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2002 Mercedes-Benz G500

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SAN FRANCISCO:  If Tiffany's were in Borneo, this is how you'd get there. Okay, of all the useless SUVs in the world, this is the most. Who really needs an SUV with a 5-liter, SOHC V8 putting out 292 rip snorting horsepower? Who really wants an SUV that looks like the box its more cultured brethren came in? Who really wants a vehicle that simply screams "LOOK AT ME"? Lord help me, I do.

This is perhaps the most absurd vehicle running around the Streets of San Francisco. Looking like a military vehicle with a great paint job, chrome and fancy wheels, the Mercedes-Benz G500 really is not suited to everyday duty. You can just tell that it wants to be out doing some grunt work in the hills. Or climbing the side of a building like Spiderman. Which it just might be able to do with its 336 lb-ft of torque twisting its way to all four corners through the magnificent 5-speed automatic transmission. And just in case the tires begin to slip just a little, even though it's got Full Time 4-Wheel Drive, you can lock each and every differential (all three) with just the flick of a switch without ever having to get out of the vehicle.

I don't think I've ever, no I know I've never, driven a vehicle that garnered as much attention as the G500. People stared, people pointed. People knew what it was! A toll taker on the San Mateo Bridge keep people waiting behind me so she could ask a million questions, including how I got so lucky as to be driving it.

The G-Class is based off a military vehicle. That's why it looks like one. As far as vehicles go, its design is ancient. But Mercedes-Benz is not stupid. When an independent importer showed there was a profit to be made with the Gelandewagen (really, that was the name before it was shortened to G-Class), Mercedes decided to sell a few themselves. So they civilized the beast and gave us the G500.

What's civilized? Dual zone auto climate control, power telescopic and tilt multifunction steering wheel, a great GPS Navigational system, cruise control, heated front and rear seats, power sunroof (big enough to stand on a seat and wave to the crowd from), leather seats, privacy glass (so no one can see what you're doing in there), rain sensors for the wipers (neat stuff, turn the switch to intermittent and it automatically adjusts the speed according to the amount of rain), and a killer stereo with a CD changer.

Okay, there is a slight down side. It gets terrible mileage. I mean it's rated at 14-mpg highway and you'd have to be a saint to get that. But who really cares? Not me. The G500 was amazing. It really held the road. Heck it even cornered halfway decent. Yeah, so it cost $74,945 plus tax and plates, but it had one feature that was well worth the cost of admission. The name "Mercedes-Benz", engraved in both the front door sill plates, was illuminated in a beautiful soft blue light and set against the Obsidian Black paint. Now that's Class.  By Bruce Hotchkiss AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

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Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo AutoWire.Net
Column Name:  Who wants a vehicle that screams "LOOK AT ME"?
Topic:  2002 Mercedes-Benz G500
Word Count:   598
Photo Caption:  The 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500
Photo Credits:  Mercedes-Benz Internet Media
Series #:   2002 - 20

Download the Microsoft Word version here:   2002 Mercedes-Benz G500

Download the original image file here:  2002 Mercedes-Benz G500

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Publisher - Editor:   Tony Leopardo
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City, State, Zip:    San Mateo, California 94403
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