A jeep full of appliances and electronic extras, with a complex eight – cylinder diesel under the hood and manufactured in the southern United States: Can a car and put up 100,000 kilometers and still function as if nothing? Apart from the pneumatic suspension and the two standard locks, the Mercedes GL of this long test had numerous extras such as electric sunroof, stationary heating, Comand navigator, bi-xenon headlights and towbar: price Amounted in October 2007 to 102,524 dollars.
The GL has impressed me not only with its price but also with its massive appearance: more than five meters long and 2.7 tons of empty weight. One of the notes in our roadmap says of Big Benz that “overflows strength and space”. Another comment points: “pure comfort and very manageable to be a vessel of this type”.
The Mercedes GL is driven as it seems a priori: it squanders safety doses in itself and transmits to the driver the feeling of security that its solid aspect distills. In addition, it drags the trailers with total dominion thanks to its 306hp and its brutal 700 Nm of torque. When the turbos vacuum is overcome and both turbines begin to give cane, there is no mountain that will resist its V8 diesel. “The truth is that it’s scary how it stands up to the steepest slopes, “one of the driver-testers bewilders after carrying more than a ton of cargo in the trailer.
Of course, all that energy waste takes its toll on going to the pump and refueling; The GL consumes an average of 13.8 liters per 100 km, although I have to remind you that there has been a lot of hard work and cheerful driving. This enormous eight-cylinder diesel is certainly no example of savings, but in return, there is almost no off-road vehicle on the market that moves 3.5tonnes of weight without being undisturbed. If you cut yourself a bit when it comes to stepping on the accelerator, then it is very likely that the consumption will approach the official data. One tip: the best thing you can do with this Big Benz is to drive it with caution, the volantazos do not like too much and the generated inertias can be dangerous. Driving in a city is not its forte either.
The air suspension, as standard in the equipment, dares with everything, but its behavior is not perfect. Many drivers with sporting tastes feel that the normal way, and above all, the comfort, is too soft. On the contrary, they say that Sport is very hard.
In the cargo section, the German SUV is a good friend of the transporters and is perfect for moving or similar tasks: the 2,300 liters of luggage are more than enough.
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Off the asphalt, there are few obstacles that can withstand it: its 31 centimeters of ground clearance and rear and center differential locks are very useful when the terrain gets complicated.
After completing the test of 100,000 km, many drivers perceive a couple of ailments in the Mercedes GL: the shroud of the luggage compartment gets stuck, the rear lights fail to illuminate the ashtray, the winter tires (Pirelli Sotto-zero) make too much noise, The leather lining of the steering wheel wears in the upper area and the sliding roof creaks from time to time … insignificant trifles. In our logbook only a serious fault is indicated: at kilometer 80.049 the compressor of the air suspension fails: the air pump runs out of force. You have to take the German-American to the workshop: the new compressor Airmatic comes for 372 dollars. There they realize that the rear shock absorber of the left has become permeable and in the upper zone leaves a lot of oil. One of the air chambers is also up to top of oil … That’s it.
At a time when we are cheated with the most pilgrim things (imitation mountain ham, wines with lots of chemistry …), the GL proves that it is old-fashioned … and with all its virtues completely intact. It has everything that is expected of a car with the star on its front: the guy is not that it looks solid as a rock, is that it really is.
This test also demonstrates the high level achieved by the American factory in Tuscaloosa / Alabama. We confess: the ML 270 CDI of the first generation did not convince us, but this Mercedes meets the doses of strength and reliability that are expected of him. .. And its price.