If you've ever taken a good long look at the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and wondered just how tough the leather-lined SUVs are compared to their military-grade counterparts, Inside Line has the answer for you. Corespondent Alistair Weaver joined up with a Mercedes-Benz convoy in a G of his own as the company took off across Australia's infamous stock route. The trail is little more than a dusty path scrawled across the outback. Weaver braved vicious washboard roads, insects, snakes, dead camels and heinous heat to make the trek. How did his G Wagen handle the rough roads and deep sands? Let's just say there were a few issues.

For starters, the washboard dirt tracks made short work of the AMG's Bilstein rear shocks, forcing mechanics to pull the pieces altogether for one short stint before replacements could be flown in. Likewise, the spare tire carrier and both side-view mirrors suffered cracks along the way. Not surprisingly, the military-spec edition suffered no ills over the course of the trek. Hit the jump to check out the video for yourself.

If that's not enough fun in the Australian sun for you, click back and take a look at Motor Trend's trek across the continent in a Subaru Outback.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 78 Comments
      s.yyp
      • 3 Years Ago
      Same result here a few month ago: http://www.autoblog.com/2011/08/08/australian-outback-cripples-fleet-of-mercedes-g-wagons-during-pr/ Anyone remember?
        GV
        • 3 Years Ago
        @s.yyp
        I did, good to see I´m not the only one with a good memory. Cgrats
      Steven Superville
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice I wish I went with them..!
      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great road trip.
      Redline
      • 3 Years Ago
      Land Cruiser is more reliable.
        karknut
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Redline
        Oh, it's always nice to see an expert with Toyota blinders on. Best answer to the question NO ONE asked.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Redline
        [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Was going to post this video for all those who down voted me on the other G Class article for saying that the G-Class was a poser vehicle and that anyone who seriously wanted a good off-roader would look elsewhere. Glad AB posted this.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        No, you still have no idea of what you are talking about.
          Andre Neves
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          So please enlighten me. Why would anyone buy a G-Class over say, a Defender, a Wrangler, a Pathfinder, or even an Xterra? I want YOU to tell me why I would be better off spending over $100,000($107k base) on an SUV for offloading. What would be the benefit? BTW, as the previous owner of an '08 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, i'd like you to educate me on off-loading 101.
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        Don't worry Andre, 99% of Autobloggers have no clue whatsoever about offroading. The G class is a family sedan disguised as a truck..
          sparrk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          that must be why the Recon Marines use the G class , because it's a family sedan : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USMC_Fast_Attack_Vehicle_(IFAV).1.JPEG
          Dietrick
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          I owned a G-Wagon 320 and it was the best off-road car I ever had. I also owned a fully stocked (snorkle and all) Land Cruiser '97 with diff-locks and it still broke down but was overall a great car. And the LC would have had the same issues with the shocks...since i had that happen to me on the White Rim Trail in Moab, Utah. If you look at this video carefully ONLY the shocks went out because they are NOT made by Styer Puck/Benz. To even compare the garbage technology made by GM, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, or Jeep to a G-Wagon means these commentators do not know the actual difference. The ONLY argument that may hold water is: For the difference in price all others can carry enough spare parts to make this type of trip and still be OK..after all, the military edition of the G-Wagon did fine...since the shocks we upgraded.
      tributetodrive
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, bet an F-150 Raptor would have fared better.... Fox shocks and long travel for the win.
        JR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tributetodrive
        Arent they prone to frame failures?
          Basil Exposition
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JR
          Every production civilian production vehicle made is prone to frame failures when jumped 20 feet in the air.
          Jarda
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JR
          nope, you are prone to fail in processing inromation
          Danaon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JR
          No, the frames that failed on the F150 Raptors were due to people taking rough terrain at too high of speeds. People were bending the frame at the cab/bed (where it's made to fail instead of flipping your truck) because they were hitting obstacles going over 100mph.
      sparrk
      • 3 Years Ago
      those idiots chose the AMG package instead of the offroad package.
        Bruce Lee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sparrk
        It was set up by Mercedes Benz for a whole bunch of journalists so "those idiots" are Mercedes Benz' marketing department lol
          sparrk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Bruce Lee
          that's what i meant , those idiot economists have no clue about cars.
      Jarda
      • 3 Years Ago
      Take Raptors next time. (Yeah, I know this was MB promo event, f**k off.)
      Chris Bangle
      • 3 Years Ago
      Outback did a much better job in the Outback than the Merc did.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris Bangle
        The Outback took public roads that weren't challenging. This was far more challenging. Outback's route: 3/10 G Wagen's route: 9/10
      Spellchecker
      • 3 Years Ago
      People need to read the article before proceeding with the stupid comments. The G-Class military version had no issues. The standard models, which in most cases will never be taken off-road anyway, had suspension issues. I don't think it helps that for this event they were also "overloaded" with supplies beyond the vehicles max permissible payload capacity (aka "excess weight") which probably accelerated the demise of certain suspension components. At least Mercedes' offers customers the chance to customize their G-Class with suspension parts if they're going to do some serious off-roading. In Europe we're able to buy the "G270 CDI Worker", which is a stripped (no luxury) serious off-roading truck with a powerful yet economical 5-cylinder diesel engine. It comes from the factory with the military G-Class suspension. Furthermore, there's another extremely capable Mercedes truck called the UNIMOG which is available for purchase by private clients.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spellchecker
        [blocked]
          Dietrick
          • 1 Year Ago
          All you have to do is uprgade the shocks, instal the Split Rims and ad a whinch and you're stock G-Wagon is rady for the trip technically. I owned one and NEVER had a break down and I basically lived off-road in the Utah territories and that envirnonment is much harder than the Australian outback since it includes some near impassible trails that Australian road planner have circumvented. The ONLY thing that makes Australia hard is the long distances on rutted roads and the heat. Moab Utah is far harder on cars and that is where I tested the G to its limits all the time and it beat my Land Cruiser in terms of wheel grip and technical reliability....but I could buy ten used LC for the price of my new G...unfortunally.
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spellchecker
        Unimogs are great, but they are pretty big and bulky for many people. However, if you need a Unimog fire truck or log loader, they are the ticket.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spellchecker
        [blocked]
      sjmoo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this just emphasizes the fact that most of these on-road-spec off-roaders are largely just for rich suburbanites living out some fantasy of wild exploration. I've read about the Toyota Land Cruiser and Range Rover being foiled by off-road obstacles and now the G-Class, too. Meanwhile, their non-civilian versions always conquered the obstacles with no issue. The changes to the suspension tune, etc necessary for a comfortable daily-driver inevitably weaken their off-road prowess. All of these utes are still mighty impressive vehicles and capable of overcoming 95% of obstacles, but lets not forget that they were designed for on-road duty first and foremost.
        Bruce Lee
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sjmoo
        The stock Land Cruisers sold in Australia are regularly taken on the same trail without issue.
        Chris Bangle
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sjmoo
        The author linked an article of a Subaru Outback crossing the Outback. It's 30 minutes long, and the Outback had no issues on its trek.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris Bangle
          [blocked]
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris Bangle
          Chris and SVX You two are fools for even trying to compare this. Graded public roads vs. 100% non-maintained cattle trails aren't the same. Seriously, you call yourself an enthusiast???
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris Bangle
          [blocked]
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sjmoo
        Yes, such as the potholes in the Cosco parking lot.
        Dietrick
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sjmoo
        That is right. The "sevillian" G-Wagon is still 99% equal to the military version as far as the parts that are engaged off road: the drive train, the diff locks, the suspencion, the engine, the gear box and the brakes. If you took the new or old Range Rover and did this type of trip you'd be dealing with a host of trouble too but far more serious then a few shocks that they should have had with them since they ALLWAYS go out with ANY car since they are not able to handle this kind of abuse...unless they are military specified. (Stiffer and bigger).
      visconti24
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's strange. I drive mine down and go hunting for feral Krispy Kream doughnuts in the wilds of Newport Beach and never had any problems!
        Al Terego
        • 3 Years Ago
        @visconti24
        ...because it is in its natural habitat; paved, flat streets with no hills and lots of gas stations around.
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