Roadshow Video Reviews
2008 Mercedes GL320 CDIA clean diesel SUV is saddled with a Mercedes head unit we're less than in love with.
>> Yeah! Sitting up high good buddy. Got my foot in a diesel, plenty of cargo space out back, but I'm not driving a Kenworth, I'm driving an '08 GL320 from Mercedes. Come on in, we'll check this out. ^M00:00:14 [ Music ] ^M00:00:16 Our journey in the GL320 begins with the conundrum GL320. It's not 3.2 liters, well that's not a 320. It's not 320 horsepower, it's not 320 lb-ft of torque. No. It's a 3-liter variable nozzle Turbodiesel CDI common rail direct injection. So, just about all the modern diesel tricks are being used in this current Mercedes as you might imagine. The horsepower is 215 horse, you'd say, what? To move that thing? But check out the torque, 398 lb-ft, ungodly amount of push. And the peak torque is at 1600rpm. Let me tell you, that's just barely double the idle speed on this vehicle. Now, on the downside, for all that torque, fair horsepower, and elaborate diesel engineering, this thing thinks too much. There's a lot of lag especially in cut-and-thrust driving in the city when you try to go up and down on the speed, it feels like a second, a second and a half in some situations that's an eternity in urban driving. Now, all the power that comes out of that motor goes through a single transmis... Where'd it go? Oh, it's up here. They use this, what do you call this, Select Shift or something. It looks like the old classic American style, you know, automatic common lever, but it's not. It's just a little light touch electronic thing you push to go to park. You drop it down one for drive, you go up for reverse, it takes a little getting used to, but it's a very sophisticated 7-speed automatic. It's a very nice transmission every time we've encounter it. Now, right next to the little delicate shift, your behind the wheel are a couple of paddles for the selectable shifting. That's a 7-speed, so you can go all the way down to one with the left, all the way back up to the full drive mode of 7 on the right. I'm just not quite sure why they're here, that's normally a sporty thing. This is not a sporty, snappy, power train, so, all the shifting I could do in various conditions didn't seem to very satisfying. It didn't do much. Let's get to the cabin tech. I hate this head unit. I'm not even gonna get in to it, 'cause we've covered this in several other Mercedes of this era, most recently the CLK550. Now, beyond that, we do have an interesting rear seat entertainment system in this car. It's a headrest video on each of the two seats. It's not a cheap rate, we'll talk about that in a minute. In the glove box, you'll find the six-disc CD changer, which drops down right there and the aux jack should be over on the right side of the glove box but our vehicle doesn't have it, because we are rear seat DVD entertainment and that deletes the aux. Good thing to know. For better or for worst, the audio system does sound good, once you get through the crappy interface. It's the Harman Kardon Logic 7 system and this vehicle's got enough air space for a big thumping system to knock it two tubby. Okay, let's price our big oil-burning buddy, $53,800 is the base for a GL320 CDI. Then you got to look at premium package number 1, because that's got the DVD navigation, Harman Kardon Logic 7 audio, Sirius satellite radio, Parktronic sensors on the bumpers, rearview camera, Bluetooth hands free kit, a lot of stuff in there for 6400 bucks plus it's got some trim niceties. A la carte, you have to go that way to get the rear seat entertainment system $2670, not cheap. ^M00:03:36 [ Music ]