American built Mercedes Benz’s have come in for past criticism but the GL-Class’s build quality is superb and it is very well trimmed.
What We Disliked
- Xenon headlights not standard across the range
- The optional extras list is extensive and expensive
- The steering column mounted gear selector is awkward to use (you do get used to it eventually but in our opinion it is slower to operate)
What We'd Like To See
- Some of the extras should be standard, on a vehicle of this price including Xenon Headlights
American built Mercedes Benz’s have come in for past criticism but the GL-Class’s build quality is superb and it is very well trimmed. The leather dashboard and other materials befitted a car of this value.
Value For Money
There is no doubt that the Mercedes Benz GL-Class is a premium vehicle, our test car had an on the road price of nearly £65k add sensible options, i.e. the ones you would probably want and the price increases to £72,000 which is very similar to the Range Rover TDV8 Vogue SE we had tested the week before. The GL 420 CDI costs approximately £10,000 more than its five seater sibling the ML 420 CDI which might make a more sensible option if you do not need the two extra seats and some of the extra standard equipment.
We were shocked to see that Xenon headlights were an option on a car with an entry price of nearly £65,000.
We tested the Mercedes Benz GL 420 CDI back to back with a Range Rover TDV8 Vogue to see which car deserved the title ‘King of the premium four wheel drives’.
When moving from the Range Rover to the GL-Class we knew instantly that we preferred the Range Rover but after a day of driving the GL-Class our opinion changed. The GL-Class is much better to drive if you prefer to push on a bit, it handles better and is quicker but the overall ride is not as good and it doesn’t feel as special as the Range Rover. But the Range Rover cannot carry seven people and if we were to take regular family trips across the continent it would be the ideal vehicle but once we arrived at our destination we would want to revert back to the Range Rover. Even off road it is a difficult choice as both handle and perform very well off road but however when it comes to hard core off roading the Range Rover wins hands down.
And to make the choice even more difficult, if you don’t need seven seats, you could always opt for the smaller Mercedes Benz M-Class 420 CDI - life is full of choices.
Overall all the Mercedes Benz GL-Class is a well engineered and executed premium four wheel drive, which is more than capable of transporting seven people on or off-road in luxury.8 November 2008
Mercedes Benz GL-Class Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mercedes Benz GL 420 CDI|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||143 mph|
|Transmission||7G-Tronic 7-Speed Automatic Gearbox|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||30.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 Years / Unlimited Mileage|
|Price (when tested on the 08/11/08)||£63,642.44|