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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - GL-Class - 320 CDI 5-dr wagon


Big, brawny and pricey, Benz's go-anywhere GL is also quick and frugal in CDI form

27 Apr 2007

NO, it isn’t anything like the G-Wagen we thought it might be when the idea of a new, seriously off-road Mercedes-Benz was mooted. The new GL-class is really just an extended ML-class with a little more of everything that an extra 300mm of body, as well as an added 200kg of weight, can bring. The surprising thing about the new GL is just how capable and un-intimidating it feels to the driver, and how economical – in the GL320 form – it actually can be. Zero to 100km/h in comfortably less than 10 seconds and an average fuel consumption of 9.5L/100km show just how good today’s turbo-diesel are getting. Add to this the standard fitment of the Benz Off-Road Pro Pack – which includes a dual-range transmission – and air suspension that can lift the GL-Class high enough to provide a 600mm river-crossing depth, and you have a remarkable luxury all-rounder that seems to cover just about all the bases.

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Model release date: 1 November 2006 to 1 March 2011

Previous model

Mercedes-Benz G-class

Released: 1979
Ended: current
Family Tree: GL-Class

If there was a true predecessor to the new GL-class Mercedes, it’s the G-Class jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz and Steyr Puch in Austria and launched to the world in 1979, not always with a Mercedes-Benz badge. The G-Wagen came to Australia as a Mercedes for a brief run during the 1980s as a top-end challenger for the Range Rover but lacked the sophistication – if not the off-road readiness - of the British vehicle. Angular in style and relatively austere, the G-Wagen used a Mercedes-Benz engine and three lockable differentials to go anywhere the driver was game. A plan to import a batch of hi-po G55 AMGs last year failed to eventuate.

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