Mercedes G300 Professional Ute Touring Review

 

The Mercedes G300 Ute Review | Trayon Campers

The G300 Ute (G Professional)  is forging its way into the off-road ute market. Its big, resilient, can carry an absolute mountain of payload, and it is threatening the long-standing reputation held by the Landcruiser as King of the Outback. The price tag may appear steep at first, but after analysing what you get with the Mercedes package, it seems completely justified!

Trayon’s Official Review of the G300 Ute

After years of preparation and planning, the G300 Professional Ute has finally hit the Australian market.

The heavy duty four-wheel drive market has been screaming for a worthy competitor to challenge the Outback King – the Toyota Landcruiser – for years now. The most recent competition, the Nissan Patrol and the Land Rover Defender, have fallen by the wayside. Chewed up and spat out by the everlasting Cruiser. 

The Mercedes G Professional Ute provides just about the toughest platform to carry a Trayon we have ever seen. In this review, we provide a full rundown of what to expect with a G300 Ute, and how it will match a Trayon to transport you through the rough and tumble tracks and destinations on which this country has built its world-class off-road reputation.

The Birth of The G300 Ute

Hand built in Austria, the G300 Professional Ute is literally a small truck, built to carry extreme loads, in the shape of a ‘jack the lad’ ute straight out of the 70s. It uses the latest in load carry technology housed in a retro style suit. And when we say ‘extreme load’ we mean it. Take a stock G300 Ute off the showroom floor, and a stock Landcruiser, and the Mercedes will take almost double the legal limit of the Toyota (for more of an insight into how these two big off road dogs stack up against each other, check out the recent article called ‘Mercedes G class ute VS 79 Series Landcruiser: Apples vs Apples’)!

2018 Availability

The one downside to date, the Mercedes G Professional Ute only comes in a single cab chassis model. Currently, those needing a heavy duty dual cab will have to go knocking on Toyota’s door. But, before you do, check out our article about 4×4 touring setups called ‘What Vehicle Configuration Should I Get to Go with a Trayon Camper’, to make sure the dual cab really is the best match for your off road touring needs.

G300 Interior Features

The G-class Ute comes with a no-frills interior, just what you’d expect for an off road specialist and workhorse. It’s luxuries include vinyl-seat covers, under-seat storage compartments, a lockable glove-box and surprisingly, air conditioning. That’s a nice cherry on the top considering its greatest rival, the old hand Landcruiser has no such perk; with a Landcruiser, air con is an expensive add on.

To deal with deep creek crossings, the G-class even comes with two water drain plugs and rubber floor mats.

Mercedes G Professional Interior

Credit: Mercedes

G300 Ute Exterior Features

Some key exterior features which are worth noting include:

  • Thick galvanised plate steel panels, both hard wearing and resistant to rust
  • Extended mirrors for better viewing angles
  • Strong and simple door hinges
  • An optional reinforced bonnet which is strong enough to stand on!

G300 Ute Engine Specs

The Merc runs on a solid three litre V-6 turbo diesel motor, providing more than sufficient kick to move its impregnable frame through the countryside. It clocks in at 135 kW and 400 nm of torque.

It moves through gears with a five speed auto, no manual option. While this may seem limiting, the benefits of constant traction, which you get with an automatic, suite off-roading to a tee.

G300 Ute Dimensions

The G300 measures 1951 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 3,428 mm, which is pretty long compared to a Landcruiser ute at 3,180. The advantage of this extra length is, you can fit more in and on the vehicle to take full advantage of the G300’s massive payload capabilities.

When it comes to carrying slide on campers payload capacity is really important – the more, the better! Giving you a safer margin for error when in the middle of nowhere.

Safety Equipment and Ratings

The G300 has a 5 star ancap safety rated. That’s equivalent to the safest most family orientated four wheel drives on the market, like the Ford Ranger.

G300 Ute Weight and Payload Capacity

The G300 Ute is no featherweight. It weighs in at 2.4 Tonnes, just a tad heavier than a single cab Landcruiser.

But, get this. It’s GVM (gross vehicle mass) is 4.5 Tonnes! That leaves you with over 2 Tonnes of available payload leftover! Let’s do the math for a second.

An empty Trayon slide on camper weighs in at 390 – 425 kg depending on the model. They are the lightest slide on camper in their class available in Australia, and probably the world! Fill the Trayon up with all the standard travel gear and supplies, and your looking at anywhere from 600 – 800 kg. Throw in passengers and your payload will probably be closing in on a Tonne, if not more.

Even a Landcruiser would only have a couple of hundred kilograms left over.

Throw all of that on the G300 Ute, and you still have one whole Tonne of payload to play with! The limits to what you can carry are non-existent! This means two spare tyres, a full long range fuel tank and extra water and supplies to last twice as long in the bush. It means you can take every single thing you need to combat the unexpected situations the Outback will throw at you. And it means you can have complete confidence that your suspension is tough enough to carry anything you need through any type of terrain, without a worry,

G300 Ute Towing Performance

The G professional ute can legally tow 3.2 Tonne while the cruiser can tow 3.5.

However, there is logic behind this. Vehicles in this class are generally limited to a ‘Gross Combined Mass’ (GCM) of 6.8 Tonnes. Which means the weight of the vehicle, plus anything it is towing, must not exceed that weight. For the Mercedes, the GCM is 7.5 Tonnes! So you can tow big if you absolutely have to, but more importantly, you can carry your load without an extra set of axels to worry about in remote areas!

Mercedes makes sure you can fit as much as possible on the vehicle itself with a with a longer wheelbase providing for larger tray area, and a much higher carrying capacity than its competitors.

The main advantage?

Travelling trailer-free in rough country is an altogether better, safer way to traverse the Outback.

No wonder services like Firefighters are snatching up these vehicles so they can get to remote areas safely and quickly.

 

G300 Ute Off Road Capabilities

 

From the ground up, the Mercedes is an off-road weapon. It’s high-quality military based engineering extends past the high-grade plate steel, to the chassis rails and drivetrain, all built from durable materials which can take the rigors of the Outback.

Performance wise, it has an approach angle of 38 degrees and a departure angle of 35 degrees. Wading depth is quoted at 650mm. After fording a creek, any water which seeps in the cabin straight away drains out of purpose-built drain holes in the floor.

In all terrain, the automatic gear box ensures you never lose traction where a manual normally would during long gear changes.

The huge range of accessories it comes with off the showroom floor means you can take a G300 straight out of the shop and into the bush. For example:

    • Side bars (aka brush bars)
    • Side steps
    • Heavy duty recovery points
    • Headlight protection
    • Snorkel
    • Dual battery system
    • Tire pressure warning system, and
    • Three differential locks (front, rear, center)!

G300 Ute Configurations (Cab/Tray setup)

At this point in time, the G Professional Ute only comes in a single cab tray back ute (but watch this space!!!).

Why is a Trayback Ute More Practical than a Pick-up Tub?

If you are considering vehicles in a tub style tray, have a quick read of this. A tub can severely limit what you can use the external storage space for.

A tub will also increase kerb weight, and reduce payload capacity. With an aluminium tray, you can carry more weight and more awkward items that wouldn’t fit inside a tub. You can always fit sides to a tray to carry unstable loads like soil and green waste, but you can’t take the sides off a tub!

A tray will open up your canopy and camping options as well. When you store gear in a tray, rather than a tub, it provides the following advantages:

  • There is more surface area to spread the gear out, thus lowering the centre of gravity.
  • There is more space to distribute the load towards the centre of the vehicle (i.e. between the front and rear axles).
  • It results in a more stable and safe off road experience.

For the same reason, canopies and slide on campers made to fit tray back utes, rather than pick up tubs, have better weight distribution, more space to fit in camping essentials, and provide an all round better off road rig.

For more information about which vehicle configuration is the best option for a Trayon camper (e.g. a single cab, extra cab, or double cab) check out our recent article about 4×4 touring setups.

Touring Australia

We have a few extra tips to round off any touring package:

  1. Get an Aluminium tray.

As we previously explained. It has big implications for storage flexibility, payload capacity, and off road performance. These days Aluminium trays are super strong and much lighter than steel, so they don’t eat into your payload any more than necessary.

  1. Add an On-board diagnostics (OBD) link to your road trip tool kit.

Everyone’s old school tool kit simply involved zip ties (for things which are moving but shouldn’t be), and WD40 (for things which aren’t moving, but should be).

An OBD link adds an extra option to check and solve issues with electronics and computer chip related alerts.

These days, electronics can actually limit driving capability if they sense a problem. If the vehicle senses an issue, it can limit driving capacity and actually prevent you from quickly limping to get mechanical help. The OBD link, synced to your phone, can read the code sent out by the vehicle CPU and tell you what’s wrong.

Then you can use the old duck tape or WD40 to try and fix the issue and limp to a mechanic if you have too!

G300 Ute Upgrades and Aftermarket Accessories

Here’s the catch…

You barely need any aftermarket accessories for the G300, because it comes with just about anything you’ll need to survive the roughest tracks going around!

Take this comparison between the G300 and the 79 Series Toyota Landcruiser for example. Both off the showroom floor, this is what they come with:

Features Landcruiser (workmate) G300
Heavy duty front bar no yes
Brush bar and side steps no yes
Headlight protection no yes
Sump and radiator undercarriage protection no yes
Automatic option no yes
Differential locks 0 3
Dual battery no yes
Coil suspension front only all round
Alloy wheels no yes
All terrain tires no yes
Full size spare tire no yes
Additional recovery points no yes
Snorkel no yes
Spare tire mount no yes

If you are looking for more with the Merc, other options include

  • A winch pack worth $1900
  • walk-on bonnet worth $1900,reinforced to hold a person of up to 100kg
  • A cyclone air filter at $500
  • Heated seats at $900

Mercedes Warranty

Mercedes Australia offer a three year warranty, which is pretty standard across the board these days.

Off Road Warranty Implications

Driving a G300 off road will not impact warranty itself, but be aware that warranty only applies to factory defects (in materials or workmanship). So if you incur damage as a result of reckless driving, extreme weather, or any other accidental damage, you’re unlikely to find support through the vehicles warranty. Like most warranties. 

That’s where your insurance should come in! So, as with any vehicle purchase, make sure you find the right provider who can cover you for the type of driving you will be doing. Also be aware that if you modify a Landcruiser e.g. (GVM upgrade or exceed the payload etc) this often voids warranty if something was to occur that is related.

But as we explained previously – this would be hard to do with the Merc G professional ute thanks to its already considerably large payload capacity… Thanks Mercedes-Benz!

G300 Ute Value for Money

At first glance, the G300 price tag of $119,900 seems steep, but once you calculate what you are getting with that driveaway package, it works out to be surprisingly cost-effective. A Landcruiser kitted out to the same degree will cost a similar amount.

So, to also have the reliability that comes with years of making military grade machines, it’s a pretty good bargain for what it is.

Conclusions

This vehicle is made for the Outback. It is built to last, and comes with basically everything you need, tuned and ready to tackle whatever you want, whilst carrying whatever you desire on its back.

Although it hasn’t toppled the long standing reputation of the Landcruiser, it is well and truly the new kid on the Outback block.