Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Ultimate SUV

Four pre-teen girls, a 2-year-old boy, a very pregnant woman, a man who just got home from the office and a 2010 Mercedes GL450…. This is not the beginning of a joke and there is no punch line.  This was a brief description of last Tuesday night as I got home from work and buckled everyone into the GL450 to head for a 45 minute ride to the circus.  And I gotta say… the GL was a champ!

We decided to take our daughter and her three friends along with our young one to the circus.  We had 7 passengers with one of them riding in a car seat.  I didn’t think we could all fit in one car but the GL450 not only fit, it was quite comfortable and it got us there in style.

We currently own a small SUV that is comfortable enough for four but we are considering something bigger as the kids get older and the GL is at the top of my list.  Needless to say, this test drive from eCarOne was not only fun but also very helpful for me.  Other cars I am considering include the Toyota Highland Limited, the Acura MDX, and the new Infiniti JX35.  All those are great cars and I’m not going to compare in this post, but rather I want to talk about my impression of the GL450.

I picked up the GL from eCarOne about a week ago and I was a little concerned about the size of this vehicle, but my concern disappeared when I started to drive it.  Although this is one of the largest “mid-size” SUVs on the road, it did not feel that way at all.  I’ve driven a Range Rover and an Escalade and those cars feel like large SUVs.  They are generally sluggish and too soft for my taste.  However, the big Benz felt relatively nimble, well planted and very powerful.  .

Aside for the great driving dynamics, this GL450 had a lot of luxuries you’d expect from Mercedes.  I loved the dual sunroofs, the power trunk, the power folding third row seats, and the super comfortable leather seats with memory.  Again these items are expected, but nonetheless they are nice to have.   Another welcomed surprise was the sound system.  This car was not optioned with anything spectacular but the standard sound system was way beyond standard.

As for dislikes, there were one or two.  In particular, I didn’t like the fuel consumption.  During my week-long partnership with the GL, I noted roughly 14-14.5 MPG during mixed city/highway driving.  I think this is a bit below other comparable SUVs.  Another dislike was the blind spot.  However, this car was not optioned with the blind spot detection and I’m sure this would come in handy.

All in all, I truly am impressed with the GL450.  For what eCarOne is asking for this car, I can’t see a better choice.  I am sold on this car and I may actually end up owning it very soon.

Thanks for reading and happy driving.

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