My family and I were fortunate to spend this past holiday season in sunny Florida. As I have always been fond of road trips, we made the journey in a 2014 GL350 Bluetec SUV. To be honest I couldn’t think of a more appropriate vehicle for a family of four to make a 2,200 km trek (each way).
The GL350 is supremely smooth and comfortable thanks to its long wheelbase to accommodate a full third row of seats. The ride was made even better with the adjustable Airmatic suspension which is part of the optional sport package. As we didn’t require those third row seats we just left them folded down and took advantage of the extra cargo capacity. And believe me this came in very handy on the way home with all of the extra purchases.
As for fuel economy of this 3 L turbo diesel engine, we averaged under 11 L/100 km for the entire trip. This was mostly highway but did include 6 days of city driving at our destination. During the highway portions we achieved a low of 9.4 L/100 km which allowed us to travel around 1,000 km between fueling stops (the tank capacity is 100 L). Keep in mind that the GL350 was weighed down with four passengers plus luggage for a 10 day trip. Many customers considering our diesel models have voiced concerns over the availability of diesel fuel. I can attest that throughout my travels in the city, within Canada and the United States I have not had any challenges locating diesel fuel. Keep in mind that all highway stations carry diesel to accommodate transport trucks and a majority of city stations carry it as more and more passenger vehicles are available with diesel engines. Also due the the increased range of these engines the need to refuel is less frequent.
Sticking with our fuel economy theme, each of our vehicles feature a driving efficiency gauge which monitors your driving style in relation to maximizing your fuel economy. There are 3 parameters that are tracked – acceleration, constant speed and coasting. To maximize fuel economy, acceleration must be smooth, when cruising a constant speed should be maintained and coast as much as possible. During one highway stretch I was able to achieve 100% economy!
Overall the GL350 proved to be a very capable road trip vehicle with lots of passenger comfort and cargo space. But best of all fantastic fuel economy. This is why the GL350 is perpetually sold out and only available as a factory order.
Please contact me if you would like additional information or to arrange a test drive.