About the Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen

The Mercedes Benz Gelaendewagen is renown as the ultimate four wheel drive SUV. Off road it performs superbly; in fact, it is probably unbeatable. On road it is a plush, comfortable, excellent handling vehicle. It has a "heavy feel like other Mercedes, is extremely strong, and is "built like a tank." It is used by governments all over the world where it is the preferred 4X4. It comes in a Long Wheel Base five door (you count the rear door), Short Wheel Base three door hardtop, and a Short Wheel Base Cabriolet.

The earlier 1979 to 1986 models were known as the 460 chassis and were primarily the 280GE (gas), 230GE (gas) and the five cylinder 300GD diesel. They came with a 4-wheel high and low transfer case and most came with front and rear differential locks. (Lockers are used only in mud or snow. They enable all wheels to turn at the same speed and there is no spinning on one wheel with the other on the same axle standing still.)

It has a "heavy feel like other Mercedes, is extremely strong, and is 'built like a tank'."

There were no G wagons imported legally from 1987 to 1989. In 1990 the 463 chasis was introduced. The main differences were the larger and more powerful 300 engine, full time 4-wheel drive with electronically actuated central differential lock (giving equal power to the front and rear axles), rear diffenential lock and a front differential lock, ABS brake system, driver air bag (both driver and passenger in 1996), slight changes in body front nose, larger gas tank, and a more luxurious and very pretty interior with a split rear seat. The introduction of the twenty four valve 320 engine and the later 500 engine (300 HP) provided significant increases in power. There were two addditional diesel engines introduced. The 350 turbo which was later replaced by the six cylinger 300 turbo diesel (a quiet very strong engine).

Parts are available from regular Mercedes dealerships, G-wagen USA (overnight--505.984.8888), or from Germany (five day drop shipped). Other suppliers are available and they generally can be contacted via the Internet. Sources for financing or leasing can be suggested for those interested.

About the Toyota Land Cruiser The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, with its removable hard top, is one of the toughest, strongest, most reliable, and most durable of all 4X4's produced. Off road, it has been very difficult for others to match. In town, it is nimble and fun to drive. With the hardtop on or off, the FJ40 is always a head turner. The FJ40 was sold in the U.S. from 1958 to 1983, but production continued beyond this date for other countries.

The FJ45 had a pickup version of the FJ40 that came in a short or long bed and with a fixed or removable top. There was also an FJ45 four door wagon that shared the same front-end look as the FJ40 and FJ45 pickup. These were sold in the U.S. from 1963 to 1967 only.

In 1993 the Land Cruiser received a new 4.5 liter double overhead cam engine that increased its power significantly.

An additional model, the FJ55, was also a four door wagon sold in the U.S. from 1968 to 1979. It's very interesting styling has been the basis for it continued popularity over the years.

The four door FJ60 wagon replaced the FJ55 in 1981. It, too, has earned an enviable reputation as a good looking, extremely reliable, sturdy 4X4. All FJ60's were four speed manuals. From 1988 to 1990 the FJ62 was produced with fuel injection, automatic transmissions, air conditioning, and optional power windows, door locks and mirrors

The FJ80 series was introduced in 1991. It was a substantial jump forward in design and suspension and hence handles much better and rides much more comfortably then previous Land Cruiser models. Despite their slowness and changed suspension the 1991 and 1992 models still perform admirably on or off road. In 1993 the Land Cruiser received a new 4.5 liter double overhead cam engine that increased its power significantly. In 1998 a V-8 was introduced. The introduction of the center differential lock and front and rear lockers has contributed much to its off road capabilities.