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Old 16th May 2008, 01:42   #1
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Default Mercedes Benz GL420 CDI Tested

April 25, Friday: Early morning I left to Trissur (a neighboring city 120kms away from Calicut) along with my best & child-hood friend Sanjay, who is doing Auto-designing at NID. As I was not sure of how long the discussion will take, I took leave for a day from the office. Before we reach Trissur, we had break fast from a famous veg-restaurant at highway in between Trissur & Kunnamkulam.

After light tiffin, to get the exact route of the place we have to go, I called Lal an old friend of mine who is a native of the city & now working as chauffer-cum-fleet manager of a famous Jweller Group of South. The Group are very much found of automobiles & are famous for some their big set of wheels. The recent addition to their fleet got added last week, which is first of its kind in the state and the very few already on India soil; the macho mean machine – Mercedes Benz GL-class. It’s only two weeks back they got the car and I’ve already took an appointment to meet the Group chairman & his son personally to have an personal interview about their experiences of using many large-luxury cars and have a test-drive of their new GL.

After reaching Trissur I again contacted Lal as instructed by him and he told us to be where we are. After a while on my rear view mirror I saw a silver mammoth be hind an auto-riksha. I jumped out my car and was really thrilled to see the biggest passenger car of my favorite brand coming closer to me. I took my mob-cam & snapped one of my unforgettable moments in my auto-life. Lal stop the GL close to me & told that he is leaving to Merc-service center Rajasree Motors at Cochin to fit the front regn-plate holder, which was not a standard fitment on American models. He also told that on this day the car is free as his boss is at Trissur on the day, hence going to Cochin and I could have joined him for a long drive. Oh no, it’s a great miss, so I told him if I got free early I’ll definitely reach Cochin.

We reached the office of the guy we went to meet & in between our talk he had a call, some body close to him has be hospitalized. So he wanted to go there & was very sorry to us for wasting our time and promised to come to Calicut another day to have the discussion. Even though our discussion stopped without shaping up, I was very happy to plan my rest of the day. As the rest of the day is free we decided to move to Cochin. We took the shortest & less traffic route that is a narrow state highway via Kodungalore. My aim was to reach there atleast before Lal return after fixing the plate holder.

By God’s grace except a block at a railway crossing there wasn’t any traffic jams & we reached Cochin just by 12pm. On the bye-pass I saw the GL in front of Chiriyath car’s showroom. I stopped there and met Lal, he was really surprised to see me there. He was waiting to get some RTO papers. As it was Friday, it was getting time for the Juma, after the prayers we again meet for lunch. Mean time I called my another best friend Aju to come to Rajasree to give him a surprise.

After the lunch I took a close look of my favorite SUV, even though I love the legendary G-wagon a bit more than GL, I consider the G as a perfect tough off-roader than an SUV. Exterior dimension measures 5.08m length, .84m height, 1.92m width (without side mirrors) & 3.08m wheel-base. The straight and squarish design gives it a sturdy & a macho look of a strong SUV, rather than a soft look of the present SUVs. The sharp cutting on the bonnet has very much attracted Sanjay as designer. The two hump on the hood gives a sporty look. The Bi-Xenon headlight is equipped with the Intelligent Light System which turn itself when the car is steered. The steel ring fog lamp along with the chrome stripes gives an elegant look. Its fitted with a 19” 5-twin spoke alloy wheels.

At the rear, there is a huge tail-lights, the brake lights are LEDs. The rear bumper has got rap-round huge reflectors at both sides. The square exposed tail pipes and the steel stone guards project the sporty look for the rear. All the four-wheel arches give an additional muscular feel for the GL. It has got a aluminum foot rest and chrome roof railing which accomplishes the sporty look of the GL. My friend has marked 95% for the design. A drawback we noticed is the size of the wing mirrors. One thing we again realized, never access a cars design just seeing it in photos or videos; you have to have to see it directly. Infact Sanjay was not so impressed with the GL until he saw it first from Trissur.

It was having key-less go hence I just pressed the small button on the door handle to open the door. I got into the driver’s seat (my favorite place in any automobiles) and kept the key in the cup-holder in between the two front seats. As the gear-lever took its position behind the steering wheel as in S & M-classesm there is more space on the center console. The dash-design is similar to that of M-class, but it’s bigger in dimension & is equipped with per-gen COMAND system. Except Sat-Nav rest all functions are usable, like four zone a/c settings, electronic compus, FM/radio, CD-control, TV, etc.

The two tone beige interior luxury as well as comfortable. Driver’s seat is very comfortable and with amble thigh support & back support, and the head rest could be adjusted to the exact position. The whole electrically adjustable seats have got three memory settings. The seat adjustment & memory button are placed similar to the ML. There is massager, heating/cooling for the seats which could be adjusted on buttons, which is, placed on the central console side of the seats, its there the lumber support button also placed.

Compares to other European full sized SUVs, the GL is having the maximum space in the rear seats. Both the second & the third raw seats are having amble leg space. The second raw is like in a luxury car, lot of leg space as well as the back support lean proportionately to give a relaxed seating position in long journeys. The owners this GL always prefer the rear seats in it, so that they can relax from their business tension and enjoy some movie through the two LCD screens behind the head rest of both the front seats like in S-class. The third raw can accommodate two grown up adults comfortably. As the rear doors are enough big & open widely, getting in & out to third raw is so easy than its competitors. The third raw could be electrically folded to get more boot space just with the help of a button placed both in the boot area as well as near the second raw.

After the thorough inspection by three of us, we set for a drive. Mr. Govind Kumar a nice gentleman & new friend, who is the new sales manager of Rajasree also joined us.I pressed the Engine Start/Stop button that is placed near the Light switches. The 4.0L 32 valves V8 CDI got charged with a small murmur, the engine felt very refined & sounded fresh. Its having a max power of 306hp & a peak torque of 700NM. I select the Drive mode on the column shift lever and started the drive from the back yard of Rajasree. As the new showroom in the front is build a little high there is decline to the road. I switched on the DSR button and the lifted my leg out of the brake pedal, it automatically braked even in a slight decent.

Even though the NH bye-pass has widened there is a tight traffic on the NH, but the speed sensitive steering gave a feather touch feel and maneuvered the huge SUV very easily through the traffic like in a S. As the NH was tight we decide to take the sea-port road thru Thevera bridge. On the toll, I came across a Q7 which felt small from this macho machine. After the toll I pedaled the accelerator and the GL drifted away very smoothly as if in a petrol car, the same feeling I had while I tested the S320 CDI. Merc is really putting their effort to make the cabin so silent. Only sound can hear was the A/C fan which was 3 speed high due to the hot sun on 2pm.

I was driving in Comfort mode so far, after a lap through the Sea-Port road, I then changed into Sport mode. The things all changed now, the sound became sporty (even then there was no much sound inside), felt like the suspension got stiffer & the torque went high. As soon as I touch the gas pedal it was felt in the car’s torque. It was really powering. I really enjoyed the power & torque of this V8 diesel in a car, which weighed more 2.5 ton and 5 passengers in it. The 7G-Tronic is ultra smooth & very active. Then Aju took the driving seat and had a lap on the vacant part of the stretch. Again after a lap, I shifted back to my favorite place.

From various videos, both company as well as ameture videos I’ve learned that the GL is also a perfect 4WD. But unfortunately I couldn’t even test its basic 4Matic system as it was a customer car. Anyway I again tested the DSR while we enter the back yard of the Rajasree Motors.

Its really a hybrid : I ment luxuriness of S-class & capability of the legendry G-wagon. After this test I really thank Almighty for getting me a chance to drive my most favorite SUV much before even many have seen it. Its was really a happiest tests for me.

As the car has to be stopped there in Rajasree to download the softwares to the service computers for giving them service support in future. So Lal joined us in trip back. I given the control of my car and kept on recollecting the memorable drive of the day and enjoyed the dream.

An interesting mini web of GL : Home - Mercedes - GL-Class
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Last edited by aah78 : 16th May 2008 at 02:17. Reason: Text format tags removed. Please use Notepad instead of a word processor.
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Old 16th May 2008, 01:47   #2
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Thats a Beauty buddy. So are you buying this? Would be a nice addition to your stable!!
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Old 16th May 2008, 02:44   #3
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Nice report!
306 bhp seems adequate,right? I've heard that some people find the pick up a bit sluggish.
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Old 16th May 2008, 04:24   #4
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Awesome machine!! Very good report you gave there.

I follow Merc models very much but this is my first glance at the GL model.
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Old 16th May 2008, 08:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
Nice report!
306 bhp seems adequate,right? I've heard that some people find the pick up a bit sluggish.
Dude, its not at all sluggish, but very powerful. The feedback you heard must of GL320 CDI. But that too is not sluggish,in comfort mode, you wont feel its pick up unless you see the odo. But in Sport mode it jump ahead.

The interior & some more pictures will be attached soon, net-connection is a bit sluggish now.
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Old 16th May 2008, 08:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrus43 View Post
Thats a Beauty buddy. So are you buying this? Would be a nice addition to your stable!!
No buddy, I'm wont be able to get one for me in near future. Its out of my reach. I normally test-drive almost all cars around me, I'm a test-driver as weel as I do freelancing.
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Old 16th May 2008, 10:28   #7
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700 nM of torque! WoW !
Must be pure thrill to floor that engine... Btw whats the landed price?
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Old 16th May 2008, 11:27   #8
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Hanmust-thats a great review.Iam from thrissur and have quite some friends from their family.Many of their children studied in my school.They all say that this is the best car they have ever bought.I see this car & a range rover everyday but this one is a lot bigger than the RR Ifeel.
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Old 16th May 2008, 12:28   #9
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Quote:
Its having a max power of 306hp & a peak torque of 700NM.
Holy cow! With that torque, he can tow an entire city. The GL looks huge, more so in an Indian environment. Great report as always, hanmust!

I am left a little confused by Mercedes' portfolio. Understandably, the G's distinction has always been that it is a pure offroader. But what is the difference between the GL & the ML Classes, in terms of purpose and positioning? Surely there is an overlap.
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Old 16th May 2008, 12:34   #10
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Wow - thats one huge SUV. 306 HP and 19'' wheels !!

I would love to own one of these. BTW how much is it ??
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Old 16th May 2008, 12:50   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I am left a little confused by Mercedes' portfolio. Understandably, the G's distinction has always been that it is a pure offroader. But what is the difference between the GL & the ML Classes, in terms of purpose and positioning? Surely there is an overlap.
The GL is a Super Sized proper 7-seater SUV designed especially for the US market.The ML is much smaller and only a 5-seater(previous generation had 7 seats optional).The GL is ideal for a rich extended family to use on their vacation trips,a ML on the other hand is made for soccer moms and school runs(if there is anything like that)

Also the GL is much better than the ML(which is also pretty good with the optional off-road package) in the Off-road department,a property which the new GLK retains from its elder sibling.

Last edited by merve_extreme : 16th May 2008 at 12:55.
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Old 17th May 2008, 13:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
700 nM of torque! WoW !
Must be pure thrill to floor that engine... Btw whats the landed price?
Amazing pick up. In comfort mode you won't feel it, but in sport mode U can really enjoy the feel, like in the S-class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veelubai View Post
Hanmust-thats a great review.Iam from thrissur and have quite some friends from their family.Many of their children studied in my school.They all say that this is the best car they have ever bought.I see this car & a range rover everyday but this one is a lot bigger than the RR Ifeel.
Thank you, which is your school. You are right, they really love it, they have a new Q7, VW Tourage & a '07 Landcruiser too, but they love it more than all the above and even avoided the '08 Landcruiser after having a comparison drive from abroad. Its actually bigger than the RR, only from front you wont feel it as the bonnet of GL is lower than that on RR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Wow - thats one huge SUV. 306 HP and 19'' wheels !!


I would love to own one of these. BTW how much is it ??
They say it costed them around 1.40Cr (including regn & tax).

Quote:
Originally Posted by merve_extreme View Post
The GL is a Super Sized proper 7-seater SUV designed especially for the US market.The ML is much smaller and only a 5-seater(previous generation had 7 seats optional).The GL is ideal for a rich extended family to use on their vacation trips,a ML on the other hand is made for soccer moms and school runs(if there is anything like that)

Also the GL is much better than the ML(which is also pretty good with the optional off-road package) in the Off-road department,a property which the new GLK retains from its elder sibling.
Dude, GL is brilliant as I said its a combination of comfort of S & capabilities of G. But most of them who use it only explore its comfort deparment. It could do some serious off-roading like G. Those people who take RR for off-roading can also try this one too. It can take the same terrain better than that in comfort & safely.
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Old 17th May 2008, 13:29   #13
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Some more picutre, its from side only that too if some one stand near it, you'll understand its over 5mtr length & macho size. . Enjoy
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Old 17th May 2008, 13:30   #14
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Agree,that's what i was saying,GL is much bigger,comfortable and better off-roader than the ML.
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Old 17th May 2008, 13:40   #15
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what i want to know is how the 4matic got converted to rhd? AFAIK the 4matic is only in lhd and mb had problems in 4matic if converted to rhd. the market in rhd wasnt big enough to put in the amount of cash required to develop 4matic for rhd.
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