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Does The New Mercedes G350d Professional Return The G-Wagen To Its Off-Roading Roots?

It certainly looks like an SUV you'd want to get dirty.

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a luxurious SUV, no doubt about it, but it’s not exactly one you’d think to take off-road. That’s a damn shame as the car began life as a rugged off-roader that favored functionality over luxury. Today that’s flipped, but Mercedes is trying to balance the scales with the new G350d Professional. It’s powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 engine making 245 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. That engine is mated to a 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission.

The G350d Professional will likely not come stateside (diesel and all), which is a big shame. It can hit a top speed of 160 mph and comes with permanent all-wheel drive, but there’s also an off-road ratio and three electrically selectable 100% differential locks. As you can see from the photos the cabin isn’t exactly luxurious in its base form, with the floor covered in rubber mats. Those mats can be removed for cleaning, with a drain plug in the floor making it easy to wash out sand and mud. The wood-finished cargo area is only available when you opt for the Professional Off-Road package. To be fair you may not see it all the time, especially since the G350d Professional has a payload capacity of 1,305 pounds. Its towing capacity is 7,054 pounds.

The G350d Professional starts at $89,000 and may be a hard sell to those who have come to expect the G-Wagen to be the epitome of luxury on wheels. Still, this is a capable off-roader and one that returns the G-Class to its roots. We think people will pay handsomely for a semi-retro SUV like this. Hell, people in the US are willing to pay almost this much for a used Land Rover Defender. We wonder if that little tidbit would convince Mercedes to bring this bad boy across the pond.

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