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Mercedes G500: What's new?

NITISH S. RELE, Automotive columnist, The Tampa Tribune Staff
Published:   |   Updated: May 23, 2013 at 07:05 AM

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The nearly 30-year off-road vehicle has been refreshened for 2008. Most noticeable is the change to a 7-speed automatic transmission from the 5-speed of its predecessor. The tail lamps, gauges and steering wheel also have been redesigned. Plus, a rearview camera now is standard as are hands-free phone capabilities in the body-on-frame construction.

The four-door, five-passenger and permanent all-wheel-drive luxury SUV is equipped with a 5.0-liter V8 engine cranking out 292 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 336 pounds-feet of torque at 2800-4800 rpm. Pick any of the three independent differential locks - front, center and rear - for maximum traction during off-road situations. The four-wheel electronic traction system coupled with stability control detects wheel spin and brings the vehicle back on track.

Call the tough-terrain vehicle boxy if you want but the tall and rugged G500 can tow up to 7,000 pounds.

Standard cabin amenities are dual-zone automatic climate control, four-spoke power telescopic and tilt steering wheel, 10-way electric-adjustable front seats, power sliding sunroof, 6-disc CD player in cargo area and burl walnut wood trim around the shifter, center console and steering wheel.

Originally built for military purposes, the SUV suits the off-road enthusiast among us. If you venture onto the open road, it's comfortable, safe and luxurious - provided, the nearly $90,000 price tag is within your reach.

Wheelbase: 112 inches
Length: 183.5 inches
Fuel capacity: 25.4 gallons
Highway, 15 mpg
City, 12 mpg
Base price: $88,200

Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.

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