2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review

Let's face it: If you're smitten by Mercedes' GL-Class full-size SUV, the recent run-up in prices at the pump probably rates somewhere between insignificant and unimportant in your car search. With seating for seven, the GL-Class is a big SUV Ч and it gulps fuel like one. Even the most efficient version, the GL350 Bluetec diesel we tested, manages just an EPA-estimated 17/21 mpg city/highway. Likely more important to you would be a comfortable ride with commanding views, space for the family and all their stuff, and a level of luxury to justify a $60,000-plus base price.

While the GL350 Bluetec diesel delivers the cushy ride, a combination of limited interior space and some irritating qualities weigh on this already-heavy SUV.

In models where both gas and diesel engines are available, the diesel is typically more expensive. In the GL-Class, however, the diesel GL350 Bluetec, with its $60,950 starting price, is the most affordable trim in the lineup. (Two V-8-powered gas models Ч the GL450 and GL550 Ч are more expensive.) Optional features pushed the price of our tester to $72,135. For a side-by-side comparison of the three trims, all of which have all-wheel drive, click here.

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