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Behold, the interior of Mercedes’ new G-Class SUV. We got a sneak peek at what the next G-Wagen will offer occupants, and it’s a marked upgrade from the narrow, decade-old trappings of the outgoing model.

Don’t expect the military-inspired exterior to change much when the next G is unveiled at the 2018 Detroit auto show. The interior, though, is poised to make a luxurious leap into the 21st century to keep up with this extravagant SUV’s well-heeled buyers. Here are 5 new — and classic — features to look for when the G-Wagen appears at your local dealership:

G class interior space

There’s more shoulder room in the front and more of every kind of room in the rear seats of the new G-Class.

More room

Despite its girth, the G-Wagen isn’t particularly large on the inside. The new model rectifies that somewhat by carving additional space out of the doors and adding a few inches to its overall proportions, all of which is dedicated to passenger space. It doesn’t seem like much on paper, but the effect inside is remarkable, with 6 inches more legroom for rear passengers than in the current model and a welcome increase in shoulder space all around, without giving up the massive box that is the cargo compartment.

G-class dash tech

The available full digital display mimics that of the current E-Class.

High-tech dash display

Two different dash designs are available in the new G-Class: One maintains actual gauges for the driver while adding the latest infotainment features in a new central screen; the other gets the E-Class digital dash with its long screen and virtual instrument cluster. Both help bring the new G-Class up to current tech standards.

Vent vs headlight

See the tweeter on top of the dash? Combined with the air vent, it’s an homage to the G-Wagen’s classic front look.

Actual design elements

The current G-Wagen interior is nice enough, but like the rest of this throwback, it plays more to functionality than fashion. The redesign preserves the functionality (see the note on off-road essentials below) while adding design elements that show attention to luxury detail lacking on the current vehicle. Our favorite? The dash vent/Burmester tweeter combo that mimics the headlight/fender-mounted turn signal that’s long been a signature G-Class exterior feature.


The Mercedes equivalent of Jeep’s Trail Rated badge, signifying the new G-Class was tested in the same conditions all that came before it were.

Off-road essentials

All this talk about luxury and design details might make you think the G-Wagen has gone soft. Not so. The center of the dash gets the same three off-road differential lock buttons as before, and the fat grab handle on the passenger’s side dash is there for support when bounding over Saharan sand dunes. We don’t have specs on the new G’s off-road capabilities yet, but you can bet they’ll be impressive.

Gwagen door

Close this door and it’ll sound just like a current G-Wagen does: Clunk, but the good kind.

That same door and lock sound

Rest assured, despite all the refinements, two beloved G-Class features remain: The vault-like click when the doors close and the bolt-action rifle sound of the door locks. We tried all five doors just to make absolutely sure, and Mercedes engineers assured us those aural cues were non-negotiable on the redesign.

Andrew Stoy

Andrew Stoy – Digital editor Andrew Stoy has spent the past 20 years wrenching on and writing about cars. He’s worked everywhere from dealer service bays to the headquarters of the world’s largest automakers.
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