As Land Rover decides how to redefine its legendary Defender, they should take a good look at what one of its most important competitors is doing with its own iconic SUV—the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.

The German marque just unveiled a revamped version of its classic truck for 2013, but rather than alienate die-hard fans of the G’s utilitarian styling, they managed to make significant improvements without throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Among the upgrades are new engines, technological features and a natty new interior.

2013 Mercedes Benz G-Wagen

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The few discreet external modifications preserve the timeless, classic  design of the G-Class that remains virtually unchanged since 1979.

Among other features, the G now has Mercedes’s latest COMAND infotainment system including navigation and even Internet access, which should silence those who complained the SUV was merely a tarted-up army transport in the past.

And if Land Rover really does turn the Defender into something unrecognizable, we bet sales of the G will move even higher into the altitudes…