frame, which still offers generous reserves to cope with the increased power. Also retained is the unrivalled off-road performance with permanent all-wheel drive, low-range gearbox and three differential locks that can be engaged/disengaged while on the move.

The standard suspension setup has been revised with optimised shock absorbers for improved control of body movements and even greater on-road ride comfort. An adapted ESP® setup makes for enhanced driving dynamics together with increased driving stability and road safety. Optimisations to ASR and ABS result in improved traction while shortening the stopping distance when braking.

In addition, the G 500 is optionally available with a new adaptive damping system with Sport and Comfort modes. This provides a significantly more agile on-road performance in Sport mode with undiminished off-road capability while at the same time reducing the typical SUV roll on corners.

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628873

Enhanced inside and out

Visually, the new G 350 d and G 500 models are especially easy to identify by their restyled bumpers and now standard AMG flared wheel arches in the colour of the vehicle. The G 350 d now also comes as standard with 45.7 cm (18-inch) five-spoke light-alloy wheels.

On the inside, the G 350 d and G 500 feature an eye-catching instrument cluster in two-tube look with 11.4 cm multifunction display and redesigned pointers and dials. The two AMG models also sport a redesigned instrument cluster.

New choice of colours

A new Colour package is available for customers wishing to give their AMG G-Class an even more personal look. There are exclusive exterior paint finishes in solar beam, tomato red, alien green, sunset beam and galactic beam. Detachable parts such as mirrors, front and rear bumpers, wheel arch extensions, the ring around the spare wheel cover as well as the roof are painted in obsidian black. The interior topstitching is colour-matched to the paintwork.

2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 628874

New AMG EDITION 463 special model: visible dynamics

With the new EDITION 463 special model, Mercedes-AMG is giving the G-Class an impressive sporty look. The exquisite interior specification includes a two-tone instrument panel, two-tone seats in high-quality designo leather with side bolsters in carbon-look leather and contrasting topstitching, seat and door centre panels in a diamond design, carbon-fibre trim and door pulls in nappa leather.

On the outside, a stainless steel underguard, AMG sport stripes along the sides, a protective-strip insert in black aluminium look as well as exclusive 53.3 cm (21‑inch) forged wheels underscore both the dynamics and exclusivity of the special model.
The EDITION 463 special model is available on the basis of the Mercedes-AMG G 63 and the Mercedes-AMG G 65.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Close