Boris Becker launches Mercedes Benz’ new GL-350 SUV in India

What’s a tennis legend doing launching a Mercedes Benz GL 350 in India? Well, it turns out Boris Becker is a big Mercedes fan, owning three himself, including the new GL, and ML and the SLS. The second-generation GL-350 (Launch Edition) is priced at Rs. 77.5 lakh ex-showroom, Delhi.

The GL-350 CDI will initially be brought in as a CBU (completely built unit) imported from Germany until September and will then be locally assembled at Mercedes plant in Chakan, Pune. Initially, only 100 units of this burly  7-seater SUV will be imported, and nearly all 100 have already been sold out. Local assembly begins from October 2013. Eberhard H Kern, MD and CEO, Mercedes Benz India told CarToq that prices would be revised once local assembly begins (as import duties would drop considerably). Also watch: Mercedes Benz ML 350 road test video 

What’s the new Mercedes Benz GL-350 all about?

The Mercedes Benz GL-350 that goes on sale in India will be powered by a V6, 3-litre diesel engine putting out 258 bhp of power at 3600 rpm (34 bhp more than its predecessor) and 619 Nm of torque at 1600-2400 rpm which is 109 Nm more than its previous model making it quite a mile muncher and even more capable off-road. Mercedes claims the GL 350 can hit a top speed of 220 kmph and do a 0-100 kmph time of 7.9 seconds. It comes with a 7-speed (G-tronic Plus) automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency is apparently 15% better.

This GL-350 is much larger than the older one as well. It is 5,120 mm in length (about the size of a Ford Endeavour in length), 1934 mm wide (almost 2 metres) and 1840 mm tall. With all three-rows of seats in place it still has 390 litres of luggage space .With the last row folded you get 680 litres of luggage space and with both rows folded you get a whopping 2,300 litres of luggage space – enough to move a house! Entry to the third row is electronic – just pressing a button flip, folds the second row seat. The tail-gate is also electronic.

In terms of safety, this Mercedes GL 350 is loaded with features. It has nine airbags, ABS, traction control, attention assist (if you’re feeling sleepy) and even cross-wind compensation, where the vehicle corrects itself if it drifts sideways due to high-speed winds. In terms of off-road capability the Airmatic air suspension can raise or lower the vehicle by 75 mm to get over obstacles. It has a water wading depth of 500 mm.

Other creature comforts in the GL 350 include three-zone thermotronic automatic climate control, heated cupholders, cooled front seats, leather upholstery, fully power adjustable seats, Command infotainment system with navigation, electric opening and closing boot, park assist, five cameras – including the reverse camera to help with parking. Also read: Mercedes ML250 CDI launched

The Mercedes Benz GL 350 CDI is likely to be well accepted with buyers looking for a luxury SUV with seven seats. It is spacious and offers all the luxury you need in it, as well as being genuinely capable of handling off-road duties as well, just like the smaller ML 350. It is a good alternative to consider to either the Audi Q7 or the Land Rover Discovery 4, both of which are in a similar price bracket.