looking into a G-wagen and would like some expertise.


Hello G-Wagen section,

Long time expo member here and new to this area.

A horrible thing happened last week, I cheated, fell in love and now I am thinking of a divorce.
I have a beautiful, collectors edition 80' series Land Cruiser. I love it.
In a parking lot, I met a 96 left-hand drive auto diesel G-Wagen and I fell in Love.
The guy who owned the truck happened to walk back to the truck, right as I was parking my LC next to the G-Wagen. We talked about the trucks, he let me take it for a spin around the parking lot.
I love the simplicity of the interior, it felt more like an airplane cockpit than a vehicle.

I am looking for some advice on the G-Wagens. I really know absolutely nothing. In my research what I do find is they are slow and reliable.
What are the drawbacks of the vehicle, how reliable are they really, and how hard is it to find a mid 90's left-hand drive diesel?
What I love about my LC is I know I could drive it across the country right now w/o a concern. Is a well-cared G-Wagen the same?


Gwagens basically come in three different chassis from 1979 through 2018. The w463 is the longest running civilian chassis and it covers Gwagens not sold for military or industrial purposes from 199 through 2018.

You can find the om603 diesel motor available in w463 G’s of the mid 90s. It is not a high output motor in its stock form (even if you add turbo) so the G will feel sluggish but mileage will be decent for a large heavy brick. Also these motors have cylinder head reputations that should be researched.

The higher output om606 with turbo was used starting in 1996 through maybe 2001. A Gwagen with this motor can easily travel interstate speeds though it will not be super fast off the start. The engine can be modded for high output but then you gotta consider cooling.

There have been other more modern MB diesels put into Gwagens but it will be difficult/expensive to get those into the states. Also should note that gas G’s especially the V8 are fabulous.

Gwagens are very well built and are very reliable, but can suffer neglect from bad owners. Parts are more expensive than LCs so bad owners tend to let simple things turn into big problems. Rust can also be a big problem since so many of the 90s models spent life in Europe.

If you’re serious about a Gwagen, checkout the clubgwagen forum as it is more frequently visited by the enthusiasts


The Europa imported G's (pre-2002) and MBUSA G's up to 2013 all have fairly spartan interiors. The interior refresh in 2013 is when the luxury started to show up beyond the leather and wood trim. As a former 80 series owner I can say the G trumps it on the trail in most aspects save for the fear of tipping it over a few times (came close but I was also around 30*- tip over is 35*). The G is a heavy vehicle and really needs the V8 if you plan to travel with it.


The early G's are like a "LEGOs" for big kids. You can swap in all kinds of different $h1T. Find a super clean body and you can rehab the interior if needed or camperize and then have someone fit the drivetrain of choice if you are not mechanically suited for it. It seems to be a lot less expensive and hassle in the end to build or "have built" the G of your dreams other than waiting and hunting down the exact one you want. 460/461's are really nice clean palates to start with.

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