Our Management Fleet Mercedes-Benz GL 500 sparks a new (and very childish) game) for the crankandpiston.com crew, but a puncture brings us back to grown-up reality.
|Date acquired:||October 2014|
|Kilometres this month:||592|
|Costs this month:||$300|
|L/100km this month:||9.1|
Turns out that as well as being professional members of the automotive media (half a second while I adjust my tie and add smug face), the crankandpiston.com team is also incredibly childish, given the new game we’ve invented for the Mercedes-Benz GL 500.
The rules are simple: sit in the front seat alongside the passenger/driver and turn their heated seat on without them noticing. The longer it takes for them to realise, the more points you earn. Like I say, incredibly childish. But my word how it’s kept us entertained.
In slightly more practical news, our GL recently spent a couple of hours on the lift. Last month a warning light alerted us to a potential slow puncture in the driver’s side rear tyre. Cheeky top-ups of air kept the situation under control in the interim, until we discovered that a similar issue had also befallen the passenger side rear tyre too. On further inspection, we extracted two nails from the treads amidst an expletive fuelled rant at the building work occupying the area around the crankandpiston oval office. Now out of surgery, the GL is running well.
Over the last two months we touched on the Merc’s practicality (which has proven so useful that we’ve actually extended our loan for an additional four weeks) and the grunt of the 429bhp 4.7-litre V8 hidden beneath the bonnet’s air vents. Little though has been mentioned on how the premium SUV handles the turns, and though we’re nowhere near Caterham levels of nippiness, the GL 500 is still surprisingly manoeuvrable. Standing close to 7ft tall and weighing 2445kg means body roll is inevitable through the tighter turns. There is though plenty of grip through the front wheels to ensure the three-pointed star on the bonnet doesn’t scythe helplessly into the barriers. Stay away from overly amorous cornering and the Merc is impressively chuckable for such a large vehicle, smooth rather than swift changes through the seven-speed automatic gearbox helping to keep momentum up in the high revs. We’ve finally got used to the column mounted transmission stalk too.
If you’re curious to know, I’ve amassed 2m 35s, currently the record for our heated seat game. crankandpiston instagram videos available on demand.
|Engine||V8 / 4663cc|
|Power||429bhp @ 5250rpm|
|Torque||516lb ft @ 1800-3500rpm|
|Transmission||7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission / 4MATIC permanent four-wheel drive|
|Front suspension||Double-wishbone / anti-dive control / torsion bar stabiliser|
|Rear suspension||Multi-link / anti-squat and anti-dive control / tubular torsion bar stabiliser|
|Brakes||Hydraulic dual-circuit braking system with vacuum booster / stepped master brake cylinder / internally ventilated (front) / solid disc (rear) / ABS / BAS|
|Wheels||8.5 J x 19 front and rear|
|Tyres||275/55 R19 W front and rear|