2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a full size luxury SUV, built alongside the M-Class SUV and the R-Class wagon. The GL-Class is Mercedes' biggest SUV that has a luxurious interior, including three rows of seating.

This SUV is available in 3 trim levels: GL350 BlueTEC model, the GL450, and GL550. All these trims have a seating capacity for 7 that goes along with the spacious cargo room.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV AWD Base Price: $61,570.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 26.4 gallons (99 l) MPG: 17 city / 21 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 200.7 in. (509.7 cm) Wheel Base: 121.1 in. (307.5 cm)
Height: 75.6 in. (192 cm) Width: 85.5 in. (217.1 cm)
Curb Weight: 5512 lbs (2500 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.9 in. (20 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 14.3 cu ft Maximum Seating: 7 people
Performance
Engine: 3.0L BlueTEC V6 DOHC Diesel Compression Ratio: 16.5: 1
Horsepower: 210 HP Max RPM: 3400 RPM
Torque: 400 lb-ft @ 1600-2400 rpm Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic
0-60 mph: 9.1 seconds Max Towing Capacity: 7500 lbs* (3402 kgs)

*Properly equipped

Available Trims & Engine
Option:GL450 4Matic 4.6L V8 MSRP: $63,900; MPG: 13 city / 18 hwy
Option:GL550 4Matic MSRP: $86,900; MPG: 12 city / 17 hwy

Engine & Performance

The 2012 GL has 3 powertrain options, all with standard AWD. A 3.0L turbo diesel V6 that generates 210 horsepower and 400 lbs-ft of torque, powers the base GL350 trim; which is the cheapest and the most fuel-efficient among the trims. This fuel economy is reported at 17/21 mpg city/highway. The GL450 model on the other hand uses a 4.6L, gas-powered V8 engine that produces 335 horsepower and 339 lbs-ft of torque.

This model has a fuel economy of 13 mpg in city and 18 mpg on highway. The GL550, fitted with a 5.5L V8 engine produces 391 lbs-ft of torque and 382 hp, netting a fuel economy of 12/17 mpg city/highway. In addition, all these engines are connected to a standard 7-speed automatic gearbox with manual shift control. The 2012 GL has a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 lbs.

Exterior

The design of this vehicle is not only elegant and sophisticated, but also prepares you for a spacious interior. From the rich color coats to the crisp body line, the GL-Class shows why it deserves that Mercedes logo. While the standard 20 inch alloy wheels give this SUV a rugged look, the standard tail lamps and big headlamps outline the corners for good visibility. Other standard exterior features include: twin chrome exhaust pipes, rear fenders, and enforced LED strips on each side of the lower front fascia.

Interior

The interior compliments the exterior by offering generous seating for 7, spacious cargo hold, and capable all-weather performance. There are many standard interior features fitted in the GL that include: power-folding third-row seat, powered and heated front-seats, easy to read gauges, leatherette upholstery, and stereo.

At the top of the centre stack, there is a 7-inch display housing the controls and buttons for entertainment and vehicle system functions. A standard hard drive-based navigation system on the GL 550 trim, is optional on other trims. Optional power lift-gate makes loading and off-loading of cargo easier. Behind the third row, there is a 14.3 cubic ft of cargo room, which increases to 43.8 when third row seats are folded and reaches a maximum of 83.2 cubic ft when the second and third rows are folded.

Safety & Reliability

The 2012 GL-Class comes with an active suspension damping that feels sportier in handling. Add to this, there are numerous standard safety features that ensures the occupants arrive safely to their destination, otherwise, keep them safe in the event of a collision. One of the key safety features is the Collision Prevention Assist, which warns the driver on a slow moving traffic.

Other features include: Adaptive brake assist, crosswind assist pre-safe that prepares this vehicle for a collision, electronic stability control, Parktronic system with active park assist, rear body airbag, rear head airbag, passenger airbag, rear head airbag, rear view camera, Attention assist that warns the driver when he or she starts dozing, and adaptive high-beam assist.

Optional safety features include: active blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control and active lane keeping assist. The GL is backed with a 4-year or 50,000 mile warranty including bumper to bumper and the engine coverage.

Pros

  • Fuel-sipping diesel engine
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Great handling than most rivals
  • High quality interior
  • Many standard safety features

Cons

  • Less cargo space than other full-size SUVs
  • Standard features list is shorter than rivals

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-class treats the occupants to a first-class accommodation. It balances performance and comfort than what most people might expect. With its powerful engine, luxurious cabin and roomy seating; the GL-Class can be regarded as an excellent choice for people looking for a family luxury SUV.

This is where you separate the brave from the meek, depending on your personality, you may opt for any of these choices along with the GL, the Infiniti QX (MSRP $60,000; 14 city / 20 hwy), the Range Rover Sport from Land Rover (MSRP $60,045; 13 city / 18 hwy), or the Porsche Cayenne Turbo-diesel (MSRP $55,750; 20 city / 28 hwy). You can’t go wrong with any of these.

Overall Rating
79 out of 100

What others say:

“The Mercedes-Benz GL Class isn't quite as spacious as the largest Suburbans and Navigators. Still, it's quite a large vehicle, with room for seven people when it's pressed to the maximum its two-bucket, two-bench seating arrangement will allow.”"Car Connection

“Steering is accurate and direct. The GL550, however, tends to tramline along channels in the road and can skitter sideways in bumpy corners, compromising the sure-footed security of the other GLs. In fast turns on smooth surfaces, the GL550 has tenacious grip and relatively little body lean, but all GLs stay flatter in corners than most large SUVs. One test GL450 had a mushy brake-pedal feel.”Consumer Guide

“This seven-passenger luxury SUV has a roomy interior, and a third-row seat big enough for adults. The smooth 4.6-liter V8 delivers strong performance and 15 mpg overall.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“When tested through variable real-world environments, including some seriously sharp curves and an aggressive off-road path, the 2012 GL450 handled itself quite well.”KBB

“Excellent V8 performance; high standard of luxury; comfortable and quiet seating for seven; fuel-efficient diesel engine…More expensive than competitors; non-adjustable second-row seats; antiquated COMAND interface.”Edmunds