It almost went away, but the tribe has spoken: when Mercedes announced that it was planning to retire the G-Class (Geländewagen) once the all-new GL-Class was introduced, enough loyal customers argued in its favour that the company decided to keep it on, and has given it a mild facelift for 2007. In Canada, expect it to be available in limited quantities as a special dealer order.

For 2007, the G-Class is available as the G500, with 5.0-litre V8 and seven-speed automatic transmission, and as the G55 AMG with supercharged 5.5-litre V8 engine and five-speed automatic. Both feature 4MATIC four-wheel drive.

Both models are now fully loaded, and so come without add-ons. Features include 18-inch wheels, bi-Xenon headlamps with cornering lights, updated centre console, heated windshield, 10-way power heated front seats with premium leather upholstery, Harman/Kardon surround sound system with six-CD changer, auto-dimming rearview and driver’s side mirrors, heated steering wheel, rear parking sensors, multi-contour driver’s seat, power sliding steel sunroof and automatic climate control.

The G-Class is purpose-built, and while most of them won’t get much further than the mall parking lot, it’s very capable in the great outdoors, with solid axles and the ability to climb grades up to 36 degrees, and transverse slopes up to 24 degrees. It’s huge, both inside and out, and despite its military roots, the ride is surprisingly comfortable. It won’t win any beauty contests, but it can pretty much run over all the other contestants.

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