Vehicle Profile: The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
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If your first need in a luxury SUV is room, then the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class with seating for seven and up to 83.3 cubic feet of cargo space surely fits the bill. If your second need in a full-size luxury SUV is a drive that’s smoother and more luxurious than anything else in its class, then the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class stands in a class of one.
Full-size luxury SUVs offer acres of room, but most extract a price for that size in how the vehicle drives and handles. If some handle like trucks, it’s because they’re built on truck frames. One test-drive in a 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class – which starts at an MSRP of $61,570 for the GL350 BlueTEC – and anything else with this much room will feel obsolete.
Mercedes-Benz offers three distinct GL-Class models for 2012, the aforementioned GL350 BlueTEC with a turbodiesel V6, the 4.6-liter V8-powered GL450 and the GL550 with a mighty 382-hp 5.5-liter V8. The GL550 offers 391 lb/ft of peak torque with 75 percent of that available at just 1,000 rpm – essentially, as soon as your foot touches the accelerator pedal. The GL350 BlueTEC is also a torque champ with 400 lb/ft between 1,600 and 2,400 rpm. All three engines offer ample performance to make easy work of towing up to 7,500 pounds.
Drivers who tow, whether experienced or novice, will appreciate the standard Trailer Stability Assist feature. An added function of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), the system can detect and mitigate trailer swaying, which otherwise could have an adverse affect on vehicle handling.
Each of the three GL-Class powertrains comes paired with a super-smooth seven-speed automatic transmission with paddleshifters to enable manual control when desired.
You might expect all-wheel drive to be standard on all SUVs in this class, but that’s not the case. All 2012 GL-Class models, however, come standard with the renowned Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. Not only will 4MATIC ensure better traction in slippery conditions, but its 45:55 front-to-rear power distribution also fosters agile handling in all conditions.
Driving a 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class quickly confirms how Mercedes-Benz engineering makes this vehicle such a superior luxury SUV. Your first reaction when driving a GL-Class model might be to look over your shoulder to count the seats. How can a full-size three-row SUV handle with such agility? That’s the Mercedes-Benz difference. A chassis designed for this purpose, equipped with an advanced AIRMATIC four-wheel independent air suspension, endows all GL-Class models with the ride quality you’d expect in a Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, AIRMATIC imbues the GL-Class with an agile spirit unexpected in such a vehicle.
The AIRMATIC system not only has you riding on air, but also offers other benefits. If you need to drive through deep snow or get down a severely rutted road, push a button to raise the suspension to give the GL-Class more ground clearance. At highway speeds, AIRMATIC lowers the vehicle to enhance stability and aerodynamics.
The independent rear suspension also enables a roomier rear seat area than SUVs that still use solid-axle rear suspension systems like the Cadillac Escalade and Lexus LX 570. That’s one reason the third-row seat in a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class can offer 34.2 inches of legroom, making it quite comfortable for adults. The middle row offers 39.5 inches of stretch-out room. In addition to the standard power front tilt/slide sunroof, the GL-Class lets rear passengers enjoy the light with a standard fixed-glass rear sunroof over the third row.
Second-row passengers can also watch the optional Rear Seat Entertainment System with dual LCD screens. Each screen can play the same or different programming or connected games. The sound can also play through the vehicle’s audio system, allowing third-row passengers to enjoy as well.
A standard power-folding feature makes using the third row easy for those getting in and out of it. Fold the second-row seats to open up 43.8 cubic feet of carrying space. With second- and third-row seats folded, you have 83.3 cubic feet of total space, and a flat floor makes carrying large items a snap.
Infotainment choices in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class allow you to play music from CDs, a memory card, iPod®, HD Radio™, SiriusXM Satellite Radio or music upload. The best way to enjoy any music source is through the available harman/kardon LOGIC7® sound system, which puts 610 watts of Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound through 11 speakers.
Come in and see how the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class offers everything needed to satisfy you and your passengers.
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Looking to Save?
Check here for Dealer Specials.