While in Miami, we took this timeless classic for a luxurious test run.
Story: Evan ‘Evo’ Yates
Photos: Evan ‘Evo’ Yates / Mercedes-Benz / Jordan Krate
Exterior: The fact that the G-Wagen’s exterior has been virtually unaltered for nearly 40 years may be frowned upon, yet I believe the G’s vintage appearance is the foundation of its appeal. I actually tend to judge a vehicle’s appearance based on its ability to stand the test of time – if it still looks cool in ten years, it’s a winner. To be brutally honest, the G63 looks like a German tank and a fancy toaster had a love child and that’s quite refreshing to me. The fact that there is still a vehicle such as this produced in the era of futuristic crossovers flooding the expressways is quite admirable. To put it in muscle-car-guy terms, it’s as if Chevy were still making second-gen Camaros in 2015 but with updated interiors and drivetrains. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Anyway, the G63’s exterior is simultaneously bold, ferocious and charming and although it’s dated, its looks are immortal. Yes, it’s covered in chrome and even though I’ve lost my taste for the bling, somehow it works on the G63. And although its aesthetics are classic in nature, the G63 still brings some new-school charm to the table with its front LED lights, blacked-out wheels and massive red brake calipers. The best thing about the exterior? You’re the strangest, coolest most unique thing on the road and that has to count for something.
Interior: One of the things I love about the G-Wagen is that it sports the signature vintage exterior while maintaining a refined interior. However, if you compare the G to other current Mercedes models, it’s actually a few years behind and can even be viewed as ‘economy’ as a couple items such as the LCD screen look aftermarket. That being said, the interior has plenty of plush amenities such as seats that are actually quite comfortable wrapped in supple, yet durable designo Black Nappa leather. And although the interior cabin takes a bit of getting used to with its vertical windows that create some interesting reflections, the interior of the G63 makes you feel like you’re the lead vehicle in some sort of combat procession or mob fleet as its militant, yet elegant at the same time.
A/V: If you’ve driven a Benz in the last few years, the electronics in the G63 are on-par with the entry-level Mercedes vehicles and nothing really jumps out as outstanding, yet everything is certainly functional. I found that the radio was very easy to operate and the harman/kardonn LOGIC7 surround sound system did quite well with the bass-laden tunes we were blasting while cruising South Beach. And again, in a vehicle such as this you aren’t expecting to be floored by a plethora of a gadgets and I actually appreciate the G more with its electronic simplicity.
Performance: To further my comparisons to an old muscle car, the G63 is a brute that hauls some serious ass in a straight line and is a little scary around curves. And like driving a muscle car, you fall in love with the acceleration and throaty exhaust so much that you put up with any driving annoyances you may experience. On city streets, the G63 can get quite bouncy at times but for the most part it drives as expected and is just fine on the highway. It would be ludicrous for anyone to discredit the G63 for its truck-like ride when there are tens of thousands of people driving around lifted trucks and loving every minute of it. Speaking of that, even though I didn’t have a chance to take it off-road (I would have loved to but I was in Miami where things are pretty flat) I think the G63 could use a little extra meat on the tires. To me, this would accomplish a few things but mainly it would look more capable and less pretty and also aid those who want to get some real use out of it. Do I think anyone out there will be spending $140k to go off-road? Not one bit, but with its three locking differentials, 560 lb-ft of torque and 4-wheel electronic traction system, the G63 certainly could.
Floss Factor: The attention a bone stock G-Wagen attracts is off the charts, even on South Beach as we experienced on every cruise. The G63 just has an aura of opulence about it while still having that hard-edge, capable presence. The G63 would have been at home parked in front of Wet Willies on Ocean Drive or traversing through the sand on the beach and somehow it looks the part regardless. I can’t reitterate enough that the G63 turns EVERY head, even in a sea of Lambos, Ferraris and Rolls. It’s just that one rare vehicle that commands your attention – or else. And as we illustrated in the last picture of our gallery from our Forgiato Fest coverage, when customizing these vehicles it can boost the appeal exponentially. With the fact that the G isn’t exactly practical, this is THE ride you cop to floss.
Power: 536 hp / 560 lb-ft
0-60: 5.3 sec
Gas Cash: 13 MPG (Combined)
“C” ain’t for cookie, but it’s good enough for me.
*European Model Shown*
Story By: Will Sabel Courtney
Pop quiz, hot shot: What does the “C” in C-Class stand for? If you guessed “compact,” well, you’re wrong, but you might as well be right. The C-Class serves as Mercedes-Benz’s small sedan—and from its 1993 introduction until 2013, when the CLA-Class came rolling along, it also served as Mercedes’s entry-level model in the United States.
But now that the CLA/A/GLA/B-Classes are holding down the bottom level of the Mercedes lineup, the C-Class is free to step onto higher rungs of the luxury latter. So for the all-new 2015 model, Mercedes didn’t hold back on piling on the bougie.
And as a result, the new C-Class has turned out to be one hell of a li’l luxury car.
Rolling up to my doorstep in C300 4MATIC Sport form (translated from Mercedes-ese: turbocharged four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive, sport suspension and more aggressive styling), the C-Class revealed itself to be a luxo-car jack of all trades. Stylish, but not flashy. Expensive, but not ostentatious. Sporty, but not hard-edged; comfortable, but not floaty. Quick, but not brutal. Efficient, but not pretentious. Advanced, but not futuristic.
Oh, and a little pricey. My C300 rang in at $53,720. Dat’s a lotta scratch for a compact car. Especially one without even a V6.
Of course, that’s with option after option…after option. If you can do without the self-steering radar-guided cruise control or the all-wheel-drive or the AMG sport suspension or the Burmeister sound system or the leather upholstery or any other option on the order form, you can drive out of the Mercedes-Benz dealership with a C-Class that costs less than $40,000.
But remarkably, now matter how much you spend, every C-Class comes with the same gorgeous interior that looks every bit worth a pile of five hundred Benjamins. It’s sleek beyond belief, Art Deco-meets-Bauhaus rendered in leather and aluminum and black plastic. Dressed up in two-tone leather like my tester, it looks every bit the kind of guts that reestablish Mercedes-Benz as a world standard in luxury. Audi—you’re on notice.
Even the display for the infotainment system, which looks a bit like a fungal growth in pictures, seems coherent and attractive in person—it frees up more dashboard space for controls and vents without compromising screen size, or pushing the dashboard into a convoluted, bloated shape.
The organic-looking display isn’t the only new thing about the C-Class’s infotainment setup, though. As one of M-B’s newest models, the C-Class benefits from its latest generation of electronic goodies. The latest version of COMAND comes with redundant controls - a touch-sensitive trackpad stretching out, visor-like, over the now-familiar whirly-knob. I couldn’t figure out the purpose of having both—they seemed to accomplish the exact same tasks, as far as I could tell. Maybe Mercedes is just prepping us for the removal of the COMAND knob altogether. The latest user interface for COMAND, though, is a definite improvement; crystal-clear graphics make using it a snap, and there’s plenty of negative space on the screen to keep it from being eye-catchingly distracting.
Outside, the C-Class looks every inch a Mercedes. In fact, it can be hard to tell just how many inches of Mercedes it is; spot one without other cars nearby to provide a sense of perspective, and it’s easy to mistake the C-Class for the larger S-Class. If anything, the C’s tidier proportions give it a more aggressive look than the Town Car-sized S—especially with the AMG styling package.
The AMG-branded Sport package isn’t just a bigger three-pointed star and edgier front and rear fascia, though—the brakes and suspension both score upgrades as well. The sportier suspension sets a near-perfect balance between ride comfort and handling—it’s firm and planted in the turns, but soaks up bumps and imperfections like the shock absorbers were filled with spongecake. It’d probably be too soft for the track, but exactly zero people are going to be buying C300s for track use. That’s what the new C63 AMG is for, what with its choice of twin-turbo V8s making 469 or 503 horsepower, its dual-clutch transmission, its electronic limited-slip diff and all-around erection-inducing awesomeness.
(The Sport package also includes several other cosmetic enhancements, including a really kicks flat-bottomed steering wheel. Just wanted to mention that. Hey, it’s my review, I’ll say what I want.)
That said, while there may be AMG badging on the carpets, this ain’t an AMG. Nobody’s likely to confuse the turbo four under the hood for the rip-roarin’ one Affalterbach makes for the CLA45. That said, the C300 does go harder than its base-level slot in the C-Class lineup would make you think. The engine cranks out 241 horses and 274 lb-ft., which may not sound like much in an era of 707 horsepower muscle cars, but it’s enough to punch the C300 down the road with eyebrow-elevating intensity. And it turns in surprisingly good gas mileage; my C300 turned in an indicated 30.1 mpg over 900-plus miles of NYC gridlock, backroad hustling, and 75-plus mph highway hauling.
The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system proved itself completely unobtrusive—not surprising, considering I drove the car almost entirely in dry, summer weather. The only time it ever even manifested itself was to keep the car pointed straight during a wee bit of dirt road derbying. Still, while AWD is no excuse for snow tires in winter weather, it’s a nice perk for anyone who deals with crappy weather on a regular basis—and probably saves a few drivers’ bacon every year without them even knowing it. And since there doesn’t seem to be much of a fuel economy penalty (at least in this case), what the hell.
But if the AWD aids the car’s agility just a little bit, the C-Class’s compact dimensions help out a ton. The car feels wonderfully-sized on the road—small enough to dart and dodge through traffic, but large enough to be taken seriously by everyone else. Or maybe that’s just the Mercedes-Benz badge.
And—well, to be honest, there’s quite a bit of room inside. Certainly more than I expected, based on the car’s tidy size. Nobody’s going to confuse the C-Class for either of its big brothers in terms of interior volume, I grant you—that said, I was able to fit four adults inside pretty comfortably. It involved moving the driver’s seat closer to the wheel than I normally like it, but it wasn’t unpleasant. I know. I was shocked.
So, bottom line: The C300 is one hell of a starter luxury car. Nicely sized, good-looking inside and out, packed with technology (some you need and some you don’t, IMHO), and made by one of the best brands in the biz working at the top of their game. If you came to me and asked for a recommendation for a $50,000 car, the C-Class would be the first name out of my mouth.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go try and beg Mercedes to let me drive the C63.
Price as Tested: $53,720
0-60: 6.4 secs.
Power: 241 hp, 273 lb.-ft.
Gas Cash: 24 city, 31 hwy
Miles Driven: 900
M-M-M-Maybach is back and better than ever!
Story and photos by: Evan ‘Evo’ Yates
Back when the Maybach was at the height of its popularity, I honestly never understood the appeal. At the time I thought the S-Class Mercedes looked just as good (or better) and when it came to ultra-luxury sedans, the Phantom left the Maybach in the dust. And even though Rick Ross’s crew (Maybach Music Group) gave the nameplate a bit of a revival in the Hip Hop community, the dated styling was no match for its competitors or simply the market itself. Regardless, the Maybach name is certainly synonymous with high-end automobiles, which is why it was a brilliant move from Mercedes to bring it back in some capacity.
Exterior: For starters, the designo Diamond White Metallic paint is perfect for a vehicle of this caliber. It exudes just enough opulence while not trying to do too much. The mirror-style window tint also compliments the color but I probably would opt-out of the chrome pillar option, as they’re not necessary to pull off the aesthetic. Everything about the exterior is gorgeous and refined and simply screams luxury. On this particular model, the rear door is longer than a standard S-Class but not ridiculously lengthened like the former Maybach 62, which, to me, looked too stretched. Even though most people I encountered turned up their nose at the wheels, I actually applauded Mercedes for going ‘retro’ on the rolling gear with the 20-inch Maybach Forged Wheels that are reminiscent of ‘90s Benzes. Although, for $3900 I would probably just buy a nice set of forged, brushed 22s and call it a day. The only negative feedback I received about the exterior was that it had Mercedes and Maybach badging which apparently to non-car people is quite confusing (Really?). I assume for some people it’s hard to wrap their heads around the fact that this car truly is both a Mercedes and a Maybach. What that being said, the only thing I’d change about the exterior for 2017 would be to but the double-M back on the nose of the car to not confuse anyone or bruise any potential egos (and you could probably charge $30k more in doing so.)
Interior: Inside is where the money’s at – both literally and figuratively. The rear seating area is quite remarkable as our test vehicle had the Executive Rear Seat Package with folding tables, heated/cooled beverage holders and of course, the reclining seats. A couple options I would NOT need are the $3200 champagne flutes and the $1100 mini-fridge – although they made for great Instagram pictures! When seated in what I like to call the ‘CEO Position’ – the rear seat on the passenger side – you have everything you would ever need from an ultra-luxury vehicle. Virtually everything in the vehicle can be controlled from the rear including the front passenger seat and how far it goes forward. Talk about boss moves! And even though most people would prefer to be driven in a car such as this, I found that the front cabin is just as nice in the front and the experience with the gauges, dials, buttons and ambient lighting makes for an engaging time as a driver. Furthermore, if I were to own a car such as this I would actually get a kick out of people experiencing the rear cabin of the car as I did with countless friends and family members the week I had the Maybach. Needless to say, if you want to stunt, hire a driver for the weekend but during the week you can certainly drive this to and from your plush office. To top it all off, the blue ambient lighting really made the interior cabin feel exclusive and made even a trip to the grocery store an experience. I literally want this in every car I own from now on!
A/V: The electronic system incorporated in the new 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 is mind-blowing but at times, overwhelming. With so many options and things to control, there are simply a lot of menus to toggle through. I honestly didn’t mess with many of the features because I was too busy enjoying the overall experience. As with any electronics, spending 30 minutes parked in your driveway will ultimately aid you in learning what you need to know. The Night View Assist PLUS system was really awesome but I couldn’t really think of a time when I would need to use it. The back-up camera system is hands-down the best I’ve used in years, as it’s one of the only systems I’ve ever reviewed that I was able to rely on 100% without using mirrors or turning around. This was certainly helpful as the size of the vehicle makes it quite cumbersome to park in certain situations.
Performance: It’s nothing but smooth sailing behind the wheel of the Maybach. Even though at times the car feels a bit heavy due to its massive size, acceleration is effortless thanks to the bi-turbo V12 under the hood and 7-speed automatic transmission. This car is also the best I’ve ever experience in terms of dealing with road hazards, humps and speed bumps as they’re all diminished into minor afterthoughts.
Floss Factor: At a modest $205k, this vehicle is an absolute STEAL. Seriously, it costs half what the former Maybachs cost but much more plush and updated. For those in the market for an uber-luxurious sedan, it’s a no-brainer. About the only thing the 2016 doesn’t have compared to the former models is those silly curtains and I’ll take the automatic sunshades over those any day.
Power: 523 hp, 612 lb-ft
0-60: 5.0 sec (estimated)
Gas Cash: 15 MPG (combined)
The GLC Coupe Concept is nearing production and it can't come quick enough.
April 19, 2015 - Stuttgart / Shanghai
In a flowing transition, Mercedes-Benz lands the next coup: the Concept GLC Coupé is a near-production-standard study that carries the successful GLE Coupé formula over into a more compact segment. The dynamically expressive show car combines typical stylistic features of a coupé with the sensually pure design idiom of coming SUV generations. This emotively appealing fusion is further enriched with details that are strong in character. A twin-blade radiator grille, powerdomes on the hood and a four-pipe exhaust system form an aesthetic contrast to the harmonious, almost organic main body section. On the other hand, elements from the rugged off-road world, such as enormous 21-inch tires, front and rear underbody protection, increased ground clearance and side running boards, are indicative of the off-road performance potential of the Concept GLC Coupé.
Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG, puts it in a nutshell: "With its modern and sensual design idiom, the Concept GLC Coupé gives a foretaste of future SUV models from Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, it embraces the typical values of tradition-steeped Mercedes-Benz coupés".
The same successful blend of the multifunctional SUV and the emotively appealing coupé world of Mercedes-Benz that was so enthusiastically welcomed with the GLE Coupé is now repeated with the Concept GLC Coupé. However, the near-production-standard show car inhabits a more compact segment, as demonstrated by the external length of 186.2 inches (4.73 meters) and the 111.4 inch (2.83-meter) wheelbase. These two dimensions, together with the striking and muscular main body section, elongated greenhouse and large 21-inch wheels, provide an ideal basis for the typical, almost dramatic proportions of the sportily youthful coupé generation with the characteristic off-road touch.
Distinctive front end, sculptural headlamp design
At the front, a short, crisp overhang with upright radiator grille and twin-blade louvre so characteristic of sporty Mercedes-Benz models give a first indication of the sporty philosophy behind the Concept GLC Coupé. The credo "Born to race on every ground" is confirmed by the powerdomes on the hood, the sweeping lines of the A-wing below the radiator grille, the large side air intakes and the visually dominant underbody protection. Like all the trim elements on the concept vehicle, this typical SUV feature radiates in silver shadow to form an attractive counterpoint to the solar-beam paintwork and the all-round claddings in matte gun metal magno paintwork.
Reminiscent of light sculptures, striking LED headlamps decisively shape the expressive face of the Concept GLC Coupé. All functions are united in one housing: for illumination, the daytime running lamps and turn indicators use the upper strip inserts, dubbed "eyebrows" by the designers. Below them are three rotating lenses, which appear to positively float in the deep, three-dimensional space and which adapt to the situation to optimally illuminate the road or terrain. Of course, the headlamps are non-dazzling for oncoming traffic in lower beam, upper beam, cornering light or active light mode. This is achieved by blanking out the light cone in the area of oncoming vehicles.
Side profile with low-slung coupé greenhouse and large SUV wheels
The perfection with which the intrinsically contrary design worlds of the coupé and the SUV have been brought into harmony with each other is revealed in particular by a side view of the just under 63 inch high (1.60-metre) Concept GLC Coupé with the typical, elongated roof line of a sports coupé. Like the integrated roof rails and fully recessed door handles, the squat greenhouse with its frameless side windows blends perfectly into the vehicle's flanks to additionally underscore the coupé-like character. The interplay with the high beltline, wide shoulders and accentuated wheel lips gives rise to extreme proportions that lend the Concept GLC Coupé a thrilling dynamism. This highly charged interaction is given extra emphasis by the drawn-in waist between the dropping line and the lower, rearwards ascending light-catching contour.
A clear indication of the more prominent SUV genes is given by sill extensions reminiscent of the side running boards on a classic SUV. Flush with the outside edge of the body, wide 21-inch wheels with large, heavily profiled tires combine with the relatively high ground clearance to endorse the sportily dynamic off-road ambitions of the Concept GLC Coupé.
Rear end with distinct coupé heritage
The rear view of the precisely 78.7 inch (two-metre) wide Concept GLC Coupé in particular reveals the wide, muscular shoulders with harmoniously modelled wheel arches that house 21-inch (53.3 cm) wheels with 285/45 R 21 wide-base tires. The four polished stainless-steel tailpipes of the exhaust system provide a visual highlight. Mounted in pairs above an A-wing similar to the one at the front and featuring characteristic underbody protection, the tailpipes underscore the sporty look of the coupé.
Overall, it is the styling of the rear end that most clearly accentuates the coupé genes of the concept vehicle. Narrow, split tail lights, centrally positioned brand star and a sharp spoiler lip emphasize a design line that made its debut with the S‑Class Coupé and which all Mercedes-Benz coupé models have since followed. Relocated to the lower section of the bumper, the number plate as well as the typical form of the rear window with its rounded upper area are among the further stylistic features.
The night design of the LED tail lights sets a new tone. Adapted from the headlamps, the strips at the top are home to the turn indicators, which use chasing lights to signal a change of direction. A circular rear light encloses a central lens that adaptively augments the brake lamp for even better visibility.
Technical details provide a stimulating contrast
Hard technical details give an additional emotive appeal to the Concept GLC Coupé with its almost organic form of the main body section. For example, excitingly designed components such as two-part, open light-alloy wheels, wing-look exterior mirrors and the already mentioned four exhaust tailpipes set a deliberate stylistic contrast intended to underscore the technological claim of the show car. The same goes for the underbody protection with front and rear cooling ducts and the headlamps and tail lights, which resemble light sculptures.
Power aplenty: all-wheel-drive powertrain producing 367 hp
The drive technology aboard the Concept GLC Coupé matches the vehicle's looks. A V6 powerplant delivering 367 hp (270 kW) and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) makes for a highly sporty level of performance. Familiar from AMG sports models, the direct-injection biturbo engine is teamed with a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive to provide the show car with emphatic acceleration while at the same time giving an acoustically audible note to the impressive performance. Depending on the transmission mode setting, the tailpipes give off either a commandingly subdued rumble or the passionate sound of a high-powered sports car.
Extension to the SUV world of Mercedes-Benz
The SUV world of Mercedes-Benz has room for further models, such as a production version of the Concept GLC Coupé. The wide range of models allows customers the flexibility to order a tailor-made vehicle to suit their personal preferences. At the same time, the show car would enrich the trendsetting coupé world of Mercedes-Benz with a new all-rounder while providing a logical addition to models such as the four-door coupés. In addition to spawning entirely new classes of vehicle, these models have also exerted a considerable impact on the model policies of all manufacturers. They have also proved an outstanding success on the sales front.