In the SUV world, the new GL-Class is setting new standards in comfort, dynamics, safety, elegance and efficiency and within this spectrum it is regarded as the S-Class among off-road vehicles. This premium SUV is able to demonstrate its exceptional capabilities in everyday situations with dense city traffic, over winding roads or on motorways as well as way off the beaten track.
Whether driving over tracks with potholes, continually altering road surfaces or dusty natural trails interspersed with off-road sections – the superior comfort of the seven-seater’s ride, as well as its outstanding power and confident performance, are convincing even when the going gets really tough.
Relaxed – and that means safe – driving both on-road and off-road – is one of the great strengths of the new GL-Class. Especially its NVH qualities (noise, vibration, harshness), which are on a par with those of the S-Class. The high standards of comfort are derived from the combined result of a very rigid bodyshell, a perfected drivetrain, an improved chassis and superb aeroacoustic finishing, as well as the intelligent use of new-style insulation materials. At the same time, the GL-Class retains its traditional advantages of being extremely responsive with outstanding off-road expertise.
Included in the standard package is a fully load-bearing air suspension system, named AIRMATIC, with its adaptive shock-absorbing system (ADS) as well as a load recognition feature. In comparison with the previous model, the AIRMATIC ADS provides outstanding comfort with greatly improved handling, roadholding and driving dynamics. For example, both the standard Crosswind Assist and load recognition feature are able to compensate for varying driving conditions. The optional active tilting stabiliser ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM uses its active lateral stabilisers for the front and rear axles to reduce the roll angle when driving round bends, thus providing greatly improved responses. At the same time, the system makes for better handling. An improved ride and increased ability when driving off-road by actively decoupling the stabilisers are among the other advantages of the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM.
The ON&OFFROAD package
The GL is well-equipped for going on tours off the beaten track. The standard package includes permanent four-wheel drive, 4MATIC, a driving-off assistant, Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) and a special program for off-road driving. The ON&OFFROAD package fitted to the new GL-Class, with its six driving programs, has greatly improved the vehicle dynamics and driving safety so that the most suitable drive control for extremely varying driving conditions both on the road and going cross-country is always available. From the “hardware” point of view, the ON&OFFROAD package comprises protection for the engine, fibre-reinforced underfloor panelling, a two-stage power transmission with reduction gears, a longitudinal differential lock and extended AIRMATIC functions, allowing a maximum ground clearance of 306 mm and fording depth of 600 mm.
Better visibility, more safety, greater comfort
When it is dark or visibility is poor, the Bi-Xenon headlamps with Intelligent Light System and new off-road light, adaptive Main Beam Assist or adaptive Night View Assist Plus provide sufficient visibility. The optional 360° camera has four cameras located at front and rear as well as in the housing of the exterior mirrors – and is especially helpful in urban environments. From the visual information received, the system calculates a bird’s eye view of the vehicle and its surrounding area and then relays it together with other views to the large COMAND display.
New Assist systems: The best support for the driver
Improved driving and stress-reduced safety for the new GL-Class is provided in particular by its numerous assistant systems. In addition to the handling control systems ESP®, ASR, ABS and the danger-alert PRE-SAFE® safety concept, for the first time the standard version of the GL is also fitted with the collision alerter COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST and the drowsiness detector ATTENTION ASSIST. Functions such as load recognition or STEER CONTROL reduce the strain on the driver in critical borderline driving situations by supporting the driver with a steering momentum on the steering wheel if the vehicle is oversteering. One innovation and highlight in the new GL is the standard Crosswind Assist which supports the driver with deliberate braking when there are strong crosswinds, increasing the feeling of safety. Also available to optimise the safety of the vehicle are optional systems such as distance control DISTRONIC PLUS, braking assistant BAS PLUS or the PRE-SAFE® brake with its autonomous braking function in certain dangerous situations that have not been recognised by the driver. Easy parking is guaranteed with the Active-Park assistant. The system is able to detect suitable parking spaces and steer the GL automatically into the best possible position for parking.
GL-Class drive systems: Up to 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption
Both the BlueTEC engine for the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and the GL 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY, with its supercharged direct injection BlueDIRECT petrol engine, give extremely efficient and outstanding performance. The fuel consumption of the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC is 38.1 mpg, which is a 20 per cent improvement over its predecessor, and at the same time it undercuts the future EU 6 emission standards. The fuel consumption of the 435 hp strong petrol engine GL 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY has been reduced by 18 per cent. With the change of models the GL range is being enriched by an AMG version for the very first time. In the high-performance SUV GL 63 AMG, the AMG 5.5 litre V8 Biturbo engine provides a top performance of 557 hp and maximum torque of 760 Nm. The GL 63 AMG accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds; it has a top speed of 155 mph (limited electronically). The NEFZ fuel consumption is 22.9 mpg (288 g CO2/km).