NEW FOR 2008:
- New GL550 model with 5.5-litre V8
- Standard Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 Surround Sound system with six-CD changer, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, auxiliary input jack and new laurel design centre caps for non-AMG wheels on all models
- GL320 CDI adds standard power tilt and telescopic column and passenger seat memory; optional Premium Package adds rear-view camera; new stand-alone aluminum running boards option
- GL450 adds standard power tilt and telescopic column, passenger seat memory, power-folding mirrors, heated steering wheel, active bi-Xenon headlamps, leather upholstery and 19-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels; optional Premium Package adds rear-view camera; new stand-alone aluminum running boards option
An all-new model in 2007, the GL-Class receives a third model for 2008, and upgrades to its list of standard and optional equipment. It was originally intended as a replacement for the boxy G-Class, which the company kept due to consumer demand, but which is only available by special order in Canada. The GL-Class shares its platform and much of its interior with the M-Class, and is built in the same plant, but is longer and contains three rows of seats accommodating up to seven passengers.
The GL-Class line-up consists of the GL320 CDI with 3.0-litre V6 diesel; the GL450 with 4.6-litre V8; and the new GL550 with 5.5-litre V8. All use a seven-speed automatic transmission and feature 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
Features on the GL320 include 18-inch alloy wheels, Thermatic dual-zone automatic climate control, parameter steering, Airmatic air suspension, Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 Surround Sound system with six-CD changer and auxiliary input jack, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Bluetooth cellular telephone preparation, power-folding heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, auto-dimming rear-view and driver's side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers with heated washer system, roof rails, privacy glass, trailer hitch, 10-way power-adjustable heated leather seats with three-position memory, leather-wrapped multifunction heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescopic, power sunroof, power pop-out third-row windows, power-folding third-row seats, cargo cover, garage door opener, Parktronic parking assist, first-aid kit, tire pressure loss warning system, anti-theft alarm system, and TeleAid emergency calling system.
The GL450 adds 19-inch alloy wheels, active bi-Xenon headlamps with cornering lights and washers, and interior lighting package.
The GL550 adds 21-inch AMG wheels, adaptive damping system, navigation system, blue-tinted glass, and aluminum running boards.
Unlike many three-row SUVs, the GL-Class is large enough that adults can sit fairly comfortably in the third row, without sacrificing second-row space. The third row folds electrically, while the second row can be manually folded to produce a completely flat cargo floor. All of the engines are powerful, the diesel is quiet and the seven-speed automatic shifts smoothly; this is the vehicle for Mercedes fans who need more seating than an M-Class, but who prefer an SUV look to the R-Class' more minivan styling.
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