Mercedes-Benz G-Class (2012)

CARBARN | Mercedes-Benz G-Class (2012) | When Mercedes-Benz SUVs Decided to take on head-on, it did not hold back much. In short order it added the R-Class crossover, a smaller GLK ute, and at the top of its new sport-ute lineup, it introduced the GL-Class, a three-row, full-size SUV staged to Compete with the Escalade , Navigator, even the Range Rover. The Benz star on the front end looks as big as a Civic steering wheel - proportional to a body that's nearly as big as a Suburban.

The diesel's torque is a great match for off-roading (though the available off-road package of skid plates is Offered on it). Fuel economy is rated at 17/23 mpg - better than the Tahoe or Escalade Hybrid - and there's only a hint of the diesel thrumble That signals the type of engine underhood, the kind That delivers about 600 miles on one tank of fuel. The gas engines on offer are considerably higher in horsepower, and lower in gas mileage.

On all versions, the GL power shifts through a seven-speed automatic to all four wheels, with an electronic all-wheel-drive system limits wheelspin That through anti-lock braking, a system pioneered on the M-Class. The transmission's well-suited to the gas engines; with Diesels, we've noted a little more shift shock.  The GL's three rows of seats capable of seating are an adult in every one of its seven positions, something That is not as easy in an Escalade Because of its seat-folding doors and Mechanisms, or even possible in a five-seat Range Rover . The front seats are as spacious as any big SUV, and They can be fitted with ventilation, a luxury feature we've come to appreciate. Three adults will fit in the second row if they're medium-sized.

Adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitors are also available. Every GL-Class ute has power front seats standard; a power-fold feature for the third-row seat; a glass sunroof over the rear two rows of seats; a COMAND controller for climate, audio and navigation systems; Bluetooth; and an AM / FM / six-DVD changer. The GL350 BlueTEC diesel has 20-inch rims, and the GL450 gets 19-inchers. Leather seating is not standard on the GL-Class: Mercedes says it's Because some owners want Cruelty-free upholstery, so be sure to tick the option box pricey if you're shopping.

Major options include a navigation system on lesser models: a 610-watt Harman Kardon Logic 7 audio system with surround sound; and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with twin 8-inch screens and wireless headsets.

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