The big Mercedes SUV is such an indulgence: yards and yards of beautiful black leather, substantial headrests, rich chrome trim, bountiful and sumptuous room for seven. With the GL350's turbocharged diesel V-6 engine, the EPA says the GL will eke out 21 mpg on the freeway, which is perhaps one way to justify the use of such a massive and heavy vehicle as a people carrier, when for most owners a minivan, perhaps even Mercedes-Benz's own R-class, would suffice. If it seems like I have mixed feelings about the GL-class, I do: I can't help but admire its looks and its capabilities, but I also can't ignore its wastefulness. [Admittedly, I have the same feelings when I get into a Range Rover.] That said, the Bluetec diesel at least attempts to address that issue, and it's a damn fine powertrain.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor