With apologies to BMW, think of the Mercedes-Benz GL550 as the ultimate SUV driving machine. The initial G is a reference to the iconic G-Wagen introduced in the '70s for use in the toughest of road conditions like the Sahara Desert and the Arctic Circle. But the GL550 is the largest and most luxurious in the Benz lineup of all-road vehicles offering a superb balance of power and handling, a supremely comfortable dynamic ride, and an interior that rivals the S-Class for all seven passengers.
What's New for 2016
There are no major updates to the 2016 model. Five years of complimentary mbrace service is now standard.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz GL550
The GL550’s twin-turbo 429-horsepower 4.7-liter V8 takes it to 60 mph in a mere 5.5 seconds. It's mated to a seven-speed automatic that sends power to a full-time four-wheel drive system fitted with 21-inch all season tires. With a blistering 516 pound-feet of torque on tap, the GL550 has a tow rating of 7,500 pounds and all the power you need for passing and maneuvering. The Interactive Adaptive Variable Suspension pairs with a Vehicle Stability Program, stabilizer bars and automatic load leveling to give this large SUV a remarkably stable drive.
In expected Mercedes-Benz tradition, the vehicle comes well-equipped as standard with adaptive bi-xenon headlights that level automatically; a sunroof; heated mirrors; rain sensors; plenty of exterior and interior lighting; multi-adjustable leather seats with driver massage and cooling/heating for the front seats; wood trim; a 610-watt, LOGIC7 Surround Sound 14 speaker radio with satellite and MP3; and telematics with internet, vehicle tracking and roadside assistance. A Parktronic parking assist system makes parking this full size tank an effortless, error-free experience.
Optional Packages worth considering are:
- On/Off-Road Package with a six program selector including Auto, Sport, Snow, Trailer and two off-road modes that adjust height, suspension and drive according to mode.
- Driver Assistance Package with DISTRONIC PLUS and PRE-SAFE Brakes that adapt your speed to traffic flow ahead, more active blind spot and lane-keeping monitoring.
The On/Off Road Package is worth the upgrade for $2,000. The six-program driving mode and additional undercarriage protection make the model even more versatile and rugged while enhancing the SUV’s natural all-road capabilities. And with an SUV of this caliber, the Panorama Roof should come as standard but doesn’t. Add it for an additional $1,100.