2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition

A year after Mercedes introduced a ’Grand Edition’ model for the ML-Class SUV, the German automaker is welcoming their second SUV that has been given the same ’Grand Edition’ badge.

This, of course, is the new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition, an intimidating special edition SUV that has been given plenty of new exterior and interior features that emphatically promotes its exclusivity or, in Merc parlance, it’s "Grand Edition-ness".

Similar to the ML-Class Grand Edition, the GL-Class version packs plenty of wonderful new features on both its exterior and interior. All these additions should make up for the fact that despite its designation, the German automaker still opted to keep the powertrains untouched.

That’s a bit of a bummer, if you ask us. But if you’re prepared to let that slide, then all the aesthetic improvements given to the SUV should prove to be enough for this particular special edition GL-Class to warrant some serious attention.

Details after the jump

Exterior and Interior

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition

To go with the ‘Grand Edition’ designation given to this particular GL-Class, Mercedes dressed it up with some high-end luxury pieces on the exterior, including a radiator grille with black, high-gloss louvres, a redesigned bumper with integrated LED daytime running lamps, dark-tinted headlamps, heat-insulating and infrared-reflecting laminated glass, aluminum-look running boards with rubber studs, metallic paint finishes, and a separate exhaust tailpipe trim.

Inside, there’s plenty more new digs for this Mercedes SUV, further illustrating its special edition nature. The seven-seater interior offers plenty of room for passengers creating a cabin that’s exudes all-around spaciousness, comparable even to Mercedes’ luxury S-Class line. For this particular model, special appointments were given, including two-tone leather seats in either black/porcelain or black/maroon trim with a nappa leather trim being offered as an optional choice. These trims come with their own special piping design and contrasting stitching. Other options for the “Grand Edition” GL-Class include door center panels, armrests and dashboard instrument panel with a double-lapped feeling, a wood/leather steering wheel in black ash, comfort headrests for the driver and front passenger, ambient lighting, roof liner in black designo fabric, velour floor mats with contrasting stitching and “Grand Edition” lettering, “Grand Edition” badge on the center console, sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs and door sill panels in stainless steel, among others.

Performance

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition

The “Grand Edition” GL-Class comes with a number of engine options, namely a V6 and V8 version. For the entry level GL 350 BlueTec 4MATIC, the engine is a V6 diesel version with 211 horsepower and 398 lb/ft of torque at 1,600 RPM. For the GL 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY, the V6 engine produces a more powerful output of 265 horsepower and 620 lb/ft of torque.

The two more powerful versions comes with gas V8 models, including a 4.6-liter V8 engine for the GL 450 that produces 340 horsepower and 340 lb/ft of torque with a 0-62 mph time of 7.2 seconds. Rounding out the engine options is a 5.5-liter V8 engine for the top-of-the-line GL 500, which comes with 388 horsepower and 390 lb/ft of torque with a 0-62 mph time of 6.5 seconds.

Pricing

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class "Grand Edition" will come in four special models each with its own price tag. Check out the list in the table below:

ModelPrice
GL 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY€80,206 ($112,335)
GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC€81,396 ($114,000)
GL 450 4MATIC€91,868 ($128,675)
GL 500 4MATIC€99,127 ($138,852)

Competition

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition

Given their long-standing rivalry, it only seems appropriate to compare the Mercedes GL-Class to its BMW counterpart, the X6 . Take out the fact that this particular model is a "Grand Edition" and you have two models that are pretty similar to each other.

Powertrain options for the X6 include a 3.0-liter twin turbo engine that produces 300-320 horsepower and 300 lb/ft of torque and a more powerful 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 400 horsepower and 450 lb/ft of torque.

In terms of aesthetics is where it changes for the two German brands. While the GL-Class looks more imposing and boxed-up, the X6, while also looking the part of a bulky mastodon, is a lot more streamlined than its Merc counterpart. Given a choice, the sportier-looking X6 gets our nod because of its aesthetic versatility over the GL-Class.

Make no mistake, though. Both the GL-Class and the X6 offer plenty of positive attributes, making for an extremely difficult choice for prospective buyers. Then again, if you’re thinking of getting the GL-Class "Grand Edition", all those extra additions should be enough to swing the odds in Mercedes’ favor.

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition
LOVE IT
  • Special edition GL-Class
  • Plenty of aesthetic add-ons
  • Metallic exterior is an attention-grabber
LEAVE IT
  • No powertrain improvements
  • Other options are available
  • A little pricey

5 comments:

Well, it seems that this one is actually intended for the higher end of the market, to those folks wishing to get more luxury off their GL’s. Just take a look at those prices.

Well, I actually think that the engine that they will be using for this one is actually good. So I really won’t be looking for any engine upgrades here.

I am all fine with the features that they have put into the car. However, the thing that I am a bit worried about is the price of the car. All those add ons will likely put this one into a higher mark.

Well, even though it doesn’t have an engine upgrade, this one is certainly going to be a must have for a lot of people. Just imagine all the features that they have packed into it.

Well, if you think of it, most of these special editions mainly focus on aesthetic upgrades, so we really can’t expect performance boosts. But there are some that do have engine upgrades.

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