The Mercedes-Benz G-Class adds to its range of variants, and now the G 350 d joins the roster which currently comprises the G 500 and Mercedes-AMG G 63, with both petrol variants powered by a 4.0 litre biturbo V8.

Here, the G 350 d joins the line-up with the firm’s new OM656 3.0 litre inline-six cylinder turbodiesel, which produces 281 hp (286 PS) from 3,400 rpm to 4,600 rpm, and 600 Nm of torque from 1,200 rpm to 3,200 rpm. Outputs are sent to a nine-speed 9G-Tronic torque converter automatic. Permanent all-wheel-drive is courtesy of a new transfer case mounted directly to the nine-speed gearbox, with torque split 40:60 front to rear.

With this powertrain, the G 350 d attains the 0-100 km/h acceleration benchmark in 7.4 seconds, and a top speed of 199 km/h. The new diesel engine uses the stepped-bowl combustion process, two-stage turbocharging and Camtronic variable valve timing. Nanoslide cylinder wall coating reduces friction losses in the cylinders and pistons, further reducing fuel consumption, says Mercedes-Benz. NEDC-combined fuel consumption is rated at 9.6 l/100 km, while CO2 emissions are rated at 252 g/km.

In the move from V6 to inline-six, greater comfort and refinement is the goal with the G 350 d, and the engine is now more willing to sustain higher crank speeds, while producing less noise and vibrations in the interior, Mercedes-Benz says. Active engine mounts are used in the diesel G-Wagen for the first time, and are set to a softer mode at speeds below 5 km/h – the mounts automatically stiffen at higher engine speeds for ‘vibrational comfort and driving dynamics’.

The G 350 d shares the suspension layout of its petrol siblings, where the double wishbone front suspension is mounted directly to the ladder-frame chassis without a subframe. The lower wishbone mounting points are located as high up in the chassis as possible in order to maximise off-roading ground clearance. At the back, the new rigid axle is linked by four trailing arms on each side, plus a Panhard rod.

Inside, the G 350 d is outfitted with leather seats, Artico synthetic leather-covered dashboard and open-pore wood. Further interior trim options are available for the G 350 d, along with the Exclusive Interior Plus trim package with diamond quilting that is available for the first time on this model.

Driving modes are provided by Dynamic Select, with five drive modes on offer. Changing modes alters engine, transmission, suspension and steering behaviour, to varying levels of sportiness. Active Braking Assist is now part of the driver assistance suite, which aims to prevent impending collisions or mitigate their seriousness via autonomous emergency braking, should they be unavoidable.

As the third version of the current G-Class line-up, the G 350 d will be available to order from January 2019, and the first units are set to arrive in dealerships in the Northern hemisphere spring.