Comparison: Land Rover LR4 vs Lexus GX 460 vs Mercedes GL450
We head to Death Valley to find out which of these seven-passenger luxury
SUVs is king.
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Shot by: Jim Gleason & Duane Sempson
Edited by: Jim Gleason
1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 Kompressor - Jay Leno's Garage
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1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 Kompressor - Jay Leno's Garage
Jay Leno's Garage
2015 BMW X5M vs. 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG
2015 BMW X5 xDrive35i
A six-cylinder smoothie that makes a case for less is more.
Value is a key element in automotive purchase decisions, but its
definition varies considerably according to the buyer’s proclivities,
which can lead to some interesting arithmetic. Consider the new BMW X5. If
power absolutely rules your gotta-have-it list of traits, the choice is
pretty simple: You need the X5 xDrive50i, with its 445-hp, 4.4-liter
twin-turbo V-8, which moves the
2.5-plus-ton SUV from 0-to-60 mph in a darn snappy 4.3 seconds. It’s the
hottest X5 you can buy, at least until a next-gen M version comes along.
But if your buyer’s brain operates on a system of checks and balances,
you’ll be feeding other factors into the equation. For example: the base
price of the X5 xDrive50i—$69,125—is $13,100 north of the base for the
X5 xDrive35i. The 35i is propelled by a turbocharged inline-six that generates 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft
of torque. That means you’d be paying $6550 for each of the 50i’s
additional cylinders and a little over $90 for each additional pony.
How about the 0-to-60 dash? The 35i does it in 6.0 seconds, not quite
enough to induce brownouts, but respectable. Shaving 1.7 seconds off that
time with the 50i costs a little under 1000 bucks per 10th.
The Hurry Games
It’s rare for us to advocate going a little slower, but in vehicles such
as this, the need for haste is offset by the cost-to-benefit ratio. Why
spend a lot of dough to propel a heavy brick to 60 mph in less than five
seconds, when you can achieve that in something smaller and handier for
considerably less? And this doesn’t even include fuel-economy (although
the term is almost oxymoronic in the SUV realm). The X5 50i we tested
recently was EPA-rated for 14 mpg city and 22 highway, and we recorded 15
mpg in our travels. Our X5 35i test SUV is rated 18/27, and we achieved 21
mpg—burning premium fuel in both.
We also give high marks to this X5’s dark décor compared with the
ivory-colored interior of our X5 50i test vehicle. BMW calls this a Sports
Activity Vehicle, and many sports involve mud, grass, grease, oil, and
other gooey stuff that doesn’t look good on light-colored upholstery.
However, besides Active Steering, our test vehicle included a Luxury Line
package (sport steering wheel, roof rails, 19-inch wheels, $1700); the
Driver Assistance package (rearview camera, head-up display, $1400); the
Driver Assistance Plus (blind-spot detection, active cruise control with
stop and go, active drive assist, 360-degree surround view, $1900); the
Lighting package (full LED lights, automatic high beams, $1900); the
Premium package (keyless entry, auto door closures, satellite radio,
$2700); a Cold Weather package (heated steering wheel, heated rear seats,
retractable headlight washers, $550); and white metallic paint, $550.
Including other minor items, the option grand total came to $14,950. At
$70,975, the X5 xDrive35i begins to look pricey. But that’s only slightly
higher than the base price for the X5 xDrive50i. So we’re back to the
checks and balances. Unless your need for speed is very compelling, the
xDrive35i makes a strong case for (relative) value versus velocity
2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG
Nothing that sounds this good could be wrong.
The introduction of the 550-hp GL63 AMG last summer sparked a debate in
our business about whether this vehicle is proof that AMG has lost its
To make this comparatively demure GL into an AMG, Mercedes drops in its
talented twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter
V-8, upgrades the transmission and all-wheel-drive system, and fits a
sportier adjustable suspension. The AMG gets larger front brakes tucked
inside its 21-inch wheels as well as a couple of cosmetic flourishes such
as new front and rear fascias and fender flares. Sport seats fitted up
front mean that, if you were so inclined, you could call this a “chairs
and flares” package. We wouldn’t.
In daily use, the experience of the GL63 is much like that of the regular
GL, only more urgent. Under light load, a reassuring rumble reminds
occupants that the GL63 has 550 horsepower, which is 20 more
than a Porsche 911 turbo S and probably
not something you want to mention to the other parents in your car-pool
group. Under full throttle, a 4.8-second 0-to-60 time reminds you that the
GL63 weighs 5812 pounds. Most vehicles with that much stonk weigh less.
Two questions keep gnawing at us. First, who needs this kind of vehicle?
Not many people. Mercedes says that just 2 percent of GL buyers will opt
for the GL63. As for the second question, it has nothing to do with whether
AMG should be hot-rodding SUVs. Of course it should. The SUV is the luxury
sedan of the modern day. No, our second question is this: Does 13 mpg
qualify as retro?
Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTec 4Matic
Je hebt SUV's en je hebt SUV's. Als je denkt dat een Mercedes-Benz ML groot
is voor Nederland, moet je voor de gein eens gaan sturen met zijn grotere
broertje, deze nieuwe GL. Ruimte voor zeven en een voorkomen waar je u
tegen zegt. Maar wat moet je er mee?