Speaking of all things simple and non-luxury…
Yes, it’s the G-Wagen – the humble military-spec off-roader that somehow spawned the monstrous Malibu status symbols you now see bubbling around city centers.
But why an old man with no toys, who’s been beaten every day of his life by a bunch of army puke? Well, a few reasons. Firstly, they are among the cheapest G-Wagons you can buy, secondly because they are somehow much more characterful, and thirdly, the Army maintenance schedule, even for general duty cars like this one, is absolutely insane. . Of course they’ve put in more miles over more difficult terrain – with less mechanical sympathy – than most privately owned G-Classs will ever do. But here’s the kicker – they’re made to do it, and maintained with… well, military timing.
Besides, the no-nonsense utilitarianism of the original (and the Steyr-Puch 4×4 system, but who counts) makes the G-Wagen a good off-roader. If you’re worried about mud getting on your lavish interior, you’ll be taken out of the moment. When you have the weight of touchscreens, climate control systems and Burmester stereos to lug around, you have so much more mass above your center of gravity and off-roading feels like going through a hurricane on a houseboat. If you have massive wheels and wide, low profile road tires, you hinder the G-Wag’s natural usability and power when roads disappear altogether.
This, it must be said, is made largely irrelevant as trams are more likely to go off-road. But if you really want to use a G-Wagen for what it was made for (crazy, impulsive fool you must be), you know where to look.