Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mercedes GL350 Bluetec Is a Smart, Full-Size SUV

For large families interested in the long haul, the GL350 fills the bill with seating for seven and a very appealing 23 MPG on the highway. The seven-speed auto transmission is smooth as silk, propelling the 5400+-pound unibody truck to 60 mph in just over eight seconds.

The independent, air-assisted suspension (AIRMATIC) helps the SUV ride like a dream on big 20-inch alloy wheels.
As you would expect, the Benz interior is plus with firm, opulent leather seating stitched to perfection. You can opt for the Premium 2 Package ($5,950) that includes navigation, COMAND voice control, Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 audio, HD Radio, an iPod interface and keyless ignition.

Further adding to the sense of luxury are Deep glossy wood trim balanced with brushed aluminum accents on the vents, dials and various grab handles. The center console is large and there's storage galore. Fit and finish is excellent, the quality of materials is superb and cabin lighting is nearly perfect.

Distinctively European in execution, the overall aura of the cabin is classy, well-polished and appealing.
Best of all, unlike so many of its large SUV competitors, the GL350 has a third-row seat really suited to adults. Thanks to the ML's unibody platform, the German engineers were able to carve out a deep and accommodating passenger compartment in the "way back" of the GL

All of this luxury and performance brings the GL350 to a fully loaded drive-out price of around
$80,000. But believe it or not, there's a lot of value built into the price.