A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to visit New Mexico with Mercedes-Benz, for a preview of their new 2013 GL-Class. Mercedes-Benz kicked off the first leg of their international first drive of the 2013 GL-Class in Santa Fe and we all stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe. Not only were the suites beautiful, but the area was incredibly peaceful. Check out the beautiful sunset!
Our first full day kicked off with learning a bit about the 2013 GL-Class – the S-Class of SUV’s. This second-generation of the segment-leading luxury SUV offers several new standard features such as Collision PreventionAssist, Crosswind Stabilization as well as the familiar COMAND controlknob. At the start of the trip, those things didn’t mean anything to me. I have to say, at home, I drive a Ford Explorer. I thought I loved that truck. Until that is, I got into the Mercedes. Oh my word was it fabulous.
Just look at this shiny new car line our car was assigned to us from.
Once we received ours, I hopped in with two girlfriends and off we went around scenic New Mexico. I was driving the 2013 GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC (which comes in diesel by the way) and seats 7. SEVEN! My Ford Explorer just fits 5 of us. An SUV that seats 7 is my dream! My only complaint was that I couldn’t actually try the vehicle out with my family – and all the boys stuff – in it. To me, that would have been the true test.
Here is a bit about the 350:
A multifunction steering wheel, convenient central controller and vivid color in-dash displays unite audio, vehicle settings and the optional hard-drive navigation with Enhanced Voice Control. Standard Bluetooth® offers hands-free calling and wire-free streaming of your digital audio player.
Features of the GLK-350
- navigation system built into the dashboard
- heated/cooling massage seats
- 3 position memory for the front seat passenger
- start/stop engine button — no key needed
- Save on fuel with the eco button
- digital surround sound
- Becker Map Pilot Navigation System
- and more!
Optional highlights include Parking Assist and the Surround View Camera plus new diesel and direct-injection twin-turbo gasoline engines. I have to tell you guys about the Parking Assist. Um… it parks the car FOR YOU. Not so crazy about backing in, tight spaces? You don’t even need to think about what to do! The demonstration was awesome.
I loved so many things about this car. Not only was it uber comfortable (and I should know because I spent over 6 hours driving it), but it was silent on the road. You know when you get on the highway and it’s a little … noisy? Yeah. None of that. Silence. And the roof was my favorite. Three giant glass panels. The first was a sunroof over my head. The next two didn’t open but I definitely thought my kids would find it amazing just staring up at the sky as we drove.
Getting back to safety? The Collision Prevention Assist was my absolute favorite. The vehicle provides visual and acoustic warnings if the safety in the margin is too short. In other words, another car in your blind spot? Your mirror flashes at you so you know not to get out of your lane. Oh, and if you do drift a little out of your lane? The steering wheel shakes a bit to let you know. How cool is that!
During the long day of driving through New Mexico, we got to visit several different locations. This one right here is my absolute favorite. I would sort of call it off roading. Think … mountain dirt road … overlooking cliffs… no guard rails… and the only way down is steep with several twists and turns. Still with me? I tore down that road… and it was amazing. By far the most fun part of the trip. I don’t know what came over me but it was not scary at all. I felt completely safe in that car.
When we finally reached the bottom, I noticed this giant mud puddle and I could not resist. I plowed right through it. It was then that I noticed the Mercedes reps watching me and I thought I was in trouble for sure. Instead, they cheered and gave me the thumbs up. Shortly after that we stopped for lunch and I had to grab a picture of the mud on the car.
Trust me it looked so much muddier in person! Oh, and how could I forget… when I did hit that mud? I remember thinking for a split second oh no, I didn’t even look to see where the windshield wipers were so I could clear the mud from the window. Let me tell you, this car is so amazing that before I could even finish the thought in my head they came on AUTOMATICALLY and cleared the mud away.
I kid you not when I say that I need this vehicle. Mercedes-Benz knows what they are doing for sure with the 2013 GL -class. I love that they have designed a safe comfortable car for me to get my kids around in… and that if the mood ever strikes, I can even feel safe taking them off roading after soccer practice.
Have you ever driven a Mercedes? Which model is your favorite?