2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

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14 CITY / 19 HWY
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What Changed for 2008:
  • GL550 model joins the lineup
One of the newest offerings in the current Mercedes-Benz lineup is the GL-Class sport utility vehicle (SUV), premiered as a 2007 model. While the all-new, 7-passenger GL-Class was originally designed to replace the 5-passenger G-Class-a rugged truck-based SUV in production for decades-Mercedes chose instead to manufacture both. Sharing the same unibody architecture as the smaller, 5-passenger M-Class, the full-size GL-Class is the largest and most luxurious SUV offering from Mercedes-Benz. For 2008, a flagship GL550 model is introduced with a 5.5-liter V-8 engine, 21-inch wheels, fender flares and a new front grille. The GL320 CDI and GL450 remain principally unchanged. Mercedes-Benz vehicles are covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty.

Model Lineup
The three 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class models are differentiated by engine and standard equipment levels. The least expensive is the 6-cylinder, diesel-powered GL320 CDI. Standard specifications include full power accessories, dual-zone climate control, heated seats, COMAND cockpit management, and an 8-speaker audio system. The GL450 shares much of the same specifications, but with a gasoline-based V-8 engine. New for 2008, the GL550 is equipped with a more powerful V-8 engine, standard leather upholstery, self-leveling air suspension, power-folding third-row seating, and a harman/kardon LOGIC7 digital surround-sound audio system, to name just some of the upgraded equipment.

Most of the optional equipment on GL-Class models is bundled into two different premium packages. These include options such as DVD navigation, rear-seat entertainment with dual-screen DVD players, rear back-up camera, Sirius satellite radio, and a power liftgate and cargo net. The premium packages can be combined to add 3-zone climate control, rear air conditioning, and bi-Xenon headlamps. A separate wheel package upgrades the standard 18-inch wheels to 19-inch, and adds stainless steel skid plates, black crossbars and all-season tires.

The three different 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class models are each powered by a different engine. The GL320 CDI features a 3.0-liter, turbocharged, V-6 diesel engine rated at 215 hp and 398 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA mileage estimates are 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway. Under the front hood of the GL450 is a 4.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 335 hp and 339 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA mileage estimates are 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway. The new-for-2008 GL550 is equipped with a powerful 5.5-liter V-8 engine rated at 382 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel economy estimates are 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway. All GL-Class vehicles are equipped with a driver-adaptive, electronic, 7-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic, a permanent, electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system.

In the 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, both driver and front passenger are protected by dual-stage front air bags, side-impact air bags, and emergency tensioning 3-point safety belts. Second-row passengers are provided with side-impact air bags and pre-tensioning seat belts. Third-row seats are also equipped with pre-tensioning seat belts. Window curtain air bags are designed to deploy along the front and side door windows during an accident, or if the system determines a rollover is imminent. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system is standard on second- and third-row outboard seats. The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class has not been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Mercedes-Benz has equipped the 2008 GL-Class with \"SmartKey.\" The core of the SmartKey is a small plastic 4-button fob allowing the operator to lock/unlock the doors and trunk, lower the windows to ventilate the car, sound a panic alarm, and unlock the ignition. Unlike other remote devices, the SmartKey communicates with the vehicle through both radio frequency and infrared wireless technology. This dual-mode transmission, with a continuously changing rolling security code, offers an extremely high level of vehicle protection, maker says. SmartKey technology can be combined with \"Keyless Go\" to allow convenient touch-style locking/unlocking of the vehicle, and key-free ignition control with push-button starting.

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