On the second day of the Mercedes-Benz press trip to introduce the new 2013 GL-Class in Santa Fe, Lauren and I drove for a few hours to a district called the Earthship. We drove another GL350 Diesel. Here are Lauren and I in front of one of the Earthship houses. These houses were completely sustainable.
We took an off-course road, to see how the car performed under a bit of pressure.
The GL-Class is no dumb blonde. There’s major substance beneath this glossy exterior. Here’s a few safety features that really stood out for me:
Attention Assist-This is a drowsiness detection system. This technology actually allows the car to pull you back into your lane, when you start to drift without putting on the turn signal. This is designed for if you start falling asleep at the wheel. A coffee cup always appears on the windshield to remind you that you might need a cup or three.
360 degree Camera-One of the first things Lauren showed me was that the GL has a 360 degree camera, for help with parking and getting out of tight spaces. On the display screen, it shows, in real time, what is happening behind your SUV, in the blind spot. It actually showed some kids crossing directly behind us that we couldn’t see from our mirrors. It was pretty awesome.
Active Park Assist-I’m going to bet money that every single New Yorker is going to love this one. Imagine an SUV that parallel parks for you. All you have to do is press the brakes or gas. It’s a bit surreal, right? I almost didn’t trust it but I saw it myself. With the 360 degree camera, the car can tell what’s in front and behind, as well as how far away from other cars you are. It can also maneuver you out of parking spots. I LOVE it!
Easy-Entry-There are seven seats in the GL Class. With a carload of kids, the Easy Entry feature is ideal. With the touch of a button, the second row of seats fold over so that your kids can climb into the back. This means they can get in on their own. All you need to do is push it back in place for them. I asked why the Easy Entry feature didn’t allow the seat to fold back, automatically. The answer? Imagine little fingers or feet caught in an automatic feature. It’s so much better if you fold it back yourself, so you can pull back quickly if there’s a cry of pain.
Some other features that I loved:
Lightweight design (the new GL is almost 200 lbs lighter)
Crosswind Stabilization (is uses targeted braking to “ensure stability against strong crosswinds”)
The option of a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine (this means better gas mileage and less harmful emissions)
Multi-Contour Seats with Seating Cooling (there are small fans in the seat cushion and back that extract damp air, keeping you cool and dry)
I spent two days with the GL350 and fell in love. The Germans know a thing or two about making great cars and the GL-Class is no exception. The GL-Class from Mercedes-Benz provides an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. When looking at cars, I’m not a techie. I look for comfort, beauty and functionality. The GL-Class far exceeded my expectations in all these areas.
Credit for the two interior pictures: Greg Jarem