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Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

Last updated on: June 17, 2013 13:54 IST

Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

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Arup Das

Optimism is a virtue that can have its own dividends. Mercedes-Benz certainly is optimistic that its second-generation GL-Class vehicle will do well in India.

Undeterred by the lukewarm response to the first version, the German company is taking its chances with its full-sized SUV, which weighs over two tonnes and sprawls over five metres in length.

And needless to say, it is one of the most luxurious SUVs that money can buy. The GL is a no-nonsense SUV and Mercedes-Benz has ensured there's no unnecessary bling added to sex up the muscular vehicle's looks. We love the big imposing chrome grille which automatically gives it bragging rights on the street.

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Image: A view of Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV.
Photographs: Source: mbusa.com

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Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

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The smart jewel-strip headlamps temper the aggression of the GL's fascia. In terms of design, it retains the boxy look, which is unaesthetic, but allows a spacious interior.

The flared wheel arches, the curvaceous AMG-style bumper and the gorgeous 21-inch alloys try to make this SUV look sporty - but 'respectable' is more the adjective that can be used of the vehicle.

Step inside and you will find that Mercedes-Benz has finally given the wooden panel the boot. We were happy to see that they have shed that "Uncleji" image for a more youthful chrome look.

The brushed-aluminium and black-leather steering wheel adds to the trendy feel. Being a seven-seater, it provides ample leg, shoulder and headroom space in all the three rows.

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Photographs: Source: mbusa.com
Tags: SUV , GL , AMG , Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

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The third row seats fold up at the press of a button, so no manual labour is needed. As most GLs will presumably be chauffeur driven, a separate temperature setting unit for the second row speaks of foresight.

Being a German vehicle, the best place has to be the driver's seat and it gets all the comfort features that money can buy. It also provides a commanding driving position to provide you a birds'-eye view of the dinky sedans and hatchbacks on the roads.

The integrated front cup holders in the central panel are temperature-controlled - whether the beverage is hot or cold it maintains that temperature.

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Photographs: Source: mbusa.com
Tags: SUV , Mercedes-Benz , GL

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Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

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The dashboard limelight is dominated by a 7-inch LCD screen operated by the COMMAND system with its 10GB data space. What is incredible about the new GL is its 360-degree camera view of itself, especially useful when squeezing into a vacant parking slot.

This close-range system works with four cameras - one mounted on the front grille, one each on the outside rear-view mirrors and one in the centre of the tailgate.

The virtual vantage point covers an area about three metres to the front and rear of the vehicle as well as the areas on the sides.

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Photographs: Source: mbusa.com

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Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

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To make sure that you enjoy driving the GL rather than curse at parking lots, Mercedes-Benz has introduced the Active Parking Assist which searches for a suitable parking space and automatically parks the vehicle at the touch of a button.

All you need to do is control the accelerator and brakes. This effortless technology was first showcased in India in the current version of the Volkswagen Passat.

We will not bore you with all the safety and comfort features because it is a Mercedes-Benz after all. The GL-Class is only available in diesel with a 3-litre engine with a deceptive 350CDI badging. The power plant is identical to the one in the previous avatar but it gets more horses and torque.

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Photographs: Source: mbusa.com

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Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

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This SUV speeds from 0 to 100 kmph in 7.9 seconds. While you may have 258 HP at your disposal, you must remember that the GL is for mature adventurers, so the power doesn't rush in like a rude kick.

Instead, it picks up speed in a uniform but pacy manner, though there is no initial lag to dampen your mood. The 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic transmission is what makes this metal mammoth an easy drive.

The gear ratio makes the GL at home in the city, and for its size it is quite agile. If you feel the automatic option is lethargic, then the paddle shifts will keep you engaged as you can play with the rpm meter as you wish.

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Photographs: Source: mbusa.com

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Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

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If you are heading off to the hills, then go easy on the curves as the GL's bodyroll is quite evident. The front is more than willing to take on the turns but the heavy rear has a mind of its own.

A word of advice: changing suspension will also not help your cause. The GL-Class is huge in size and is luxurious with a capital L. But the ride quality is not as lush as we usually associate a Mercedes with - you actually feel the thuds when it goes over potholes.

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Photographs: Source: mbusa.com
Tags: GL , SUV , Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes-Benz launches GL-Class SUV at Rs 77.5 lakh

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The equipment and technology are class-leading, and the SUV is as safe as Fort Knox. But it should be, because it costs a ransom in gold with a starting price of Rs 77.5 lakh.

Engine: 2987cc

Power: 258 hp @ 3600 rpm

Torque: 619 Nm @ 1600 rpm

Top speed: 220 kmph

Ground clearance: 185mm

Price: Rs 77.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)


Photographs: Source: mbusa.com

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