We love the Defender, but lately we’ve been thinking, “is there an alternative with a similar pedigree?” A truck with rugged good looks, utilitarian function and unlimited variants to satisfy everyone from foreign militaries to civil services to world explorers? Of course there is! May we present a side by side love letter to the Land Rover Defender and the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen.
But first, a brief introduction to the G-Wagen ( / G-wagon / G / G Class, etc, etc):
The first G-Wagen prototype was tested extensively in the Sahara Desert and the Arctic circle in 1975. Capable and reliable, Mercedes began mass producing the G-Wagen at their new factory in Graz, Austria beginning in 1979. The early w460s were spartan, but beautiful. The model eventually received a facelift in 1990 in the form of the W463 which remained nearly unchanged until 2019. Not a bad run. Even though the older W460 was no longer produced, Mercedes continued production in the form of the w461, made primarily for militaries, police and NGO’s.
Uncanny how similar a pedigree these two greats share…