COUNTING on the Teutonic thoroughness Germans are famous for I imagine that, when conceiving this week’s drive — the magnificent GL 350 BlueTEC AMG Sport — Mercedes-Benz instructed its designers to think big. And I mean massive. A cheeky Englishman such as myself may even suggest that the letters “GL” might imply a wish to “Go Large”. Because make no mistake about it this car is — to paraphrase Yogi Bear in his pomp — a “bigger than the average” car.
It is not often that you actually look down on other big marauding 4x4s on the road but the Mercedes-Benz GL has this effect on you. Like it or not, you find yourself gazing earthwards at other motoring folk. Not necessarily in a snooty sense — though there is without doubt a built-in edge of superiority attached to cars such as the GL — it’s just that the driving position is so good that you simply command the road.
Yet the Mercedes-Benz GL, for all its size and stature, is not at all a cumbersome car.
Quite astoundingly it is the opposite: it is so easily manoeuvrable that you have to pinch yourself that you are not dreaming when you float the car into a parking space. It has to be a big parking space, mind, to accommodate the GL’s great length but with the aid of its illuminating parking system that not only gives a rear view but also a 360-degree view, you can squeeze into the tightest spot.
But for me where this car — and it has to be said others in the new Mercedes-Benz model range — scores highly is on the open road. Motorway travel is sublime. There is no other word for it: I do not think I have been more comfortable in a car.