|Also called||Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class|
|Assembly||Pune, Maharashtra, India
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury SUV |
|Body style||5-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine, all-wheel drive|
The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a full-size luxury SUV produced by the German carmaker Mercedes-Benz since 2006. It is a three-row, seven-passenger vehicle positioned above the M-Class/GLE-Class in the lineup and is the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz SUV line. The GL shares the same unibody architecture with the M-Class. The vast majority of GL-Class vehicles are assembled at Mercedes-Benz US International, Inc, in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama except for a small number of early production 2007 model vehicles which were manufactured in Germany. The first generation (X164) was manufactured between 2006 and 2012 and was replaced in 2012 by the new generation GL-Class (X166).
From 2015, with the release of the facelifted X166 second generation model, the GL-Class will be renamed to Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class as per the revised nomenclature adopted by the brand. Under this scheme, SUVs use the base name "GL", followed by the model's placement in Mercedes-Benz hierarchy. The "G" is for geländewagen (German for off-road vehicle) and alludes the long-running G-Wagen. This is followed by the letter "L" that acts as a linkage with the letter "S"—the GLS being the SUV equivalent to the S-Class.
First generation (X164; 2006–2012)
|Designer||Steve Mattin (2002)|
3.0 L V6
4.6 L V8
5.5 L V8
3.0 L V6
4.0 L V8
|Transmission||7-speed 7G-Tronic automatic|
|Wheelbase||3,075 mm (121.1 in)|
|Length||2006–09: 5,085 mm (200.2 in)
2010–2012: 200.6 in (5,095 mm)
|Width||2006–09: 1,920 mm (75.6 in)
2010–2012: 76.4 in (1,941 mm)
|Height||1,840 mm (72.4 in)|
|Curb weight||2465 – 2585 kg|
The GL-Class (codename X164) debuted at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. It was released along the same time as the similarly sized Audi Q7, being the first German three-row, 7-passenger crossover SUVs on the market at the time; later joined by the second-generation BMW X5 that has an optional third-row seat increasing capacity up to 7. Except for the Acura MDX, most three row luxury SUVs at the time were body-on-frame vehicles such as the Cadillac Escalade and Lexus LX.
The GL lacks the typical SUV boxy styling and body-on-frame construction of the G-Class in favor of an elongated and widened version of the M-Class's unibody architecture. The GL has much more luxurious equipment and better road manners than the civilian G-Class vehicles. Although the GL-Class is designed for the US market, it is also sold in Europe, albeit in far smaller numbers. The GL-Class won 2007 Motor Trend SUV of the Year.
Standard features on the Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec and GL450 include air conditioning with dual-zone climate controls, interior air filter, tilt/telescopic premium leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, cruise control, heated 8-way power front seats, 6-disc CD changer, outside-temperature indicator, and universal garage door opener. On the facelifted 2010 model, the GLs also incorporate new daytime running lights as well as LED tail lamps for improved visibility. 19" 5-spoke wheels come standard with all-season tires and new chrome beltline, window trim, and roof rails also now come standard. A chrome loadsill and front and rear chrome looking skid plates come standard. The GL also comes with Airmatic suspension, a 3D instrument cluster, and 7-way seating with power 50/50 folding third row seats.
The GL350 BlueTec features a 3.0L 210 hp (157 kW) 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) turbocharged V6, with a reduction in NOx emissions of 80%. The starting MSRP is $1,000 less than the GL450. The GL450 4Matic has a 335 hp (250 kW) V8. The GL550 has a 382 hp (285 kW) 5.5L V8.
Standard on the Mercedes GL550 but optional for the lower trims include a power tilt/telescopic wood/leather-wrapped steering wheel w/radio controls (replacing tilt/telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel w/radio controls), leather upholstery, memory system, power liftgate, premium sound system, navigation system w/voice recognition, rear radio controls, rearview camera, and heated rear seats.
Second generation (X166; 2012–present)
|Also called||Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class (facelift)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size Luxury Crossover SUV|
3.0L Biturbo V6
4.7L Biturbo V8
5.5L Biturbo V8
3.0L Turbo V6
|Transmission||7-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic and 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic|
|Wheelbase||3,075 mm (121.1 in)|
|Length||5,120 mm (201.6 in)|
|Width||1,934 mm (76.1 in)|
|Height||1,850 mm (72.8 in)|
|Curb weight||2,455 kg to 2,580 kg|
New model is bigger, more luxurious and full of tech gadgets. Even though it is bigger, MB managed to make the new GL-class 100 kg lighter. Daimler assures that the new generation is also more efficient thanks to BlueEFFICIENCY package (start/stop system, intelligent alternator management, electric steering etc.) and redesigned petrol and diesel engines. Petrol versions GL 450 and GL500 (550 in the USA) are now turbocharged. The GL (X166) went on sale in September 2012 in the United States. It won 2013 Motor Trend SUV of the Year.
The standard equipment has improved over the X166's predecessor. It now offers a range of technical appointments: ATTENTION ASSIST, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, 9 airbags, Crosswind Assist and pedestrian protection including Active Bonnet, self-leveling AIRMATIC suspension, electric easy-pack tailgate. The GL500 (550 in the USA) adds Active Parking Assist, Intelligent Light System, KEYLESS-GO access system and front multicontour seats with memory function. The standard multimedia system is Audio 20 CD with USB and Bluetooth interface. The new COMAND Online multimedia system is also available as an option, featuring 3D menu and internet access. COMAND Online can be combined with Bang & Olufsen BeoSound surround system.
Selected optional features include Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist and Speed Limit Assist, DISTRONIC PLUS, Intelligent Light System (ILS) and an AMG Sport package, including larger 19-inch ventilated and perforated brake discs, 21-inch wheels and different AMG bumpers.
GL 63 AMG
The GL 63 AMG is powered by AMG hand-built M157 engine, which has same output as an ML 63 with optional Performance package. Thanks to 557 hp V8, it manages the 0–100 km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds and the top speed is 250 kilometres per hour (160 mph).
It features a start-stop system and 557 hp are transmitted by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC gearbox. It has three modes: "Controlled Efficiency" (start-stop system is active and in this mode it accelerates in 2nd gear), "Sport" and "Manual". The AMG model is equipped with AMG RIDE CONTROL, combined with AIRMATIC and ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM with three modes: "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport plus". The air suspension is active and it lowers the car at higher speeds.
The GL 63 comes with 5-spoke 21-inch wheels (295/40 tires), perforated brakes, ARTICO leather adjustable sport seats, AMG floor mats, electronic assistants etc.
- optional ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM with active anti-roll bars for body roll compensation
- optional AIRMATIC air suspension with continuously Adaptive Damping System Plus
- Nine airbags as standard
- Traffic Sign Assist with Speed Limit Assist
- ATTENTION ASSIST (as standard)
- ADAPTIVE BRAKE (as standard)
- DISTRONIC PLUS
- Brake Assist system BAS PLUS
- NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints
- PRE-SAFE, PRE-SAFE Brake
- Active bonnet
- Active Lane Keeping Assist
- Bi-Xenon headlamps with Intelligent Light System and Adaptive Highbeam Assist
- Night View Assist PLUS
- Active Parking Assist
- Active Blind Spot Assist
- Crosswind Assist
- Backup camera
- Electric parking brake with emergency braking function
Availability of models varies depending on markets.
All versions of the GLS-Class are equipped with 7-speed automatic transmission called 7G-TRONIC PLUS except for the AMG derivative, which is fitted with a version called AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC.
|GLS 350d||2012–||Diesel||2,987 cc (182 cu in) 24V V6 turbo Mercedes-Benz OM 642 LS DE 30 LA||260 PS (191 kW; 256 hp)@3600||620 N·m (457 lb·ft)@1600–2400
|GLS 450 BlueEFFICIENCY||2015–||Petrol||2,996 cc (183 cu in) 32V V6 biturbo Mercedes-Benz M 276 DE 30 red.||367 PS (270 kW; 362 hp)@5500||500 N·m (369 lb·ft)@1800
|GLS 450 BlueEFFICIENCY||2012–2014||Petrol||4,663 cc (285 cu in) 32V V8 biturbo Mercedes-Benz M 278 DE 46 AL red.||367 PS (270 kW; 362 hp)@5000–6000||550 N·m (406 lb·ft)@1500–4000
|GLS 500/550 BlueEFFICIENCY||2012–||Petrol||4,663 cc (285 cu in) 32V V8 biturbo Mercedes-Benz M 278 DE 46 AL||435 PS (320 kW; 429 hp)@5250||700 N·m (516 lb·ft)@1800–3500
|GLS 63 AMG||2012–||Petrol||5,461 cc (333 cu in) 32V V8 biturbo Mercedes-Benz M 157 DE 55 AL||557 PS (410 kW; 549 hp)@5750||760 N·m (561 lb·ft)@2000–5000
|Euro NCAP test results|
|Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Small Off-Road (2014)|
|Moderate overlap frontal offset||Good|
|Small overlap frontal offset (2010–present)||Good1|
- 1 vehicle structure rated "Good"
- 2 strength-to-weight ratio: 6.41
|Calendar year||US sales|
Mercedes-Benz GLS (2016–)
The GL-Class is slated for replacement in 2016 for the 2017 model year. The update was unveiled in November 2015. It will be replaced by a face lifted model under the GLS nameplate, corresponding with the new Mercedes-Benz naming scheme. The new model will feature new front vents, new front headlamps, revised rear lamps, as well as a redesigned dashboard, similar to the one found in the face lifted Mercedes-Benz M-Class, known as the GLE.
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- Mercedes-Benz USA (5 January 2012). "Mercedes-Benz Records the Highest Year on Record with Sales of 264,460". prnewswire.com.
- Mercedes-Benz USA (3 January 2013). "Mercedes-Benz USA Hits Its Highest-Ever U.S. Volume With Sales Of 305,072". prnewswire.com.
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