G-curious

#1
Hey Expo,

I am looking at the G wagon as a platform for my next rig. I have only owned Toyota 4x4's for the last 12 years, and the last 8 have been land cruisers. I thought that I had my mind made up on the 200 series for my next rig, but the G500 is catching my eye.

I do have a few questions.

What is the reliability like? In my land cruiser, with 315k I could jump in tomorrow and drive anywhere in the country and feel completely fine about it. Does the G offer that same confidence?

What is the cost of ownership/maintenance like?

Is there and "Achilles heel"?

looks like most people are doing a 50mm spacer and 33's. anyone running 315's?

how is the interior room? It seems a bit small. I have two toddlers, a lab and we are thinking about a third child. However, we have a Sienna and that gets us around fine for now.

External jerry can mounts? I can seem to find anything.

Front bumpers? All I can see is something from frontrunner

Gull wing windows, anyone running them? I love the concept and would do it on my 100 if I were keeping it longer

Most G's that I have seen for sale have right around 100k- is that right before some huge maintenance item is due? or just when the owners are tiring of them

any preferred years? Based on what I have found ill be looking at 02-04, sub 30k


Thanks!
 
#5
I have an 03 G500, I use it mainly for overlanding. Picked it up for $29K with 89K miles, It now has 130K miles, no issues. I do all the maintenance myself. The M113 motor is very easy to work on. 5 speed automatic trans has been superb. Metric Motors in Van Nuys California is the place to go to for engine rebuilds, they believe the M113 motor is one of the best ever made by Mercedes. 295HP handles 33's with ease.

The only common issue will be window regulators, I've replaced 1, the previous owner replaced 3. And the transfer case says it is in NEUTRAL, although it is in 4WD HIGH. This can be fixed with a software update. Collie Autoworks in San Rafael, CA is who was recommended to me. Stay on top of the maintenance and it will last you a very long time.

I run ATIK wheels on 255/85/16 Tires, I believe that is the perfect set up. My G is lifted about 40mm, No wheel spacers needed. The ATIK wheels are a 43mm offset instead of the US version Ashtaroth wheel at 63mm. If you run the 33" tall narrow tire, rubbing is not an issue. Any wider and you will need wheel spacers in the front.

I think the size of the vehicle (exterior and interior) is perfect. I travel with my wife and our 2 small dogs. You have a larger family, so your opinion might be different.

The preferred years are the later 90's G's that are imported from Europe. They are said to have less electrical issues, something I have yet to notice.

Front bumper and other accessories are available, but there isn't much made in the USA. I'm currently working with a fabricator here in Los Angeles to make some custom Aux fuel tanks that will be mounted under the vehicle. Desert Services, ORC, G wagon accessories, Viking offroad are all great resources for aftermarket parts.

Best of Luck!
 
#6
In 2007, I sold my LC 60 series and bought a new G500. I kept it for 10 years and it was a great vehicle. The only failure was the RR window regulator, $950.00
at the Bend MBZ dealer. Service cost at the dealer can be expensive at $900.00 for the B service. Last year I sold it and bought a LC 100 series, which was like a modern
version of my much missed 60 (which I had for 27 years w/no problems). Although I cannot fault the Gwagen, the LC is more my style, if only because it has a tailgate!
Also, the LC 100 has a larger interior if you have a big family. Another thing to consider is the aftermarket support for LC's is huge. The after market for the G is VERY
limited due to the economics of scale.
 

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