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Mercedes GL-Class: Test Drive Review

Date: 07 February 2014

Mercedes has updated its GL-class luxury SUV for 2013.

Of the suite of revisions, the crucial update for fleets is the 24% and 13% improvements in fuel consumption and emissions respectively from the GL350 3.0-litre diesel engine, with figures of 38.0mpg and 209g/km.

That's still not enough to get it to the front of the prestige 4x4 pack when Audi's Q7 musters 189g/km, and there's an admittedly smaller BMW X5 on the way with front-wheel drive and 149g/km, but it's a step in the right direction nonetheless.

Elsewhere, the big Mercedes is indicative of such models: teeming with equipment - safety, off-road driving aids and a swish sound system being but a few of the highlights - and the 258hp V6 engine isn't short of grunt.

You're well aware of its imposing size on the road, but it is refined and there's plenty of glass, so all-round visibility is good. It's comfortable, too, but the ride can become a little bouncy at times. 

Only one other variant is currently available - the GL 500 with a 4.6-litre 435hp V8 petrol engine - which, despite being cleaner than its predecessor, is likely to figure even lower on fleet sales charts. 


As luxurious and packed with equipment as German SUVs come, but too expensive and not clean enough to be truly viable.