The 2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class for the American market has one trim, the G500. It is a four-door hardtop equipped with almost every luxury feature that can be offered in an SUV. It is powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with five-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive. The COMAND and TeleAid systems provide navigation abilities, telephone connectivity, and additional services such as making travel arrangements and purchasing theater tickets. The Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle, or SUV, has been sold in the European market since 1979 as a heavy-duty off-road vehicle that found favor with various military groups and safari enthusiasts. It was sold with a diesel engine and had no luxury features, but it offered good performance with superior off-roading ability. When it debuted in the American market in 2002, it was modified to suit the American taste and to meet the government’s safety and emissions requirements.
Body Styles: sport utility vehicle
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz G500
The 2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a new model for the U.S. market.
Standard features for the 2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class includes 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille, intermittent front windshield and rear window wipers, privacy glass, rear defogger, power glass sunroof, rear side-hinged door, front fog lights, daytime running lights, power windows, and remote power door locks. It also has high-pressure washers, dusk-sensing headlights, and power heated mirrors. The passenger mirror reverse-tilts to provide a view of the curb for easier parking.
2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is square and boxy; its truck-based ladder frame, flat glass, and flat body panels give it a utilitarian look. The tall, narrow body makes it look larger than its five-passenger capacity. The door hinges and latches are partially exposed, which makes it a target for car thieves with a slim-Jim. Opening the doors with the clumsy, dated push-button door handles is not too difficult, and closing the doors will emit a loud clunk due to the exposed latches. With a ground clearance of 8.3 inches, the step-in is challenging, even for a long-legged passenger and the side steps offer little assistance.
2002 Mercedes-Benz G500 includes leather upholstery, climate control, cruise control, power steering, universal remote transmitter, leather/wood-trimmed tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, external temperature display, and a nine-speaker audio system. The 10-way power front heated bucket seats have manual height adjustments and the memory feature remembers steering wheel and seat settings for up to three drivers. Leather/wood trim adorns the center console, doors, dashboard, and shift knob. The rear seat is a 70/30-split bench seat. The COMAND system is set quite low in the dashboard and it complicated to use. The climate controls are small, poorly marked, and set beneath the COMAND system. The night illumination for the dashboard is quite weak for night driving. The material quality inside the G500 is good, but the overall appearance is more industrial than luxury. The cabin seats five people and feels narrow. The foot-wells are small, but head room is generous. The front bucket seats and rear bench seat feel hard and flat and the rear seat is difficult to fold down due to the firm spring. Rear visibility is hampered because the headrests are tall, the glass is tinted quite dark, and the stance of the SUV is tall.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that makes 292 horsepower and 336 lb-ft of torque. It is mated with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting capability and full-time four-wheel drive. The G500 has solid live axle front and rear suspension with coil springs and gash shocks on all four wheels.
The overall handling of the 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500 is disappointing with its poor steering that requires much correction, even at low speeds. The body displays a prominent lean in cornering and moderate gusts of wind causes the vehicle to wander. Once the brakes are warmed up, stopping power is good with very little nosedive in panic stops. The firm, off-road suspension gives a bumpy ride, but it is not overly uncomfortable. Despite its heavy weight and poor aerodynamic shape, it sprints from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, thanks to its quick-shifting, smooth automatic transmission. Gaps around the door hinges and latches made for marked wind and tire noise during travel.
The 2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class performs well off-road. The 8.3-inch ground clearance, stability/traction controls, and all-terrain tires allow it to ascend and descend 36-degree grades and lateral slopes up to 24 degrees. The adaptive automatic transmission allows consumers to quickly and smoothly shift and change differentials as needed. The four-wheel drive system is easy to operate and has convenient switches in the dashboard and a lever on the floor.
Standard safety features for the 2002 Mercedes-Benz G-Class include four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, dual front airbags with front passenger and infant car set sensors, anti-lock braking system, anti-theft alarm system, emergency braking assist, stability/traction controls, electronic Brake force distribution, and engine immobilizer.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz G320: 11/13 mpg city/highway
- Off-road capability
- Good cargo room
- Adaptive four-wheel-drive system is easy to use
You Won't Like
- Dated, boxy look
- Complicated navigation system
- Poor steering and handling
- Uncomfortable seats
The high price and poor performance makes the competition more attractive.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Range Rover 4.6 HSE
- Lexus LX470
- Ford Expedition
- Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban
- Hummer H1/H2