2009-2012 or NEW 2013 G class for overlanding?

Jwestpro

Explorer
Aside from pricing whenever it's the new model, would anyone here really consider buying a new G class of either US build for overlanding?

It seem to be a general consensus that nobody will buy a new G class for overlanding or that the people who will buy at new price levels, do not visit any forums so we end up with a biased representation. Currently plenty of you users will say "sure, buy a 2005, or maybe even 2008 G class. This always seems to be a reasoning based mostly on price but back in 2005, who would say to buy one new for overland use? Therefor, how can it be "wrong headed" to buy a new G now and just live with it, indefinitely.

I have mainly had Land Rovers since 1999 with my first being a 1996 Discovery, then I added a 2007 LR3 and upon doing so, realized the days of a true rugged Land Rover were quickly ending so I also added a 2004 Discovery in my all time favorite color scheme, Aspen interior with Vienna Green paint. I was simply in love with the funky UK design ergonomics of high function with quirky design and the large tall box shaped interior......just like a G class, which at the time, I didn't know existed or else I'd probably be living now with one I'd bought back then, new.

Which leads me to the current model G class. Tweaked into perfection or tweaked beyond perfection? The body and frame seems to be better and better in terms of tolerances, less squeaky, better corrosion protection, newer paints and basic materials such as for the door and window trims, gaskets, carpets, etc.

How is it fully sane to buy a well used G while seemingly not sane to buy a new one with plans to keep forever, and ever.

My 2007 LR3 cost me $55,000 new in 2007, plus taxes, then it begged for $25,000 in modifications and additions to be what I wanted it to be. I'm in it for $85,000 plus the practically required extended warranty so really $90,000...for an LR3!

Had I bought a new G500 or G55 back then, I would basically be into it for the same total over time but with a lot less consternation over the past 6 years. I see the G, even a new one, as the only vehicle which will put me back into the place of satisfaction I had when I first drove my 96 Discovery. I cared about almost nothing except what I was doing on any given trip or "where are we going on the next trip?"

So now, present day, what to do? I am ready to move on from the LR3. It's actually quite good, I think it's just not for me though. I have an Audi S4 4.2 v8 6 spd I bought new and love the muscle car feel and and tones it provides, plus it just feels solid and awesome. The new G appeals to me the same way but is obviously also suitable for all my box-on-wheels needs.

Does everyone love the new-newer G class but just find the cost to purchase simply too far out of budget to make sense of it?

I've been very seriously considering a new 2013 Land Cruiser and right now, it's a battle between the two: new G vs new Land Cruiser

1- In the budget column, there's an obvious difference.
2-There are a few other things which are marginally important in the big picture such as a new LC runs on 87 octane specification while any recent G is premium spec.
3-they both have ventilated seats if you like that. I do because many trips are minimum 5 hrs but often multiple days and 8+ hrs each day.
4-I find the G more ergonomically suited for me. It's narrower cabin, nice snug window sill for left arm, very upright seating and view of the world.
5-view, I LOVE the view out of the older Land Rover or the G. Tall windows, low window sill, great sight lines to edges/corners, the scenic experience is wonderful and it's a big part of what drew me into the first disco. Much of my enjoyment in the world comes from the visual experience so the view is key. The LC is ok, but sort of just a taller version of my view out of a ground hugging euro wagon. Nothing like the G view experience.
6-trail use, parking, dimensions: G is 9" shorter bumper to bumper, narrower by a few inches, 4" taller.
7-build concept main differences: G is both solid axles with heavy duty recirculating ball, LC is IFS (great on the road), LC has KDSS which allows more articulation off road while retaining nice highway handling. Both are body on frame, both can use steel springs of choice for loading or towing or lifting. G still uses gutters which allows for multitude of roof uses and solid rack mounting.
8-2013 G550 still uses front brakes that allow 18" wheels from factory, as spec. G63 got brake size increase only allowing 19" factory wheels (this can be remedied by either using previous size brake set from G55 or other 18" wheel/spacer)
*9- tow rating of LC is 8500 lbs while G only states 7000 lb. Yet but are on solid axle and steel springs with G having significant shorter rear overhang and thus a plus on towing stability in that regard. Both have same wheel base. G brakes are far superior. LC brakes could be upgraded simply by fitting Toyota Tundra set.

10-for long drives, LC is far quieter inside at speed and steering/handling is far easier. General comfort on long trips is marginally different. Tank size is similar but LC will have 50 mile more range or better due to 10% better fuel economy.

11-Fuel cost will always be 10% less in LC due to low grade vs premium pricing. Long term LC should be significantly cheaper to maintain from a fluids and parts stance.

12-aftermarket support: LC has many, many options and sources at reasonable costs while G has very few options but they are out there. For example, want supplemental long range fuel tank on the LC, sure, pick from 4 sizes and combinations just from Long Ranger. Want a steel rear bumper/tire carrier for LC pick from a few already made. For the G there are few in these options but at least the tire is already in a good place and on the G, you don't need to buy lockers or all that's involved with many of the "modifications" people go after simply because it's basically ready to go aside from proper tires.

So, where I am on this is that if towing is the primary purpose, putting you out there with a highly capable exploration rig after dropping a trailer, then the LC is an obvious winner. It is of course hard to not see the obvious cost aspect: $ G = $ LC+new Airstream. Yet, if I will always be looking at the G and wishing, might as well get one so I can get on with life.
 

Bullsnake

Adventurer
Get the G.

I am as died in the wool, green bleedin' SOB as you are likely to meet and I would fight you tooth and nail if you came to take my G away. We still have a new 2013 LR4 in the garage so I didn't have to abandon the breed completely, but I haven't driven it since the arrival of the G and don't miss it one bit. The LR4 is the wife's daily driver now, and I have NO problems with it!

I was in a similar situation - I was looking for a "practical" replacement for my 110, and it was down to the Full Fat Range Rover, a new Land Cruiser, and the G. The new RR just seemed too over the top in terms of gadgetry, and if Dyson made a vehicle it would be the new LC - UBER reliable, comfortable, capable, and in all honesty probably the "right" choice. I have come to the consensus though that if you LOVE Land Rovers you aren't quite wired right from birth, and the "heart and soul" of a vehicle ends up playing too big a part in the decision making process. After sitting in all of them, driving them, etc. the G was the obvious choice for me, and I have absolutely ZERO buyers remorse on my '09 AMG G55. To me it is a 110 the way a 110 should be in this day and age - quirky enough to be "lovable" but still able to do 80 (or WAY more) on the interstate all day long.

I won't give up my LR4, nor will I give up my '72 FJ 40, but both of them spend a lot of lonely nights in the garage now that the G is here!
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
Jim, come down and drive my '03 G500 with heavy duty OEM susp--truck just turned 100k.
Again, my biggest complaint with a newer G is the HUGE depreciation hit you will incur over the next 5yrs. The G prices plummet which is why you can find '03 G500's with 80k for ~$30k--they were what, $75-80k new?
 

Jwestpro

Explorer
Jim, come down and drive my '03 G500 with heavy duty OEM susp--truck just turned 100k.
Again, my biggest complaint with a newer G is the HUGE depreciation hit you will incur over the next 5yrs. The G prices plummet which is why you can find '03 G500's with 80k for ~$30k--they were what, $75-80k new?
Yes, I agree. Maybe I will get a 2013 G in 6 years or so ;)

Hope to see you this weekend at the mini expo.
 

Jwestpro

Explorer
Did the 2013 up towing back to 7000lbs? 09-12 were half that.
Yes, the 2013 for US returned with a factory hitch and braked trailer tow rating up to 7000 lbs. 09-12 for US market were effectively 0 lbs without custom work because there was no hitch or mounting point.
 

reece146

Automotive Artist
If money is not an issue why would you drive anything other than a new vehicle? The G hasn't really changed over the years. A 2003 vs a 2013 is pretty much the same truck - just different shades of lipstick on the pig.


That aside, be realistic about how you will use the machine.


If towing a camper or boat trailer and travelling forest roads is really all the truck is going to be used for then new makes a lot of sense.


If losing $50k+ in depreciation over five years would bother you then don't buy new.


If you really intend to wheel the pi55 out of it then buy something a few years old... say in the $50k or so range that still has some warranty on the truck if possible.


Country pin-striping and cutting parts off the frame to make 35" tires fit are not really a big deal in that range (IMO).


Even if you end up selling the truck again in a few years because you've gotten bored with it then you'll still recoup a good portion of your outlay.


The only way I personally would buy a show room new G to wheel hard was if I was certain that I'd not want to sell the truck in a number of years. And if I didn't live in the rust belt. That is, if I was sure I would have the truck till my end. In my climate at the end of ten years a truck is used up due to corrosion.


 

Dave22

New member
Country pin-striping and cutting parts off the frame to make 35" tires fit are not really a big deal in that range (IMO).

35s will fit with a 2" lift or spring spacers.

The real problem is the EPS. You will need access to the STAR computer system for that.

A regear would be in order too because you will losing a lot of torque.

Never priced out new ring and pinions for a G but I bet they are spendy.
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
35s will fit with a 2" lift or spring spacers.

The real problem is the EPS. You will need access to the STAR computer system for that.

A regear would be in order too because you will losing a lot of torque.

Never priced out new ring and pinions for a G but I bet they are spendy.
Even after making the TC module recoding, 35's will present ABS interference on tight corners....the same occurs with my 33's and the TC module recoding.

PS--Jim, we missed you this past weekend! :(
 
Just over a year from the start of this thread. Many over since your first one in 09. You finally get your G?
 

CYK

Adventurer
Jwest if you're ever in SoCal hit me up. Drive my 2014 land cruiser on full icon sus on 10 ply 33s before you make a decision. It'll be an easy sell is my guess.

Ps that whole upgrade to tundra brakes is complete tomfoolery. The stock brakes are moooore than adequate.
 

EspenT

New member
I´m unsure of what you are using the car for. If i was to buy a new G i would buy the G professional. If you are more into a expedition vehicle, go for the Mercedes G entdecker.
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
I´m unsure of what you are using the car for. If i was to buy a new G i would buy the G professional. If you are more into a expedition vehicle, go for the Mercedes G entdecker.
He's in the USA so can't easily do either. Plus you can build your Entdecker(minus the turbo diesel) for a WHOLE lot less money.
 

EspenT

New member
I know he is in US but I´m sure Entdecker would sell him a vehicle if he has the $$$. And I also know you can build a almost identical car yourself. In fact that is what I´m doing. But I don´t think it is a lot cheaper if you want all the options and the same quality parts. And if you start out with a new US spec G you pay for LOADS of electronics you don´t need and are most likely to have you stranded and/or causing you problems WHEN it malfunctions.

If he wants a "offroader" to cruse up and down Hollywood boulevard, go buy a AMG G65 and fit some bigger wheels and a roofrack :)


The entdecker
http://www.mercedes-g-entdecker.com

G Professional
http://www.mercedes-benz.co.za/content/south_africa/mpc/mpc_south_africa_website/en/home_mpc/passengercars/home/new_cars/models/g-class/_w463_crosscountry/facts_/gclassprofessional.html
 
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