Full, fun, active family living demands a vehicle that can meet a far wider assortment of needs than sedans or wagons can accommodate. That’s where the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class luxury SUVs step in and excel. Many of the full-size luxury SUVs available might make similar claims, but none can deliver on those promises while offering the responsive driving feel and confident handling of the GL-Class.
The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class handles with an agility and confidence that requires no “for this type of vehicle” qualifier. The secret is in not only the standard self-leveling AIRMATIC four-wheel independent air suspension, but also in the brand’s decades of luxury vehicle chassis expertise.
The AIRMATIC suspension can lower the vehicle’s ride height to optimize on-road handling, or, at the touch of a button, you can raise the suspension for navigating your GL-Class through deep snow or ruts, for example. AIRMATIC technology has been a staple of the Mercedes-Benz flagship S-Class line for many years, and its adaptation for SUV duty endows the GL-Class with the capability and comfort customers would expect from a Mercedes-Benz luxury SUV.
In contrast, some luxury SUVs, including the Lexus LX 570 and Cadillac Escalade, still rely on “solid” rear axle suspension systems, which can reduce ride quality and also compromise interior roominess. In particular, a solid-axle rear suspension – which you’ll also find in pickup trucks – can take a bite out of third-row room and comfort.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class offers outstanding room and comfort for seven with the second row providing a very generous 39 inches of legroom. The power-folding third-row seats can be folded individually to tailor the vehicle to your carrying needs. Fold both rear-most seats for 43.8 cubic feet of cargo space, or fold the second and third rows for 83.3 cubic feet of total space, all with a totally flat cargo floor.
If you need to carry more or tow some power toys, the GL-Class complies, offering 7,500 pounds of towing capacity with the available Class IV trailer hitch. If you’re accustomed to towing, you know how a trailer can make handling a bit tricky, especially in windy conditions. The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class makes towing effortless and anxiety free with standard Trailer Stability Assist. It’s an extension of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) that detects swaying and uses the vehicle’s front brakes to help stabilize both the GL-Class and the trailer.
It’s worth mentioning that Mercedes-Benz pioneered vehicle stability systems with the first application of ESP 15 years ago. You might know that stability systems proliferated after that, and that they’ve been deemed so effective that U.S. federal regulations mandated that all passenger vehicles have the technology starting with the 2012 model year.
That has been the same story for a lot of key Mercedes-Benz safety innovations including crumple-zone body structure design and antilock brakes (ABS). Providing you with peace of mind, especially in such a family-oriented vehicle, is also why Mercedes-Benz includes as standard in all GL-Class models the PRE SAFE® system, which can detect if a frontal collision or rollover is imminent, tighten the front seatbelts and even close windows and the sunroof. You want that kind of peace of mind when carrying family and friends.
Mercedes-Benz offers three versions of the 2012 GL-Class, all featuring a standard seven-speed automatic transmission (the world’s first) and 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Choose from three powertrains: The GL350 BlueTEC (MSRP $61,570) with its advanced, turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 clean diesel, a powerhouse with 400 lb/ft of torque (ideal for towing) and 210 hp, the GL450 with a 335-hp 4.6-liter V8 or the top-of-the-line GL550 with a 382-hp 5.5-liter V8.
Did you know that some luxury SUVs do not include all-wheel drive as standard? Mercedes-Benz believes this kind of drivetrain is essential to the all-weather handling of the GL-Class, and therefore, made it integral to the vehicle’s engineering.
Changes to the GL-Class for 2012 include the addition of LED daytime running lights, enhanced interior trim and new directional lines for the rearview camera. Unchanged is the utter luxury with which this vehicle surrounds you. Come in to see and feel that luxury, and to experience the Mercedes-Benz difference.