2012 Mercedes GL 2nd Generation
Buyers in the top bracket of the SUV market have been waiting for some time for Mercedes to reveal its plans regarding the Mercedes GL; finally the German automaker obliged at New York’s recent auto show. The new second-generation version of this smart 7-seater looks to be something special, with plenty of new features to warrant the upgrade.
First of all, there is self-leveling air suspension alongside a super-responsive electromechanical steering set-up that is sure to make this vehicle a joy to drive. The experience gets better for the passengers too thanks to more room throughout. Mercedes has decided to extend the length of this 7-seater by about an inch and it’s about half an inch wider than the first-generation version. Getting in is also easier than before thanks to a system called ‘power easy-entry’, which aids access to the second row of seating.
It’s under the bonnet, however, where Mercedes has made the most tangible changes to this series. The BlueTEC diesel features a re-engineered three-litre V6, producing a more-than-satisfactory 240 horsepower, 30 more than the current GL. The more powerful options include two bi-turbo V8 models with 4.6-litre engines. The first, the GL450, generates 362 hp, 27 more than the current version, while the GL550 manages 47 hp more at 429 hp. Pulling trailers and filling the vehicle with passengers certainly won’t be a problem with the latter model.
Radar Collision System
An excellent safety feature added to the new Mercedes GL is a radar-collision system that works out when the speed of the vehicle in front decreases, whether at 20 miles per hour or as fast as 155 mph. This is a feature that can make all the difference when it comes to keeping a safe distance sat speed - one of the main reasons why accidents happen - and it’s something you won’t find in other 7-seaters.
More Safety Additions
Mercedes has really pulled out all the stops. In fact, this vehicle can even recognize stationary objects. Either way, the driver gets a sound and visual warning, while the brake-assist is readied for when the pedal is pressed. The clever part of all this is that the system works out how much brake is required to avoid a collision based on the speed that both vehicles are travelling and the distance and timings involved. Mercedes says it even adjusts to bumper-to-bumper traffic. That’s not the only clever way that the GL-Class uses the brakes by itself to improve safety. The crosswind system increases the stabilisation by using targeted brake impulses.
So when can we expect to see this exciting update to the GL? Well, Mercedes has talked about releasing the vehicle in September in some markets, meaning it will probably get to the UK shortly afterwards. That’s not long to wait for the biggest upgrade the German carmaker has made to this series since it was first launched back in 2006. In terms of the additional features thrown in, this represents a significant improvement on what was already a vehicle of substance.