Auto Week Magazine Drivers Log: 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec says “Impeccable road manners for a vehicle this big”

I found this Drivers Log piece over at Autoweek Magazine’s website, AutoWeek.com. I hear this sentiment over and over again from Mercedes-Benz GL owners, it was nice to see the guys at Autoweek out in the GL diesel. They get to drive a lot of cars, and they are so often critical of the vehicles they drive, I was glad to hear good things about the GL350 BlueTEC.

Have a look at the article below.. and if you’re not already a subscriber, head on over to Autoweek.com and sign up for a subscription, it’s worth it! I’ve been a subscriber for more than ten years and have had a number of letters and comments published.

From Autoweek.com:

2011 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec, an AW Drivers Log

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: The thing I keep thinking about when I drive a GL is the impeccable road manners for a vehicle this big. The steering is on the money, and this thing just sails over road imperfections. It’s probably not as sporty as an Audi Q7 and won’t tow as much as a Chevrolet Suburban, but it’s tough to argue with the Benz’s on-road performance.

I love the authoritative view of the road from behind the wheel–there is definitely a feeling of being in command. And it’s so quiet out on the freeway. Stow the third row of seats and there is just a ton of cargo room, which was helpful over the weekend break. The power tailgate worked perfectly and was also helpful.

There is little to no diesel rattle and I never caught even of whiff of diesel smell. The automatic transmission’s shifts were imperceptible. The power and torque are terrific and there is almost no turbo lag. That the GL gets fuel economy in the near-20-something range is a bonus.

The front buckets are firm and comfortable and the interior uses high-quality materials. The center console is a bit busy, but I got used to it (though I still think it takes too many steps to get from, say, AM to FM or from FM to satellite radio).

Overall, this is a great luxury SUV. It’s roomy, comfortable and with the diesel, it’s efficient.

2011 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec

Base Price: $61,825

As-Tested Price: $74,635

Drivetrain: 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6; 4WD, seven-speed automatic

Output: 210 hp @ 3,400 rpm, 400 lb-ft @ 1,600-2,800 rpm

Curb Weight: 5,423 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 19/19.6 mpg

Options: PO2 package including auto-dimming mirrors, COMAND including HDD navigation and restaurant ratings, voice control for audio/phone/navi, media database, HD radio, iPod/MP3 interface with cable, driver’s seat/steering wheel/mirrors with memory, power folding mirrors, power liftgate, rearview camera, satellite radio with real-time traffic, 4GB hard drive, Music Register, 115V AC outlet, premium sound with Dolby Digital 5.1, keyless go ($6,330); rear-seat entertainment ($1,950); three-zone automatic climate control with rear CC and air conditioning ($1,450); lighting package including bixenon headlights with active curve illumination, LED daytime running lights, headlight washing system ($985); steel grey paint ($720); blind-spot assist ($600); 7,500-pound trailer hitch ($550); heated steering wheel ($225)

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