Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review

By Amithash Bhatt   |  June 16, 2014

Overview

In the year 2013, Mercedes-Benz launched their flagship SUV model, the GL-Class, in India which is now in its second generation. This full size luxury crossover SUV is a born tough off roader and it is positioned ahead of the M-Class. The car has immense presence on the roads. Best of all, it can even perform quite well if you decide to take it for a day of mud plugging. It also shares its unibody architecture with its sibling. Read on to find out more about this SUV.


Powertrain & Performance

Mercedes-Benz has decided to offer the GL-Class in India with only a single diesel motor, keeping its price and list of competitors in mind. The new GL is powered by a 3.0 litre, V6 diesel engine which feels much more refined and quieter than before. The power output of this engine is rated at 258 bhp. If that's not remarkable enough for you, then the humongous torque figure of 619 Nm produced by this engine will surely impress you; especially since it kicks in from as low as 1600 RPM. Like all international variants, the new GL——s engine is mated to a 7G Tronic Plus 7-speed automatic transmission which channels power to all its 4 wheels. The Mercedes-Benz 4-Matic all wheel drive system comes standard in the new GL and works like a charm when the vehicle is taken off road. The engine's throaty growl when you put your foot down also sounds great. This SUV is heavy, weighing in at around 2.4 tons; but it can still sprint from 0-100 kph in less than 8 seconds. If you push it even harder, the car can accelerate all the way to its top speed of 220 kph. The engine performs best in the sports mode where you never feel any kind of turbo lag. The 7-speed auto gearbox makes up and down shifts so precisely that you never feel a drop in power or speed. This engine also comes with the eco start-stop function which helps in increasing the vehicle——s fuel efficiency by turning the engine off at traffic signals and turning it back on the moment the throttle pedal is pressed. The new gen GL is now on offer with adaptive Airmatic suspension which adjusts itself according to different terrain conditions and riding behaviour. Be it any terrain, you won't be worried about the performance of this SUV thanks to its brilliant suspension system, large (and optional) 21 inch alloys and strong throttle responses at low engine speeds. The electronic power steering also feels well weighted and moves easily in city traffic and gives accurate feedback at high speeds.


Build & Styling

The new GL-Class looks much more dynamic and aggressive than before thanks to new elements of styling and stretched body proportions. The new GL is longer and wider than before and possesses wider side flanks and a raised bonnet. The addition of daytime running LEDs in its front bumper, sleek air-inlets and sharp lines around the front grille truly makes it an eye catcher. The bold look of its front grille and logo looks modern and gels well with the overall styling of this car. The GL-Class is available with three row flexible seating arrangement and can occupy seven adults easily with ample legroom and shoulder room for all passengers. The car's wheelbase exceeds 3 metres and it offers a boot capacity of 630 litres. The usage of high quality materials inside this SUV feels premium and gives you the feeling of being inside a truly luxurious SUV. Not only the aura but the features inside this new car make it a complete value for money purchase. The GL-Class comes equipped with features such as a 7 inch screen with active parking assist, Bluetooth control and navigation system, electrically operated tail gate, keyless go, multi-contour front seats with memory function, COMAND Online combined with a Bang & Olufsen surround audio system with a 20 disc changer, USB connectivity, ABS with EBD, ESP, 9 airbags and Crosswind Assist and so on. The optional package includes some more features like Active Lane Keeping, Active Blind Spot assist, Crosswind assist, Distronic plus and the larger AMG alloy wheels.


Verdict

Undoubtedly, the car maker with the three-pointed star has stuffed this new GL-Class SUV with heaps of features and has chosen the right engine for Indian roads. For some people, the styling of the GL can come across as too boxy. But once you get over that, this car can simply blow you away with its performance, practicality and features.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • AirMatic air suspension
    • Off road and on road capability
    • Addition of new safety features
  • Cons

    • Looks may not be to everyone's liking