After launching the ML, Mercedes-Benz bought in an even larger SUV the
GL. The Mercedes-Benz GL comes with a diesel engine option and gets the
BlueEfficiency tag as well.
The front-end design emphasises the solid nature of the new GL-Glass. A
steeply angled, radiator grille with a centrally positioned star
dominates the front view. Two particularly powerful transverse louvres
in silver with broad chrome highlights lend the vehicle a muscular
look. From the side, it is clear that the GL-Class offers ample space.
There is an overriding impression of length. The long wheelbase and a
high roof line which extends as far as the rear wall create a dynamic
silhouette. Large window areas emphasise these lines, further adding to
the air of elegance whilst also ensuring excellent visibility and a
bright interior atmosphere.
The interior is dominated by high-quality materials displaying
handcrafted precision and attention to detail, creating a luxurious,
tasteful ambience which embraces the special character of an off-roader
in many respects. The smooth dashboard and door surfaces underline
robustness and self-assurance, whilst the colour contrast between the
darker upper section and the lighter lower section as well as the
continuous wood trim elements lend the interior a sense of breadth and
Drivers of the new GL-Class sit behind a four-spoke multifunction
steering wheel featuring aluminium-style lower spokes. Behind this is
the upper section of the dashboard, also trimmed in leather, rising in
a powerful arch that spans the instrument clusters. The console in the
centre of the dashboard features a clearly defined, smooth design and
houses easy-to-reach, logically positioned control and display
functions. Here the emphasis is firmly on perfect ergonomics and
The Mercedes-Benz GL350 CDI Blue Efficiency comes with a longitudinally
placed 2987cc engine with six-cylinder placed in a vee layout, to power
all the four wheels through a seven-speed transmission. This is the
same engine block that we saw on the Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI Blue
Efficiency and even on the ML350CDI. Infact the block on the GL350 has
been detuned as it produces 221bhp, whereas the E350 CDI produces
228bhp and the ML350CDI produces 234bhp.
This oilburner churns out 221bhp of power at 3800rpm and has a maximum
torque of 510Nm packed in it. The engine is responsive, however, the
SUV isn’t very quick considering the fact that it weighs about two and
a half tone (2505kgs). In our acceleration run, this large SUV
sprinted to 100kph mark in 10.7 seconds and completed the quarter mile
The GL350CDI Blue Efficiency is a permanent all-wheel drive utility
vehicle which comes with seven-speed automatic transmission, which the
Mercedes-Benz calls it as 7G-TRONIC (which is now a transmission seen
on most of the Mercedes-Benz cars). The GL350CDI can be driven in low
and high all-wheel drive modes, depending on the conditions.
When both the wheels on the same differential rotate with the same
speed, the 4ETS traction system takes care of it (the Mercedes-Benz
calls its traction control system as the 4ETS). The GL350CDI is 4MATIC
(which is Mercedes-Benz term for its four-wheel drive system). This
4MATIC system in utility vehicles comes with off-road ABS, hill-start
assist and downhill speed regulation (DSR). The seven-speed
transmission feels a bit lethargic, which can make overtaking on
highways a bit of an issue, even though the engine has the juice to go
quickly. In our in-gear test, the GL350CDI clocked the 30-50kph run in
seconds and 50-70kph run in seconds.
Mercedes-Benz GL350CDI comes with a double wishbone, and the air spring
suspension at its front and the rear has the four-link suspension.
This utility vehicle has been designed for going off-road and so the
GL350 comes with a suspension which could be raised and lowered
depending on the off-road conditions, to avoid the underbelly and the
bumpers of the utility vehicle from being scraped by rocks or any other
The ride of the Mercedes-Benz GL350 CDI is cushy like any other
Mercedes-Benz cars. The GL350 absorbs most of the impact harshness over
bumps rather than passing them into the cabin. The cabin is well
insulated and most of the road noise is hushed. The GL comes with two
suspension settings viz. sport and comfort. In the comfort mode, the
suspension set-up is soft and this gives a supple ride which is usually
preferred during normal driving conditions.
The Mercedes-Benz GL at Rs 70 lakhs with most of the bells and whistles
is a great large SUV to go for, considering the prestige of owning a
three-pointed star which adds on, when compared to the other German and
Japanese SUV that are available in this price range.