Mercedes-Benz has expanded the iconic G-class range in India with the launch of the G 350d at Rs 1.5 crore. The German automaker’s new offering significantly undercuts the AMG G63 that was introduced in our market late last year at a sticker price of Rs 2.19 crore. This also marks the first time a non-AMG version of the hardcore G-class SUV has been made available in India.
While the souped-up AMG G63 is powered by a 585hp, 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 petrol motor, the G 350d makes use of a more rational 3.0-litre, in-line six-cylinder diesel engine that puts out a strong 286hp and 600Nm of torque. This is the same unit that does duty on the Mercedes S 350d and as such, is BS6-compliant. Power is transferred to all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission and though the G 350d might be down on grunt compared to its AMG sibling, it certainly is no slouch – the near 2.5-tonne SUV can hit 100kph from a standstill in a claimed 7.4sec.
The G 350d makes use of an electromechanical power steering with a double wishbone suspension at the front and a rigid axle setup at the rear. In line with its tough-as-nails character and go-anywhere ability, the body-on-frame SUV gets three locking differentials, low-range gearing and 241mm of ground clearance, with a 700mm water wading capability. It even improves upon the G 63’s approach, departure and ramp breakover angles with figures of 30.9 degrees, 29.9 degrees and 25.7 degrees, respectively.
In terms of design, the G 350d retains the G-Wagen’s butch image with its upright proportions, but adopts a more toned down approach towards styling compared to the G63. This means that instead of the ‘panamericana’ grille, it gets a simpler front fascia and 20-inch alloy wheels. On the inside, the cabin is typical new-age Mercedes, with a pair of 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system taking centre stage. Leather upholstery, powered front seats, a multi-function steering wheel, push button start, cruise control, auto LED headlamps and wipers, three-zone climate control and ambient lighting are other creature comforts are all part of the package. Safety systems include eight airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, ESC, traction control and hill-start assist.
The G 350d is being brought to India via the CBU route and as such, makes use of the recent regulations that allow OEMs to import up to 2,500 units per year without the need of homologating in India. In terms of rivals, the second-gen G-class competes with the Range Rover Sport and Toyota Land Cruiser LC 200 in our market.
All prices are ex-showroom, India