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Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec driving report: For almost all eventualities

Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic in the driving report
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D ank Hollywood hero John Wayne has the cowboy - Romance originated in New Mexico. Here in Santa Fe, where the settler tracks struggled for months from Missouri to the west via the trail of the same name, Mercedes is presenting the new Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic - to show how easy the huge luxury SUV is today for long distances masters. And even galloped over rough terrain.

The settler idea that is still in many Americans may be the trigger for the never-ending run on huge pickups and SUVs, because they come with their character Covered wagon closest. This is how anyone who can afford it pushes a five-meter chunk through the United States: in the event that you have to transport all your important belongings at once like your ancestors did. Those who are among the economically successful ones choose the Mercedes GL, which was actually the class leader in the USA last year with 27,000 units and is now completely new from the production line at the Tuscaloosa /Alabama plant. However, it won't roll on German roads until November 23rd.

Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic confusing

In this country too, with its stately dimensions of 5.12 meters in length, it should leave an impressive mark - although technically it is based on the smaller Mercedes ML, which practically disappears in the American streetscape between the light trucks and mega pickups. The large Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic fits naturally into the flow of traffic on the extra-wide highways and freeways and always has enough space to maneuver, even in small towns. From the slightly raised driver's seat, its dimensions can initially hardly be estimated. In this class, confusion conveys precisely that positive opulence that suggests almost unlimited space - like the vastness of the southwest. The Mercedes GL can accommodate up to seven people and even offers more than just emergency seats to the backbenchers.

As standard, the third row of seats in the Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec can be electrically folded forwards and backwards, optional (Easy Entry 476 euros) the second folds against the first and gives way to the rear to climb through. Of course, electric motors take over this work, because in the USA people are used to things being done at the push of a button.

What the Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic does from its domestic competitors of the kindFord Expedition, Cadillac Escalade or Chevrolet Tahoe differ: it feels two sizes smaller when driving, but is two classes higher in terms of comfort. The rolling noise evaporates in the width of the independent wheel suspension, the expressions of the environment remain in the acoustic glazing and the creaking of the six-cylinder diesel in the insulation material. So you can cruise unmolested by noise and lifting movements and feel like you're in a high-seated Mercedes S-Class.

Without a list, at speed Curves

Thanks to the smooth, now electromechanical steering, the Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic can be chauffeured without any bulkiness. Anyone who has ordered the optional roll stabilization (3,689 euros surcharge) and has set the dampers of the standard air suspension to sport will hardly trust their sense of balance: the ship can be maneuvered through curves at a speed without a list, which in the land of uniformed fun brakes costs three to four-digit fines can result.

Its sheer size only becomes apparent when you get out, stand next to the giant and then your eyes are not even at roof level: the Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic measures 1.85 Meters in height and 1.93 in width, which in connection with the angular, masculine design suggests inexhaustible reserves in every respect. Depending on the seating, the trunk has a volume of 680 to 2,300 liters, and the payload is almost 800 kilograms. And GL is allowed to pull a 3.5-ton trailer with brakes. Nevertheless, thanks to light metal parts, it should weigh 90 kilograms less than its predecessor.

From practical to adventurer, it is only a small step that in the case of the Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic, the off-road package (2,261 euros ) with one hundred percent lock on the center differential, terrain reduction, underride protection and three different levels of air suspension. Thanks to automated driving programs like the ML, a ground clearance of up to 30 centimeters and a wading depth that is twice as large, unfamiliar terrain can be conquered as in the days of the settlers. But: Who drives their luxury SUV through the dirt?

Gentle giant Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic

After all, the routes to the west now all lead over asphalt. This is where the Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic lives out its true character - that of the gentle giant who, if necessary, carries its passengers through thick and thin, for whom no journey is too long or too difficult. And should there be an obstacle on the route, the Mercedes gives the impression of being in control of the situation at all times. Especially when assistants detect lanes, cross winds and blind spots, warn of collisions and drowsiness, four cameras monitor the surroundings from a bird's eye view and the load detection is always at the right levelThe rear axle takes care of it.

This means that the Mercedes GL 350 Bluetec 4matic is equipped for almost all eventualities and takes on the role of caring protector - without incapacitating its driver. And so the SUV, which is oversized by local standards, is in truth simply extremely American. Mercedes complements the American Way of Drive with precisely the German state-of-the-art component that preserves the originality of the driving experience and does not remain technically backward. In the new Mercedes GL you feel at home while you are out and about and have arrived long before your destination is reached


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