New Mercedes off-road SUV offers space, luxury and safety

Mercedes GL-ClassMercedes-Benz is to introduce a new luxury seven-seater off road SUV – the GL-Class. The seven-seater not only handles excellently on and off-road but offers plenty of space and the comfort of a luxury saloon. The GL-Class also incorporates the PRE-SAFE® safety system – a first time for the system in this segment of the market.

With the GL-Class, Mercedes-Benz clearly intends to gain a substantial share of this sector of the market with a distinctive design which exudes power and exclusivity. Powerful, wedge-shaped features and striking details give the impression the luxury off-roader is surging forward even when it is stationary. The spacious body (length 5088 mm, width 1920 mm, height 1840 mm) is beautifully proportioned.

The interior provides more than ample space and super comfort for up to seven people whether just popping into town, cruising hundreds of kilometres or negotiating rough terrain. Occupants still enjoy good freedom of movement even on the two full-sized individual seats in the third row of seats. If fewer seats are required, the rear individual seats can be stowed electrically at the push of a button, either individually or in tandem to provide a completely flat load surface.

With these seats stowed away the luggage compartment capacity amounts to 1240 litres in the five-seater version. The GL-Class can provide up to 2300 litres of load capacity, with the load compartment measuring 2128 mm in length.

The THERMATIC automatic air conditioning system fitted as standard in the GL 320 CDI provides consistent temperature for all seven seats both in the depths of winter and on sweltering summer days. The versions with V8 engines such as the GL 420 CDI, GL 450 and GL 500 come with the standard-fit multi-zone THERMOTRONIC system, which offers even greater comfort.

The GL-Class body combines optimum strength with intelligent lightweight steel design to provide excellent passive safety, while the occupant protection systems include:

Adaptive, two-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger;
Sidebags in the front, and in the middle row of seats as an option;
Windowbags across all three rows of seats from the A to the D-pillar;
NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger as an option;
3-point seat belts on all seven seats; Seat-belt tensioners and adaptive belt-force limiters for the driver and front passenger; seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters on the outer seats in the middle row.

With the optionally available PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system, a world first in this market segment, Mercedes-Benz has raised safety to new levels. Passive and active safety systems are interlinked so that PRE-SAFE® utilises the sensors in the dynamic handling control systems such as ABS, BAS (Brake Assist) and ESP® and optimises the protective function of the passive safety components in potential accident situations.

Mercedes GL-Class interiorWhile the GL-Class meets all the requirements of a state-of-the-art, luxury SUV the Mercedes off-roader hallmarks – superlative robustness, ruggedness and long-term durability – have not been compromised. In fact the model designation echoes its legendary precursor the G-Class – the evergreen off-roader which is now in its 27th year of production and will continue to be marketed alongside the new GL-Class.

4MATIC – the permanent four-wheel drive from Mercedes-Benz – provides the GL-Class with superior handling whatever the conditions. Together with the standard-fit AIRMATIC air suspension, the precise speed-sensitive power steering and the ADS Adaptive Damper System also fitted as standard, the imposing GL-Class (wheelbase 3075 mm) handles impressively.
Handling when pulling a trailer is equally impressive as a result of ESP® trailer stabilisation. This defuses critical driving situations involving a trailer before they become dangerous by precisely applying the brakes, while AIRMATIC provides fully automatic level adjustment.

Mercedes GL-ClassThe Off-Road Pro engineering package – which is standard on all ECE models and includes a two-speed transfer case with a low range ratio and 100 percent differential locks for the transfer case and the rear axle – means the GL-Class can also handle the most extreme off-road terrain. The modified AIRMATIC air suspension, designed specifically for the more demanding conditions, increases the ground clearance to a maximum of 307 millimetres where required, and raises the fording depth to 600 millimetres.

Alongside the 165-kW/224-hp V6 engine in the GL 320 CDI, the range of diesel models includes the new-generation high-performance V8 diesel in the GL 420 CDI, which now has an output of 225 kW/ 306 hp and maximum torque of 700 Nm. Both diesel-powered versions undercut the EU 4 limits and feature a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter. In addition to the newly developed 5.5-litre, 285-kW/388-hp engine in the GL 500, launched earlier in the new S-Class, the second unit in this ultra-modern V8 family of engines is celebrating its world premiere in the GL-Class. In the GL 450 the 4.6-litre engine develops 250kW/340hp. Both engines also fulfil the stringent EU4 limits (USA: LEV II standard).

All GL-Class engine variants come with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT as standard. Excellent performance and low fuel consumption result from the perfect combination of ultra-modern engines with 7G-TRONIC and the friction-optimised power train.

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