Mercedes Benz GL350 CDI Road Test Review

The Mercedes Benz GL350 CDI is a superb luxurious vehicle. The vehicle is a true representative of its maker, but given its premium price and positioning it did not get a fair chance to be a hot seller in India, and not much has changed for the newer version of this luxurious SUV either. However, the Mercedes GL has become better in everything else including style, power and features. Let us take a look at what all does this premium vehicle has to offer.

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Front Side

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Front Side

Road presence

Being a Mercedes in itself makes for an immense road presence, and the new GL is no different. Its road presence is really massive, as it is a large car of over 5 meters of length. However, it does not look as domineering as its primary market rival, the Audi Q7. The SUV also looks less sporty than its rival, and looks more elegant and classy instead. Moreover, it is a matured looking car with the clear idea of accommodating seven adults in luxurious comfort, and then hit the rough roads to rule it.

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Front View

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Front View

The latest version of the Mercedes SUV also adds some new bling factors in the form of loads of chrome garnishes. The vehicle also sports an aggressively styled grille, large headlights and muscular bumpers. The gorgeous new looks however, does not dampen its great utilitarian aspect and offers superb space and large glass area. These ensure that the GL is a more practical product in the high end luxury SUV segment.

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Dashboard

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Dashboard

Interior space and features

The GL is first and foremost a practical, luxury vehicle with oodles of space for all its occupants. The vehicle lacks some of the sportiness of its primary rival in order to offer more convenience to its passengers. The GL has the class leading last row seating space and comfort. All the seats are large and luxurious with plenty of legroom, shoulder and head space, along with a comfy armrest with cup holder. All the rows are almost equally spacious and off course luxurious. Tall occupants as well as sky high-heel wearing occupants in the second row will have no space problem, as it is well though luxury car which would probably be chauffeur driven most of the time.

Mercedes Benz GL350 360 Degree View

Below is the 360 Degree view of the Mercedes Benz GL350. Please enjoy it better on your mobile phone using the accelerometer option (visible on the bottom of the 360 Degree View Video from the mobile)

Nevertheless, being a car from German manufacture, the best place to be in the Mercedes GL is the driver’s seat. The GL offers all sorts of adjustments that you can imagine at the push of some buttons. The electrically adjustable steering wheel is reach and rake adjustable as well. The GL offers a driver’s heaven with perfect, domineering driving position, superb comfort and clear visibility all round with immense wind shields, making sure of optimal busy roads rides.

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Steering wheel

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Steering wheel

In terms of equipments, the GL is surely loaded too with comprehensive safety features comprising of nine airbags, intelligent lights, ESP, ABS, Pre-safe and the company’s attention assist all packed in a vehicle body that is meant for passenger safety as a primary aspect. Creature comfort is also superb with power adjustable seats and mirrors, three zone climate control system, and the latest generation COMAND system to handle all the infotainment needs in a comprehensive way. The vehicle also has a panoramic sunroof, luscious interior lighting and a smoking package.

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Speedometer

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Speedometer

The GL’s Active Parking Assist is particularly remarkable, which selects an appropriate parking spot, and then guides the driver towards the selected space with magical effectiveness that everyone would just love. This feature is also acts as life saver while parking such a massive vehicle.

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Side View

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Side View

Drive experience

The Mercedes Benz GL is certainly a massive car, but while driving it you might forget the same. The vehicle offers superb controls that ensure effortless driving and handling, even in the busiest of roads. Moreover, this SUV has a remarkable turning circle and superb visibility for such a huge vehicle.

While driving it, there’s no telling that the GL weighs a more than generous 2175kg. The credit of course goes to the vehicle’s 3 liter, V6 diesel, which is essentially the same engine that the SUV packed in earlier. However, the engine now churns out more power and torque figures. The throttle pedal is very responsive as well. The GL doesn’t get started, but its surges ahead with revitalized power and feel. The huge vehicle is quick and efficient and it makes a perfect choice for the speed lovers with a superb top speed of 220kmph, which is astonishing for massive, tall and well-built luxury SUV.

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Front

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI Front

The high speed capabilities however do cause a bit of discomfort at sharp corners though, which is very natural for such a massive, heavy weight vehicle. The Mercedes comes with a height adjustable suspension and offers two different settings for its dampers, namely Comfort and Sport. When set to the Sport mode, the Mercedes GL is not very efficient at handling sharp corners at high speed. So racing up your GL on a windy, hilly road is not a good idea.

If it’s just a one-off bend, the Mercedes feels fine; the turn in is acceptable and the body roll, though present, isn’t alarmingly high. But, put it through a sequence of bends, and it never really seems to recover from one corner to the next. The front still manages to keep up with the driver’s inputs, but the rear fails at it miserably. It feels ungainly, and is one of the few vehicles where kicking the tail out is more unsettling than fun.

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI

Mercedes Benz GL350CDI

Final Words

Though a really impressive SUV from every angle, the only thing that is not up to the mark to the rest of the GL is the rather unsettled ride it offers. The new GL Class can be sometimes noisy and even jerky which is very unlike a Mercedes vehicle. Excepting the overall ride quality, the new Mercedes Benz GL is an excellent luxury SUV with everything better and enhanced. A master of safety, space, practicality, equipments, comfort and of course luxury, the GL350 CDI is the best luxury SUV for someone who loves to go on or off-road along with family and friends. However, that someone has to be rich.

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