The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is the only vehicle sold today that successfully spans the cultural chasm between Beirut and the Sunset Strip. The “G-Wagen,” as it’s popularly known, serves civilian owners worldwide, has seen military use on six continents and once won the Dakar Rally. To say it’s versatile is a wild understatement. It’s also an icon of prosperity that’s perhaps uniquely resistant to rational analysis.
Along with ancient underpinnings designed for navigating landmine craters, this SUV proffers healthy helpings of leather-wrapped luxury and incongruously contemporary engineering. It’s square, it’s heavy, it steers and rides like the decades-old military vehicle that it is — and people love it anyway.