Twenty-three miles per gallon out of a monster like this is pretty darn impressive, but that's the trip computer's indicated mileage over the last 700-some journalist-driven miles. Granted, the EPA's rating for this vehicle is a more modest 17 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined, but even those numbers are very good for a 5400-pound, seven-passenger vehicle.
Captaining the GL350 feels a bit like driving a bus, which is appropriate, since there are four seating positions with the LATCH system for kids' car seats. Unfortunately, you'd have a tough time getting to the two children in the back row, but if your kids are old enough to buckle themselves, the GL-class makes a solid ritzy alternative to a minivan.
I found the driver's seat to be slightly uncomfortable (not adjustable enough and slightly too firm), but I forgot about that the moment the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6's 400 lb-ft of torque took over.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor