Story: DAVID WILKINS
LAND Rover’s new Range Rover has been grabbing all the headlines over the last month or two but business owners and directors in the market for a big luxury SUV have another choice – the seven-seat Mercedes GL-Class.
Mercedes has just announced UK prices and specs for the second-generation model which goes into production in January. Two versions have been announced – the £59,465 GL 350 BlueTEC AMG Sport and the £91,680 GL 63 AMG.
The GL 350 BlueTEC AMG Sport gets a lot more equipment than the out-going model, including an Intelligent Light System that features bi-xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights, an AMG body kit, 21-inch AMG alloys, privacy glass, an electric glass sunroof, air suspension, Parktronic with Active Park Assist, and Mercedes’ COMAND Online in-car technology, including media interface and a DAB digital radio.
Thanks to the three-litre diesel engine’s 258 horsepower and 620 Nm of torque, top speed is 137 mph and 62 mph comes up from rest in 7.9 seconds. Fuel consumption improves by 15 per cent to 35.3 mpg and CO2 emissions fall by 14 per cent to 209 g/km.
The all-new GL 63 AMG gets flared wheel arches with 21-inch AMG five-twin-spoke alloys, an AMG high-performance braking system, Mercedes Active Curve technology with AirMATIC air suspension, which compensates the roll angle of the GL’s body on bends, and an AMG sports exhaust system. The GL 63 AMG emits 288 g/km of CO2 and has a combined fuel consumption of 23.0 mpg. It gets to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 155 mph.
One drawback – the On- & Off-Road Package, which gives the driver a choice of six programmes that adapt the vehicle configuration according to different off-road conditions and allows the GL to match some of the off-road capability of the Range Rover, costs an extra £1,985 and it’s only available on the GL 350 BlueTEC AMG Sport.
But business car drivers who are really interested in keeping their tax and fuel bills down, and don’t need seven seats, will probably look at the GL’s smaller – but still quite big – sister, the ML, which is available with a four-cylinder diesel engine that emits only 165g/km of CO2 and has a combined fuel consumption of 44.8 mpg.