Many people when they hear the name “Mercedes” what strikes their mind is a stylish and very attractive sedan with all the ultimate luxury features available in the automobile world. Many of these people believe that Mercedes models are too smooth for the off roads. However, you will be surprised to learn that the automaker actually offers a model specifically tuned to navigate the off road terrains.
Mercedes first introduced the G-Class in 1979 as a fully dedicated off-roader. However, one upgrade after another, the model slowly became a luxurious SUV. However, the automaker has decided to bring back the ideals of the original model. The new model is specifically tuned for off-road use. The original model was a huge hit with humanitarian organizations particularly in areas with demanding terrains like in African countries. The vehicle was also popular in the military. The new model is christened the 2017 Mercedes G350d Professional.
2017 Mercedes G350d Professional Exterior
The exterior looks all ready to devour any terrain. The front is characterized by a matte black radiator grille. Flanking the grille are new headlights and turn signals with protective guards. The vehicle also features a roof-mounted cargo rack which is accessed via a ladder mounted at the rear. The vehicle also features protective side steps.
Mercedes has modified its suspension compared to the regular model to feature a ground clearance of 245 mm which is 10 mm better than the standard G350d. The new model also features better approach and departure angles at 35 degrees and 39 degrees respectively. For comparison, the standard model has an approach and departure angle of 30 degrees. In addition, the model comes with a fording depth of 600 mm.
To further differentiate the model from the regular G350d, Mercedes has fitted the Professional with old-school towing mirrors as well as a rear split steel bumper which allows a tow hitch and twin recovery hooks.
The model rides on 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 265/70 all-terrain tires. The Professional’s exterior is offered in 11 metallic finishes and 2 non-metallic finishes. The finishes include the China Blue and Desert Sand special pint works. For extra cash, you get a steel front bumper which comes with preparation for a cable.
A Professional Off-Road package is also offered. It packs dark tinted windows, protective grilles for the lights, a roof rack with a ladder, a cargo net, a load compartment cover, a load protection package and a fixed trailer coupling.
2017 Mercedes G350d Professional Interior
The interior of the model is spanking new. The new interior is adopted from the W463 Series. The new interior has been modified to fall in line with other G-Class models.
In a bid to make the model look more utilitarian as opposed to luxurious, the automaker has used a quality cloth instead of leather or Alcantara for the seats. Nonetheless, the seats are heated. The front seats are partially power-adjustable while the vehicle’s floor is covered in rubber mats.
You will be surprised to learn that the model features drain holes in its belly which help drain the water when you decide to use a hose to spruce it up, it can’t get more utilitarian, can it?
The new cabin also features a 4-spoke, multifunction steering wheel. The model retains the traditional analogue gauges but Mercedes has added an infotainment system with a display screen between the gauges.
The center console holds the new electronic shifter while the center stack features controls for the dual-zone climate control system, an upgraded radio and other controls which are finished in satin chrome. Both the center console and center stack design is new. The cabin also features electric windows.
At the rear of the cabin is a large cargo space with a wooden floor which slides out for easy loading of cargo. The automaker has also added a metal barrier behind the second row to prevent cargo from hitting passengers when the vehicle bounces in rough terrain.
Engine Specs and performance
Under the hood of the new 2017 Mercedes G350d Professional is a turbodiesel 3.0 L, V-6 engine which is capable of 245 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. The new engine presents 64 hp and 147 lb-ft more than the outgoing 3.0 L, V-6 turbodiesel engine.
The power is sent to all wheels via a 7-speed Tronic Plus transmission system which combines with a G’s full-time 4WD system that features low-range gears. The new engine is also more fuel economical and it’s rated at 23.8 mpg on combined drives, a 15.4% improvement over the outgoing engine. The new engine enables the model to tow as much as 3,200 kg.
The model has an impressive ability to crawl or climb over different obstacles. This is courtesy of its three mechanical locking differentials which distribute power evenly between the axles and side to side between its wheels.
Price and release date
The 2017 G350d Professional has an MSRP of €79,968 ($89,500). As you can see, it does not come cheap but its functionality is worth every dime you spend on it. The automaker started accepting orders on 1st June. Deliveries will commence in September. Unfortunately, enthusiasts in North America won’t be getting the G350d Professional.
The Land Rover Defender is the only worthy rival to the G350d Professional in the high-class utilitarian-off-roading segment. Since Land Rover has halted sales of the defender, the Merc’ will enjoy a monopoly in the market for the short while before the Defender comes back.
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