The G-Class W463 is a very long lasting model, following a major revision of the previous G-Class model in 1990. Since then there have been many different models, facelifts, special edition vehicles and AMG models, so many of the common faults can be connected to a particular model, rather than the entire 463 line up. Moreover, the car has been built like a tank. It was developed, and it is still widely used, as a military vehicle, able to deal with the worst of terrains and still capable of high-speed highway driving, so reliability and ruggedness have been paramount. Therefore, we shall deal with some faults that can be considered common, but are far from never-ending perils.
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Suspension Springs – making the ultimate off-roader and highway cruiser is an oxymoron, so it is normal that suspension will have to suffer, one way or another. Suspension springs have been known to break, so if you hear a loud noise during rougher rides, you might want to check the springs.
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Sunroof – a clicking noise can mean that the cable hose has moved from the motor frame. A fix is needed, but usually pretty fast and reasonably cheap.
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Electrics – newer models have been packed with comfort electrics and these are susceptible to breakdowns, much like on any other car. Mercedes, however, does have a reputation for building reliable machines, so the problem, though possible, is not ever-present.
No recalls to report. Please let Star-Tec Engineering Ltd know if one has come out we have not shown.
The G463 G-Class comes in 3-door short wheelbase, 2-door convertible short wheelbase and 5-door long wheelbase options.
As for the different model generations, there are more than a few. First of all, the G463 G-Class appeared in 1990 and it came with a massively altered interior compared to the previously sold W460 and W461 (462 was used for licensed models). Leather upholstery became optional and the inside started sporting lots of wood for a more elegant look, while still saving the overall rugged feel.
The first big change came in 1997. Apart from new engines, the car also got a convertible version.
There have been slight changes, such as the multi-function steering wheel in 2000, but the next major model change arrived in 2005. It brought the first G55 AMG with a supercharger, which gave it serious power of 469 hp and acceleration to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds.
The Grand Edition came in 2006. It is a LWB G500, or G400 CDI. It was a model supposed to mark the end of sales in the US (which never happened), so it was especially plush and clearly distinguished from other models. Only 500 of these were made.
For 2007, the car received several alterations to the powerplants, as well as numerous comfort features, such as COMAND with 6.5” screen, reversing camera, tire pressure monitor and several new interior options including new leather upholstery.
2008 saw more comfort updates such as Bluetooth connectivity, much better and more expensive audio system, CAMAND APS and vented seats. Generally, the G-Class was becoming more of a car for the affluent than a spartan off-roader, which became even more evident a year later when it got more comfortable rear bench, ambient lighting, bunch of new connectivity options, Chrome package and new exterior colours.
In 2012 the G-Class upped the game again introducing things like LED lights, new dashboard and instrument cluster, standard DISTRONIC and PARKTRONIC and several revisions of previous electronic features.
There are no trim lines similar to the ones on other Mercedes-Benz cars. During its production run, which still lasts, the G-Class received plenty of amenities depending on the year, engine and whether or not it was AMG.
Generally speaking, all of them were upmarket and expensive, so they were packed with features available at their respective generations. V8 models often had some features as standard, but these were optional on V6 powered cars as well. AMG models made use of AMG engines and several distinctive exterior features such as more aggressive bumpers.
5.4L supercharged V8
5.5L twin-turbo V8
6.0L twin-turbo V12
2.9L V6 Diesel
4.0L V8 Diesel
3.0L V6 Diesel
2.7L V6 Diesel
3.5L I6 Diesel
3.0L I6 Diesel
2.5L I5 Diesel
he first G-Class road car came in 1979 and its high price and lack of perks often hurt sales. However, its impeccable off-road capabilities quickly created a strong and dedicated following that actually kept the model running, even after it had been announced that it would reach its end of production several times. This hasn’t happened so far and the G-Class is still going strong more than 35 years after it first came out.
The W463 chassis appeared in 1990, bringing loads of styling and technical improvements and moving the car closer to what it was to become in the following decades – a real luxury car with unexpectedly amazing off-road capabilities. It came with anti-lock brakes, three locking differentials and a far more luxurious interior with lots of wood and even full leather upholstery as an option. Moreover, it came with new engines, including a top of the line V8.
Early years saw little alterations, save for the V8 which came in 1993, usually dealing with things like steering wheel design, but in 1997 a convertible version and a new 2.9L diesel came. In 1998 the G500 appeared, marking the return of the V8.
The G-Class kept developing in said direction in the years to come, adding various comfort features usually reserved for the high class cars, while still retaining absurd off-road capabilities. The car would end up having various connectivity options, a plethora of lavish interior options which would make it look and feel like a plush lounge, rather than a 4X4, COMAND infotainment system with a screen, bi-xenon headlamps, tire pressure monitor, sport exhaust, Harman Kardon Logic7 surround system, acclimatised multi-contour seats and so much more. All this came without even including special edition models and tuner packages.
At the moment, the G-Class is a car which is a statement of wealth, class and elegance, as much as it is a means of transport, while still being able to plough through rough terrains and keep you out of snow-related driving issues.
W463 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Model Year – 1990-present
Class – 4X4
2-door SWB convertible
3-door SWB van
3-door LWB van
5-door LWB station wagon
Drive Wheels – AWD
Seating – 5
Wheelbase – 94.5 in to 112.2 in
Pre-2003 – 183.5 in
2004–09 – 185.6 in (LWB)
2010 – 184.5 in
Pre-2003 – 69.3 in
2004–09 – 71.3 in
2004–09 AMG – 73.4 in
2010 – 71.8 in
2010 AMG – 73.1 in
2004–09 – 77.8 in
Pre-2003 – 72.3 in
2010 – 76.0 in
Kerb weight – 5,690 lb (G55 AMG)
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