2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Overview
The 2012 GL-Class lineup consists of the diesel GL350 Bluetec, available in all 50 states, and the gas GL450 and GL550. All GLs seat seven people in three rows of seats. The GL competes with the Audi Q7 and BMW X5.
Minimal changes for 2012 include standard LED daytime running lights and minor interior tweaks.
A raked hood imparts a sporty appearance that's augmented by muscular flared wheel arches. Twin power domes running the length of the hood recall similar cues in the company's classic 300SL Gullwing sports car. Wheel options include 19-inch wheels (GL450), 20-inch wheels (GL350 Bluetec), and 21-inch wheels (GL550).
The GL's backup camera adds directional lines for 2012, making reversing safe and easy. Seating for seven is standard, along with a multimedia system featuring Bluetooth hands-free connectivity plus audio, video and navigation functions. Interior features include the "mbrace" communication system, Mercedes' Comand system which controls entertainment and navigation settings, wood and leather cabin materials, and heated front seats. A rear DVD entertainment system is available. The GL550 offers keyless start and heated and ventilated front seats standard.
Under the hood three engines are available, and a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The engines are listed by model:
- GL350's diesel V-6 produces 210 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque
- GL450's 335-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 produces 339 pounds-feet of torque
- GL550's 382-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 produces 391 pounds-feet of torque
The GL-Class uses a combination of cheaper-to-replace bolt-on steel crash boxes and lightweight aluminum sections to minimize weight and repair expenses while maximizing crash safety. The Post-Safe system unlocks the doors and shuts down the engine and fuel system after an accident. Other standard safety features include side curtain airbags for all three rows, side-impact airbags for first and second rows, antilock brakes, electronic stability system. and the Pre-Safe collision-mitigation system, which tightens seat belts and closes windows prior to impact. Blind Spot Assist is optional.