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Monday, December 28, 2009



Stars have aligned perfectly for Mercedes-Benz shoppers since the GL-Class became available in '06. Mercedes has never sought out the status of "Value Bastion". Yet the Benz GL350 Bluetec and the GL450 utilize sticker prices far lower than anticipated to send heart palpitations through any Range Rover owner's heart.

Still, $60-70K is a lot of money. At that price we expect a measure of greatness, an innate sense of go-anywhere-do-anything that can't be found in a regular.... sedan. The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class can ferry large numbers of humans and fill-up with a heap of stuff while hooking up to an Airstream PanAmerica out back. These aren't tasks suited to an S-Class limo or the lovely GLK. This is a serious world. For some people, a very serious vehicle is required.

Before you get too bent out of shape wondering if the GL350 Bluetec and GL450 are all brawn and no brains, consider. The rear-view camera helps you park. A rear panorama sunroof brightens the place up. 610 watts of Harmon/Kardon saturate the cabin. Serenity is basked in as a result of the three-zone automatic climate control. Of course, you'll have to pay extra for some of this stuff. This is a Mercedes-Benz, after all.


Engines: 210/335 horsepower; 480/339 lb-ft of torque from a turbodiesel 3.0L V6 or 4.7L V8

Base USD Price: $59,950

Cargo Capacity: 83.3 cubic feet behind front row

Towing Capability: 7,500 pounds

City Mileage: 13-17 miles per gallon

G, ML, GLK: It seems like recent history when Mercedes-Benz SUV production was limited to special order G-Wagens. Now the family tree includes that patriarch as well as the best-selling GLK350, the commonplace M-Class, and the jumbo GL.

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