Mercedes GL-450: stylish grace | GulfNews.com

24 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mercedes GL-450: stylish grace | GulfNews.com
Mercedes GL 450

Mercedes GL-450: stylish grace

The Mercedes GL-450 is a superb off-roader with excellent driving dynamics both on and off-road, plus enough room to pamper the user, coupled with the comfort of a luxury-class saloon.

Image Credit: Supplied Picture The level of comfort is outstanding. Think of an all-terrain S-class. And the technology in support of both performance and safety is second to none in the motoring world.

As I got in the GL450 I kept thinking about how the leading US motoring magazine Motor Trend voted the Mercedes-Benz GL 450 the best SUV of the year 2007. The GL came out on top, beating off a field of 22 competitors. That’s got to be pretty hard.

In fact, it is only recently that Mercedes added to the legendary G-Wagen, the boxy hardcore 4×4 first developed for military use.

With many detailed improvements, the R-Class is the model series with the widest range of variants and particularly excels with its outstanding long-distance comfort, as well as the most spacious and variable interior with up to seven seats.

The M-Class is the bestseller of all the Mercedes-Benz Sports Utility Vehicles, and is particularly popular by virtue of its well-balanced characteristics. This series celebrated its much reported debut 10 years ago, and is seen as the precursor to all modern premium SUVs.

And most recently, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class occupies the peak position in the entire SUV world, where its occupants enjoy first-class travel under any conditions, both on and off the road.

Winning the Best SUV of the Year is testimony to the compelling concept of the seven-seater premium off-roader, which unlike many of its rivals manages to combine solid off-road performance with superior on-road properties and outstanding ride comfort. It is a true VIP.

The GL is already a compelling global phenomenon thanks to its excellent dynamic handling and finely tuned luxury-saloon comfort both on and off-road; 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive gives the GL-Class superior handling whatever the conditions.

Together with the standard-fit Air-Matic air suspension, the precise speed-sensitive power steering and the Adaptive Damping System (ADS), also part of the standard specification, the imposing GL (wheelbase 3,075 mm) handles superbly.

The GL-Class sets another milestone in the shape of the Pre-Safe safety system. Mercedes-Benz is the only car manufacturer to offer such technology in this market segment. The GL 450 comes with a V8 engine and develops 250 kW/340 hp.

All GL engine variants are fitted as standard with the 7Gtronic seven-speed automatic transmission with Direct Select. Believe me when I say VIP all the way. This is a limo that will climb mountains not mountain roads; raw mountain slopes!

I have been an avid off-roader most of my life, and when left to my own devices I tend to drive old battered 4x4s, and drive them hard, over obstacles that average motorists will not believe possible.

I gave the GL450 the full test from high Al Ain sand dunes, to Buraimi rock, and I was truly impressed, not only by the real 4×4 performance, but especially by the fact that I could have been dressed in a tux to do it! Absolutely phenomenal!

I took that testdrive up such a sharp mountain incline that my wife, who normally guides the placement of my wheels, abandoned her post in protest, shouting hysterically that I was going to slide off a two or three metre drop. And then I realised the problem.

The GL450 has that amazing tight steering angle, so useful for slipping into tight mall places, that I was at full turn almost parallel to the downhill direction and so as I released the brake in reverse, instead of the vehicle following the tyre direction and turning the front around, it was slipping on the rough stuff straight-line backwards towards gravity, and the little cliff!

Mercedes GL 450

The solution was to release the full-lock steering, let the front wheels point more towards the downhill, and give it some gas so that traction could be regained. Marvellous, and precise, the GL450 glided down to just where I wanted it.

And a good thing, too I really didn’t want to call Mercedes Head Office to explain I had dropped their GL off a cliff!

Anyways, personal adventures aside, though they confirm first-hand the GL is a seriously tough truck let there be no doubt about that! the GL450 is fully Mercedes in its suave handling at speed and in traffic.

The level of comfort is outstanding, think of an all-terrain S-class, and the technology in support of both performance and safety is second to none in the motoring world. This premium off-roader excels with excellent driving dynamics both on and off the road, and spoils its occupants with outstanding spaciousness together with the comfort of a luxury-class saloon.

With its confident and imposing external appearance, the GL-Class visually substantiates its claim to leadership in the hotly contested, worldwide market segment, while the interior welcomes its occupants with the typical Mercedes-Benz atmosphere of luxury and comfort.

The modified Air-Matic system allows a ground clearance of up to 307 mm, and the standard Offroad-Pro engineering package considerably enhances the capabilities on difficult terrain with its low-range transmission and disc-type locks at the rear and centre differentials.

Other electronic control systems such as Offroad-ABS, Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) and start-off assist help to reduce the driver’s workload even further.

Additionally, I think the Mercedes GL450 is spot on for UAE consumers. We live in a place where luxury is viewed as a right, where mechanical downtime is enough to have the entire car given off to a younger cousin in distrust, and where real off-road demands can be made on the car, as well as back-tingling insane high-speed road conditions the UAE is a demanding market that will push any vehicle to its limits.

The Mercedes GL450 can drop off the troops at school in the morning, look good entering the office parking lot in the day, power up dunes for sunset tea and a spot of falcon training, and then bestow prestige upon its owner and family as they hand over the keys to the valet at a five-star hotel for dinner. The GL450 does it all with style and grace.

Mercedes GL 450
Mercedes GL 450
Mercedes GL 450
Mercedes GL 450
Mercedes GL 450
Mercedes GL 450
Mercedes GL 450
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