MercedesBenz GLClass 5dr wagon range First drive GLclass takes…

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Mercedes-Benz GL320 GDI

First drive:GL-class takes off-road in luxury

Mercedes one up on its rivals with the GL: a full-size luxury SUV

1 December 2006

THE successor for the legendary Mercedes-Benz off-roader has arrived Down in time for Christmas.

Spiritual, the original G-class is now in its 27th of production and continues on sale in countries alongside the all-new

Locally, the demise of a plan to a batch of G55 AMG hyper-4WDs by Mercedes-Benz means the G-class is unlikely to again be made officially to Australians due to issues including certification costs.

The W461 was available here briefly in the before it evolved into the of 1991, the model that on sale overseas today, and which – according to Mercedes – the derived GL shares much of its DNA.

But the Australian Army may yet get the helm of the Gelaendewagen, a number of have been offered by in response to a federal government to renew much of its military

A contract is yet to be awarded for the lucrative which as we reported previously is as Project Overlander and calls for a of light and medium recovery and heavy trucks.

Along with the British Defender and the US Army’s Hum-Vee, G-class vehicles are currently duty in both Afghanistan and and continue to be employed by military around the globe. Canada’s is the army to take delivery of the G-class.

The GL-class, of course, has in common with the second-generation luxury SUV, which here in September 2005 in petrol V6-powered ML350 at $79,900) and ML500 Luxury petrol V8 ($116,900) guises.

The ML was expanded in November 2005 by the turbo-diesel ML320 CDI (launched at and again in October this when the entry-level 140kW CDI ($77,900) and top-shelf ML63 AMG arrived.

The latter provides the expensive entry to AMG’s new 6.2-litre V8, which offers a 375kW and 630Nm in the M-class and is to be the world’s most powerful production V8.

At the same time, in to its popularity, Mercedes added the pack as standard to the ML350 and CDI, which saw pricing for variants rise significantly, to and $90,900 respectively.

In contrast, at least for now, the new range will be much Just two variants will be from launch, both at a premium over their equivalents.

Opening the GL-class is the GL320 CDI, powered by the 24-valve 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 motivates the ML320 CDI and DaimlerChrysler brand Jeep’s Grand

Delivering 165kW at 3800rpm and a 510Nm of torque from 1600rpm, the third-generation common-rail diesel from Benz the latest piezo injectors and about the same as the previous-generation CDI’s five-cylinder oil-burner.

As last month at the Australian Motor Show in Sydney, the GL made its Australian public the GL320 CDI will be priced $103,900 – a hefty $13,000 over the ML320 CDI (Luxury).

Of the GL comes with a number of differences to the M-class upon it is based, apart from a and larger new chassis and body unlike the ML, can accommodate up to seven via an optional third row of seats.

In with the GL’s positioning as a serious off-road vehicle, significant is the standard fitment of Off-Road Pro package, which $10,150 for M-class buyers.

The includes height-adjustable Airmatic air which raises maximum clearance to 307mm (14mm the M-class with Off-road and fording depth to 600mm, and adds centre and rear locks, front/rear under-body a low range-equipped transfer case. is also Downhill Speed (DSR), hill-start assist, a and off-road ABS assist.

All that adds significant to the monocoque-chassis GL, which hits the in 320 CDI form at a substantial 2450kg 2445kg). That’s around the weight as a LandCruiser, and makes the CDI almost a second slower to than the ML320 CDI.

figures claim the GL320 CDI to 100km/h in 9.5 seconds, has a top speed of and returns combined average consumption of 9.7L/100km.

A direct between the ML500 and GL500 be made because while the V8 employs Benz’s previous-generation 5.0-litre V8 (225kW), the GL500 the E, S, SL, CLS and CLK models in adopting a new-generation V8, which meets tighter IV emissions laws and delivers at 6000rpm and 530Nm of torque at (just 20Nm more the diesel).

That is enough to the GL500 to 100km/h in a claimed 6.6 and to the same 210km/h top speed as the CDI. Claimed combined fuel consumption is a thirsty Both the diesel and V8 petrol GLs Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic with Direct Select wheel shift buttons and an aerodynamic drag factor of

Mercedes-Benz GL320 GDI

The GL320 CDI comes with a standard equipment list, Artico faux leather 10-way power-adjustable front three 12-volt power a 60/40-split flat-folding second row of an eight-speaker sound system six-CD changer, woodgrain cruise control with speed limiter, front and foglights, power windows and mirrors, front armrests, central locking, a multi-function wheel, rain-sensing wipers, a rear sunroof, 18-inch wheels and, wait for it, a space saver spare

The GL320 CDI’s standard kit extends to twin front, side, rear side and side curtain airbags, three-point belts for all seven

In addition, the GL500 adds: alloys, three-zone climate-control a rear air-conditioning system, and folding (exterior) mirrors, bi-Xenon headlights with lights and washers, Benz’s system, DVD navigation, a CD/DVD electric rear vent heated front and second-row an electric glass sunroof, Kardon Logic 7 audio, paint, Nappa leather an off-road styling pack and a tailgate.

Options include a entertainment system ($4900), Distronic cruise control Linguatronic voice control a wood/leather steering wheel and a reversing camera ($950).

Of the GL’s employment of the big new 5.5-litre V8 room in the range for an entry-level powered by Benz’s new 4.3-litre V8, already sees duty in models in Europe, including the However, Mercedes-Benz Australia a third GL variant will not be released this year and the 450 is no longer in its current plans.

But, when it appears, fans can expect to see the range-topping AMG at some stage here.

the ML, the long-wheelbase (3075mm) GL features 4Matic permanent AWD system and says the GL is the first seven-seat SUV to its Pre-Safe collision preparation which, along with sensitive power steering and the Damper System (ADS), is on both GL variants.

All GLs measure a 5088mm long, 1920mm and 1840mm high (on road).

key figures include a 12.1-metre circle, a 33-degree approach a 27-degree departure angle, a ramp angle and a payload of (GL500: 705kg). Fuel is 100 litres, luggage capacity between 300 litres (with seats in use) to 1240 (with five seats in and 2300 litres with the front seats in use. towing capacity is a beefy

Launched in Europe in July, the new is built alongside its sister the M-class and R-class, at DaimlerChrysler’s Alabama – which opened in as the first Mercedes-Benz plant Europe.

Extensions were completed in May following expenditure of $US600 since 2001, bringing annual production capacity to vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz expects to around 400 examples of its latest model in its full calendar in Australia, split evenly V8 and diesel variants initially, but the CDI is eventually expected to become the

The third-row option pack, mandatory 19-inch wheels, $3400 in Artico, $3900 in and $4400 in Nappa leather. It is to be purchased by up to 75 per cent of GL-class

2006 Mercedes-Benz GL-class

Mercedes-Benz GL320 GDI
Mercedes-Benz GL320 GDI
Mercedes-Benz GL320 GDI
Mercedes-Benz GL320 GDI
Mercedes-Benz GL320 GDI

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