Consumer Reports Pans New Mercedes-Benz GL's Emergency Handling


The Mercedes-Benz GL is one of the top choices for US buyers looking for a seven-seater premium SUV, as it offers plenty of interior space, luxury appointments and towing capacity, and even a diesel engine option. However, as a recent test by Consumer Reports (CR) points out, it is by no means a perfect vehicle.

Sure, it may have all the electronic stability and traction enhancing systems, but with a total mass of 2,455 kg (5412 lbs) they just can't seem to cope in an emergency – or so CR claims.

In the video, the GL can't handle sudden direction changes and it understeers and runs wide. It fails to successfully complete the emergency avoidance maneuver at the usual speed, and the SUV can only be coaxed around the cones at a much lower speed than one would expect, according CR.

"That clumsiness is disconcerting to say the least and quickly saps a driver's confidence," said CR's test driver. "Even some big, lumbering heavy-duty pickups we've tested recently have done better in that test."

Consumer Reports says the issue occurs in part because of the hefty bulk and the intrusive stability program.

"Mercedes-Benz would be well advised to recalibrate the GL's stability control system or do whatever else it may take to rectify this otherwise wonderful SUV's performance. Until then, we won't recommend the GL," said Consumer Reports.

By Andrei Nedelea



Anonymous said... »March 01, 2013

I bet that the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL/ Cadillac Escalade ESV would rollover if they tested it.

MarketAndChurch said... »March 01, 2013

I was about to say... what are the comparing this beast of a car-ute to? Can a Lexus LX, Infiniti QX, Yukon Denali, Escalade, or Navigator perform that test with relative ease?

Kaveh Ghavim said... »March 02, 2013

Kind of scary handling coming out of a car made by Benz, sounds like they need a software update like what happened with the Lexus GX a couple years ago.

Ken Lyns said... »March 02, 2013

Electronic stability control can't violate the laws of physics. Ultimately this is a large, top-heavy SUV.

stallion999 said... »March 02, 2013

Try that test in a Porsche Cayenne and say hello to physics for me

dfsf said... »March 02, 2013

you nuts? two different cars. however cayenne is just touareg with a sport suspension.

LLD said... »March 03, 2013

The Q7, XC90, X5, Cayenne can do that with relative ease.

Sharknose said... »March 04, 2013

Yes, if ESP doesn't fail...

Because this cars are 'ESP-junkies', they can't get a chance to make an ELK test without an esp...

KidRed said... »March 04, 2013

The Tourareg is a Cayenne without a sport suspension, better wheels, interior materials, engine, and more. FTFY

KidRed said... »March 04, 2013

You can see stability control coming in and putting on the brakes as the car lost traction trying to make that tight, quick turn. Having the brakes suddenly fully engaged, unknown to the driver, by the ECU, probably scared the driver who then missed the turn in.

Stability should only kick in under real slippage, allowing some traction loss before engaging and it shouldn't full engage the brakes like that.

Trey Reid said... »March 05, 2013

I just don't understand why merc would program the stability control that hard to lock up the front tire in that manuever. The GL has a unibody chassis plus a good air suspension. If merc did a little reprogramming to the controls then the gl should be able to that with ease. Not unless merc is just saving the good stuff for the boys down at amg for the GL63.

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