300,000th Mercedes-Benz G-ClassEnlarge Photo
Magna-Steyr's Austrian factory behind the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has reached a milestone after producing the 300,000th example of the boxy, brick of an off-road SUV. We say "boxy" and "brick" lovingly because there's no confusing the G-Class for anything else, which is likely one of the reasons why the SUV has been so successful.
Although the United States wasn't introduced to the iconic Gelandewagen until 2002, the G-Class reigned supreme in Europe for years. There was once a convertible and 2-door version as well, but both have been phased out. Magna still builds a pickup version for Mercedes-Benz's military customers, however. And speaking of Europe, the G-Class wasn't even known as a Mercedes-Benz in many markets; it wore the Puch badge until 1999 in multiple European countries.
To celebrate, Mercedes-Benz allowed fans to choose how the 300,000th G-Class would be outfitted. As you can see, fans chose a metallic blue exterior hue with a black leather interior and the off-road package, which includes 16-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, and a roof rack.
Magna-Steyr builds the G-Class largely by hand, on a single production line in Austria. Maybe that's part of the charm, since the SUV set a new sales record with 20,000 sold in 2016 alone. For its follow-up act—and the SUV's first full redesign since its introduction—Mercedes-Benz promises much of the same underneath, but all-new substance inside and out. Expect the next G-Class to also grow much wider, perhaps by as much as 4 inches.