Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Unimog Take Top Honors in Reader Survey
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class took a double victory in the “2011 Off-Road Vehicle of the Year” reader survey by “Off Road”
by Jim Davis | 11 February 2011
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has taken a double victory in the “2011 Off-Road Vehicle of the Year” reader survey conducted by “Off Road”. Not only did the off-road legend secure first place in the “Luxury off-road vehicle” category, it also emerged in first place in the “Classic” category. In the “Special vehicles” category, the multi-talented and much adored Unimog succeeded in making its way to the top of the winner’s podium. This reader vote of confidence serves to highlight the exceptional position enjoyed by premium brand Mercedes-Benz in the all-wheel vehicle sector.
The longest-serving Mercedes-Benz model series has enjoyed superstar status for some time now: this year marks the eighth time that the G-Class, which has been in production for almost 32 years, has emerged victorious in the important reader survey conducted by specialist publication “Off Road”. As a result it has once again proved worthy of the title “off-road vehicle of the year”.
The “G” family currently has three body variants: short-wheelbase Station Wagon, long-wheelbase Station Wagon and Convertible, which can be combined with either a particularly environmentally-friendly V6 diesel engine featuring BlueTEC technology and with an output of 155 kW (210 hp) and 540 Nm of torque, or a powerful 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine developing 285 kW (388 hp) with a torque of 530 Nm. The flagship G 55 AMG model – available only as a four-door, long-wheelbase Station Wagon – is powered by a V8 supercharged engine developing 373 kW (507 hp) with an impressive peak torque of 700 Nm.
The evergreen Mercedes-Benz off-roader continues to offer a superior synthesis of high-performance drive and dynamic handling control systems. The standard specification includes the electronically controlled traction system 4ETS, the Electronic Stability Program ESP® and three differential locks selectable at the push of a button, alongside the permanent all-wheel drive with off-road ratio and the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission.
The G-Class Professional, which was crowned victor in the “Classic” category, is characterised by versatility, ruggedness and reliability. It has been the choice of professionals for extreme applications – such as the police and fire services for example – for almost three decades. This limited-equipment utility variant of the classic G-Class model is also often chosen by private individuals for extreme off-road applications.
When it came to special vehicles – all-terrain vehicles which are used to transport loads and goods in remote areas or which form the basis for special bodies – the Unimog was once again able to secure its place on the winner’s podium. It was praised for its design, which combines outstanding all-terrain capability with extreme ruggedness.
The first awards received by the off-road classic date back almost as far as the date of creation of the G-Class itself. In 1983 for example, the Australian specialist magazine “Bushdriver” voted it the best 4×4 off-road vehicle of the year. Since that time the off-road icon has picked up numerous additional awards. Readers of the specialist publication “auto motor und sport” alone have voted the G-Class as the world’s best off-road vehicle on no less than 14 occasions. As such the G-Class is one of the most popular and highly decorated models in the off-road vehicle sector.