It seems these days that everyone with a bit of money in Australia is desperate to go out and buy a G-Wagen. But what if you’re not a millionaire drug dealer (nor do you want to look like one)? Then we’ve got the G-Wagen for you.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, better known as the G-Wagen, is one of the most iconic off-roaders ever produced. Boxy, hardy and capable, the SUV has entered service with militaries and mischief makers around the world, as well as driven by anyone who wants serious off-road performance combined with German engineering excellence.
Yet most people know G-Wagens today as being the vehicle of choice for rappers and rich housewives. 99% of the G-Wagens on Australian roads are the four-door AMG variety, swathed in leather, faux carbon fibre and infotainment screens everywhere – a far cry from the utilitarian beast the car is meant to be.
There are a few older, less gussied-up examples around, but they’re few and far between, especially if you want a 2-door version (which in our opinion is the only acceptable kind of G-Wagen). They’re also usually pretty expensive.
That’s why this G-Wagen, which is not only the cheapest G-Class on Carsales in Australia right now but also easily the coolest, is such an exciting prospect.
Previously in service with the Singapore Army, this 1990 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 240GD is a short wheelbase ‘Wolf’ model, the likes of which have seen service with militaries across the globe, from Australia to Norway. These short wheelbase models are frequently used by commissioned officers in the Singapore army as personal transports.
It’s utilitarian as they come, with a canvas top and canvas doors; hard vinyl seats (with two flip-down seats in the back); a fold-down windshield and plenty of mounting points for towing, winching, fuel canisters and mounting equipment. It doesn’t even have a single cup holder.
Under the hood, you’ve got a 2.4L OM616 diesel inline-four that makes 53kW/137Nm and will do 0-100km/h in a blistering 32 seconds. Okay, these aren’t amazing numbers, but straight-line speed is hardly the point of a G-Wagen like this.
What’s perhaps more important is that it’s got a 4WD/2WD selectable high/low range locking differential, amazing approach and departure angles; significantly high running clearance and a beefy General Motors-sourced 4-speed manual transmission. This Merc is properly legit, a proper off-road beast – not that you’d want to take it off-road…
You see, that’s the dilemma with this car: it’s meant to be used and abused; it’s super-capable, but it’s also in basically mint condition (only 211kms on the clock!) It deserves to be absolutely thrashed off-road, but that would also be a bit of a shame.
But then, if you don’t drive it properly, you’re just as bad as all the AMG G-Wagen posers who tool around in these trucks for little more than coffee runs… It’s too legit to quit.
They’re asking $59,880 for it, which considering how much G-Wagens typically go for, is a bloody steal, even if this is one austere ride. Check it out on Carsales here.