LOLOLOLOLOL. That's why he wins the big Pulitzers. Just as Mercedes unveils the newly redesigned GL-Class, Dan Neil pulls back the curtain on the hollow ridiculousness of such a bloated vehicle:
Mercedes-Benz executives offer this wholly meritless defense: Many of its customers leave the brand because the company does not offer a full-size SUV that meets their needs, which is to say, a seven-passenger, 17-foot 4x4 with a 9,300-pound towing capacity. At this point in the presentation in Napa Valley last week, execs showed slides of the GL pulling a 30-foot boat. So there you have it: Mercedes' audience of water-skiing polygamists is underserved.And with that momentum, he launches into a spirited attack on the backwards emissions, mileage, and tax policies [including the $25K tax deduction for heavy SUV's] that permit--nay, encourage--such embarassing, oil-addiction-perpetuating rigs.
Needs? Did the man say needs? OK, then. I propose needs testing for the purchase of such a vehicle. You must have a Chris-Craft and three or more school-age children in the yard to qualify. Your vehicle must do double-duty as, um, a bookmobile.
Need has very little to do with it. This segment is about want, naked and unquenchable, I-got-mine-you-get-bent appetite. It's well established that the vast majority of these vehicles never touch gravel, never carry more than a couple of people, and never tow anything heavier than the weight of their owner's childhood traumas.
Which is fine, except I have to confess: I used to really like the big MB SUV when it was the boxy, utilitarian, grey market Gelandewagen, Mercedes' answer to the original Land Rover. But when tarted up G-Classes started showing up in the Hamptons, driven by a pack of nitwits who didn't know a differential from a tennis bracelet, I had to admit: the car was dead to me. And the GL? Like Neil, I give you full permission to mock any GL-Class-driving monkey you see who's not pulling a houseboat.
My other car is a plane [latimes]
Seriously. The Mercedes GL450. [mbusa.com]
25 Years of the G-Class [mercedes-benz.com]