2009 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review

With a 23-mpg diesel version now available in all 50 states, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a more viable option for SUV-needing families — though the appeal of a $60,000-plus four-wheeler seems limited in today's economy. Even if you are in the market, the GL remains a debatable choice: stylish on the outside and elegant within, but hamstrung by spotty reliability and a drivetrain as indecisive as the North Carolina electorate.

Still, that's more praise than I can give last year's model, whose review serves as the basis for this update; its dated navigation system was onerous to sort through, but it's been vastly improved for 2009. The SUV also gets more high-tech safety features, though they might just be gilding the lily on a model that already had nine standard airbags and an electronic stability system.

Trim levels include the diesel GL320 Bluetec and gasoline GL450 and GL550; click here to compare them or here to compare the whole group to its '08 equivalents. I drove a 2009 GL320 Bluetec, and I've also driven a 2008 GL550.

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General notes
USA only: This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: 1. This device may not cause harmful interference, and 2. this device must a ...

Emergency call
Important safety notes A license agreement must exist in order to activate the mbrace service. Ensure that your system is activated and ready for use, and press the MB Info call button to ...

Important safety notes
WARNING Do not turn off the engine before the vehicle has come to a complete stop. With the engine not running, there is no power assistance for the brake and steering systems. In this case, ...