1999 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 290 GDT 2.9 turbo diesel 602 from Costa Rica


The G is a cool car, but it's not a GOOD car


Almost everything.

General Comments:

To begin. I am guilty of buying a 20 year old car that needed a little love. I need to be completely transparent that the previous owner and mechanic really didn't do the best job keeping the car up. Despite that, a lot of things have broken and/or don't work that simply shouldn't have for a car with just 114,000km (that's only 70,000ish miles).

I have always had older cars. 8 years old is probably the newest I have had, so I'm used to needing to put some work and parts in them and I'm normally OK with that. I got a SIMPLE version worker truck, a w461 (the 290gdt), on purpose to avoid some of the complications of the fragile w463. I bought it because I have always liked the styling of the G and I wanted an automatic, 2 door turbo diesel that was tough and would last me forever. I thought paying 2-3x times more that any other vehicle of its age was a indicator of how strong they are. NOPE!

At first, I blamed a lot of the troubles on the previous owner, rather than the quality of the car. Now, however, after a year and a half of owning it, it has been in the shop for 12 of the 18 months. This is supposed to be a tough car (why I bought it), but it isn't. The G-class is the most delicate and unreliable 4x4 I have ever owned by far. I will go further to say I have never heard of anyone having a less reliable car than this one. Bolts have just fallen out of the A/C mounting bracket (apparently this is common), there are important wires and components under the fenders which are completely exposed to rocks and such, so going off road breaks things. The vacuum and electrical systems are quite fragile, the engine is really pretty rough and loud, even for a diesel. The motor is strong, but has prehistoric technology and performance. The top speed is maybe 110km/h. The suspension components aren't really very strong for a paramilitary work truck. I know my mechanic well and he isn't the problem, because each time it breaks it's something different. I am part of the G-class club and we all pretty much agree that our trucks are just a hobby second car (if they are more than 10 years old) because they aren't reliable and it costs a fortune to fix them. Other than the way they look, I can't think of much good to say. If you want a serious, reliable, comfortable 4x4... Go Toyota or Nissan.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th September, 2018

1986 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 300GD 3.0L naturally aspirated diesel from North America


Leaking valve cover, adjust and grease doors, replace windshield wipers, replace primer pump and fuel lines, valve adjustment, needs new radiator due to pin hole leak. New BF Goodrich All Terrain KO2. Pray to Jesus we make it to 60mph before the next century :)

In all seriousness this has been a great "classic" vehicle. Maintenance wise it's nothing too bad and you can learn to wrench on it yourself. This doesn't require a computer to fix, which is really relaxing and nice. Parts are not crazy expensive over any other car, and you can find parts stateside through Eurotruck Importers.

General Comments:

This thing is slow. Seriously, go get a 1950s Beetle, that is quick in comparison to this thing. Can it be driven on the highway? Sure! Will everyone and their grandmother loath you, absofreakinlutely.

Ever had a Honda Fit tail you so closely they could tell you what ate for breakfast? Yup it's that slow. It would be nice for it to be a little bit faster.

Hoping to swap an OM617a engine soonish.

Engine and drivetrain is super reliable though. It can hit 70mph if you beg it too, but I don't really like to push it that hard. I drive it by RPM and she prefers 3k RPM. The 5 speed helps albeit marginally at best. The shifter is clunky but light, which is weird. This truck is heavy, like very heavy. Think small tank.

It is very comfortable and the greenhouse is amazing. I miss cars having this much visibility. No A/C. All crank windows. Seats are an awesome brown plaid. Handling can get a little crazy around turns so it's no Miata. She leans. Steering box is vague sometimes. Brakes are good though.

Would I say this is better than a Jeep? Well yeah because it has factory lockers and 4wd. But I think a Jeep might be a more reasonable value. This is a 2 door version so it's cheaper, but a Cherokee might be just as if not more capable. However this comes with a more rock solid yet slow engine.

Our example was imported from the Netherlands.

Will certainly be staying in our family for nice weekends or when the world ends :)

It will be great for that last one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2017