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Benz tweaks GL-Class variants

Big ideas: The entry price of the GL-Class range has come down by about $15,000, ahead of the model's name change to GLS-Class next year.

Price changes, added spec for Mercedes' big seven-seat GL-Class

15 May 2015

MERCEDES-BENZ has introduced limited-edition versions of its hulking GL-Class SUV which adds extras across the range and cuts the entry price by more than $15,000.

The base GL350 BlueTec, which normally retails for $129,930, is now split between two variants, kicking off with the Limited Edition from $114,900, plus on-road costs.

This version features special Limited Edition 20-inch wheels, a Harmon Kardon surround sound system, keyless entry and start as standard.

The pricing brings it closer to the mid-size ML350 BlueTec which starts at $101,900, but when kitted out with third row seating and some other optional goodies, is on par with is larger seven-seat GL stablemate.

Next up, the GL350 BlueTec Edition S is priced from $134,900 – a $4970 boost over the regular version – and gains sportier treatments such as an AMG Sport exterior package featuring matte black 21-inch AMG wheels, an Active Curve System with roll stabilisation, and a tyre pressure monitoring.

The cabin gains a steering wheel covered in wood and leather and multi-contour front seats.

Both GL350 BlueTec versions are powered by a 190kW/620Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, matched with a seven-speed automatic transmission and capable of an average fuel economy figure of 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

The GL500 Edition S gains the same AMG exterior treatment as the GL350 and at $159,500, adds $4070 to the price of the standard GL500.

It also gets rear sunblinds, a digital television tuner, an anti-theft package and a panoramic electric sunroof. The GL500 uses Benz's 320kW/700Nm 4.7-litre turbo-petrol V8 engine and the 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

Topping the range is the hardcore GL63 AMG from $214,900, which represents a price drop of $2030 compared to the outgoing AMG SUV flagship. It now features an AMG Driver's Package which lifts the top speed to 270km/h, a 'designo' Exclusive Package and heated and ventilated luxury front seats.

Power still comes from the 410kW/760Nm 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol unit, delivering a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.9 seconds.

The limited versions are likely to remain in place until Benz switches to the new GLS-Class moniker next year, which follows the new naming strategy of matching an SUV model name with its corresponding core passenger model.

The ML-Class will change to GLE to match with the E-Class in the coming months, while the mid-size GLK, which has previously not been available in Australia, will switch to GLC matching the C-Class on which it is based.

While Mercedes is yet to detail the changes the GLS will bring in 2016, it is believed to be a relatively minor mid-life update rather than a full-model change.

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class pricing*
350 BlueTec 'Limited Edition' (a) $114,900
350 BlueTec 'Edition S' (a) $134,900
500 'Edition S' (a) $159,500
63 AMG (a) $214,900
*Excludes on-road costs.

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