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At $32,000, Is This 2000 Mercedes G500 ‘Europa’ A Boxy Bargain?

Photo: <a class="link " href="https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/d/los-angeles-2000-mercedes-benz-g500/7760670948.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Craigslist;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">Craigslist</a>
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Today’s Nice Price or No Dice G500 has an interesting heritage. It was originally federalized and sold by importer Europa International, not Mercedes-Benz. Let’s see if that impacts its value.

In the movies and on TV, having a “quirky nature” typically relegates a character to also-ran status, almost never the lead. Also, that sort of character is usually one of the first on the killer’s to-do list in most horror movies. The 1987 Merkur XR4Ti we looked at yesterday inarguably throws off a quirky vibe, meaning it still struggles to find a mainstream audience today. That, and a few niggling issues, proved almost too much for the seller’s $6,450 asking price. In the end, however, it pulled out an incredibly narrow but decisive 52 percent Nice Price win, proving quirky sometimes qualifies.

What, in your mind, equates to toughness and long-game durability in a car or truck? Is it a stout ladder frame base? Simple live axles at both ends? Or maybe it’s the presence of a three-pointed star on the grille.

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Remarkably, today’s 2000 Mercedes G500 Europa has all of those features and more. That might just explain how it still manages to look so good after having racked up an impressive 202,750 miles.

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Before we delve into that, though, we should discuss just what this G-wagon is. As we are all no doubt familiar, Mercedes introduced the G-Class as a military vehicle in 1979. It transitioned, in various guises, to civilian sales shortly thereafter and began building a reputation for the model’s go-anywhere, do-anything capabilities and unapologetic boxiness.

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Over the years, as SUVs crept up in popularity, the Geländewagen became a status symbol, and Mercedes, in response, updated the truck with features and luxury fitments befitting of a top-tier competitor. That competition extended to America, but it would take until 2002 for Mercedes to federalize the G-Class and offer it here officially. Such a lapse led to the opportunity beforehand for independent importers to address America’s pent-up demand for Mercedes boxy offroaders, undertaking the Federal compliance updates and importing the trucks on their own.

This was a lucrative enough business that Europa International made a go of it for years, spending millions of dollars on revising G-Class models to bring them up to snuff and undertaking all the onerous testing to get the government’s approval. That all went bust with the official introduction of the G-Class in 2002, but Europa remains in business today, serving the G-wagon community with parts, service, and mod sales.

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This is one of those Europa trucks and is pretty much undiscernible from the later Mercedes-imported models. The ad presents the wagon as almost all stock, save for a drivetrain skid plate and steering stabilizer underneath and tucked-in running boards up top.

Aesthetically, the truck looks phenomenal in the pictures, considering its high mileage and nearly a quarter of a century of life. The black-painted bumpers appear more utilitarian than the body-color beams on the later trucks and lighten the appearance visually. Also appealing are the handsome alloy wheels, which are fitted with brand-new and aggressive-looking BFG meats. The silver paint wrapped around the whole thing seems to still hold a luster and looks to have no flaws whatsoever.

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There’s more to impress in the cabin. Not only is the leather upholstery seemingly in good shape, but so too are the ancillary plastics and the real wood trim. The interior is a bit more utilitarian than on the later Mercedes imports, but it’s still appreciably swank.

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It’s the mechanicals that really matter on any vehicle of this age and distance traveled, and this G-wagon seems to have that covered as well. According to the ad, the top end of the 5.0 M113 V8 was refreshed at around 140K, while the 5G-Tronic automatic enjoyed a more recent rebuild in 2021. Other updates and maintenance include replacement brakes, shocks, and o2 sensors. The seller touts that the truck “is in really great shape despite the higher mileage and has been well maintained.” They are asking $32,000 for the clean title transfer, and claim to be in no rush to make that happen.

Photo: <a class="link " href="https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/d/los-angeles-2000-mercedes-benz-g500/7760670948.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Craigslist;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">Craigslist</a>
Photo: Craigslist

What’s your take on this seemingly clean and well-kept G500 and that $32,000 asking? Does that seem like something an interested party should rush to buy? Or is that too much, considering the high miles and unofficial history?

You decide!

Los Angeles, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Don R. for the hookup!

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