MERCEDES GL 320 REVIEW BY BUSHTRACKER OWNER

 
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4966
Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:43 am    Post subject: MERCEDES GL 320 REVIEW BY BUSHTRACKER OWNER Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
Another tow vehicle and review. This is the Merc GL Model, 3 ltr/ 165 kw /510 NM in power, hooked up to a 7 Speed Auto... Towing a 21' Bushtracker. They just stopped in here, on their way south and gave me this report.

Unfortunately they are not on Computer, and gone by the time you read this, however they said they would Contact me again from down south, so if you had any further questions to my report, we may be able to get the answers from them..

This is a self leveling air suspension luxury towing vehicle. It is priced and appointed like the upper level Landcruiser, in the VX or Sahara range of things. It is also up in price, $105 plus extras they got put it a $115,000.



The only drama they report is that they are still considering whether or not to go with the WDH, because Mercedes says it is not necessary with the self leveling air suspension, however there is major added benefit of more downward pressure on the steering and that is their consideration.

They report good fuel economy at 15.7 litres per hundred... With a 21' Bushtracker on the back, that is pretty good at 6.37 kms per Litre... HOWEVER, they said they are travelling at 90 km/hour.. Many vehicles only getting 5km/litre would pick up another km/ltr if they slowed down to 90, but few actually do.

They report an overall very happy towing experience with the Mercedes, and say "Plenty of power"... A seven speed auto, is a big advantage. And they are happy with a 21' Bushtracker.

I am not saying I would run out and buy one, but this is another Tow Vehicle to possibly consider. Personally I would still wait for the 4.5 ltr Landcruiser Twin Turbo fuel economy reports as it could be significant in an overall decision... If you want this sort of Luxury City living/ combo tow vehicle. But this Mercedes is certainly in the running, if you are concerned about coming back to City living and parking, and performance and prestige...

Regards, stg
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ChirsWA



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
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Location: Bunbury
State:: WA
Current Bushtracker owner:: No
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:48 pm    Post subject: nice Reply with quote

yes merc's are nice i have an old merc as well as a Blitz 4x4 i use
i must admit i use my merc more as the blitz is parked in the kimberlys right now my merc is 985 Mercedes 911B 4WD with a 15 ton winch on the bullbar. its a mean looking truck. it also have super single tyers. havnt found anywere i cant take it yet. Cool the blitz to my shame got bogged in a sandy dry river . My falt Embarassed i stoped it there to dig around for water. got the water but then i had to mess about with digging in a ankor spot for the winch so i could get the truck out . fun and games in the life off an out back gold Prospector Rolling Eyes

Had to edit this damn dixslexic Shocked would help if i could spell as well Rolling Eyes dont know how to post the pic off my merc
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mel_and_toby



Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 19
Location: Brisbane
State:: QLD
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked at the Merc when this model was first released. The big draw back at the time was the ball weight - 140Kgs if my memory is correct. Possibly that has been upgraded since.
I purchased a V10 Touareg, 5 Litre Diesel (230 Kw and 750Nm) with a towing capacity of 3500Kgs and 350Kg ball weight. It was about the same price as the Merc including the "off road engineering kit".
The V10 uses under 17l/100 towing our 18' but heavy van (four panels, Oyster dish and 400 litres). Did a short trip last week (circa 1000ks) and the gear box did not move into top when towing (6 speed box) - in either standard or sport mode. Not sure exactly what triggers that but it learns very quickly the weight is on the back.
It is amazing that people often think the Toureg is a small vehcile - the wheel base is actually marginally greater than a LC but the vehicle itself is about 200mm shorter, but significantly lower. Yet it has a wading depth of 580mm - certainly less than the LC but not bad.
With all the electronic stuff I just hope it doesn't stop somewhere it shouldn't- but that seems to be the case with most of the new vehicles these days. I previously had a RR and was FAR less confident in that!
My only complaint is that it can be hard to unhitch as the self levelling suspension does what it should do soon after the jockey wheel takes the load - it levels (raises) which of course means the pin has pressure on it again. Still working on that!
Very happy with the VW!

IAN
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Oz Nomads
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also looked at the ML320 as a possibility but discounted it for two reasons. The first was the fact that the sp[are wheel is a space saver wheel, not a full size tyre and rim. I thought that could be a bit of a problem.

Secondly, Ball Weight. I believe you are right Ian. Whilst the towing capacity (braked) is 3,500 kgs, the ball weight is only 140 kgs.

Steve, to keep ball weight to under 140 kgs on a 21 ft Bushtracker, what does that do from a stability point of view? I decided that I wasn't going to risk it.
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mel_and_toby



Joined: 20 Jul 2007
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Location: Brisbane
State:: QLD
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz Nomad,

But you can get a full size spare on the Merc as an option for the best part of $3k! I didn't on the Touareg as I think it is a pain in normal use to have the carrier. Instead I have a spare I mount internally only when we are towing - don't need much space in the rear of the vehicle anyway. Plus I also have the space saver as a desperate emergency.
I have just realised though that Steve was referring to a G not an ML - maybe the ball weight has been upgraded on the G.
It was 140Kg on the Touareg too but was upgraded - and I bought immediately.
Also interesting is that the vehicle has been recalled by VW to upgrade numerous things to the latest specs (even the start up speed of the Sat Nav would you believe) - good customer relations in my book.

I am interested in what you decided upon Oz Nomad.

IAN
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mel_and_toby



Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 19
Location: Brisbane
State:: QLD
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,
You refer to the "little" ML. I am not an ML fan but its size is deceptive:
ML Wheel Base 2915, Length 4780, Weight 2185 (L-WB = 1865) (but the low ball weight makes it a poor tow vehice)
GL WB 3075 Lgth 5088 Weight 2450 (L-WB = 2013)
Touareg WB 2855 Lgth 4754 Weight 2532 (L-WB=1899)
Disco WB 2885 Lgth 4835 Weight 2432 (L-WB=1950)
LC 200 TD WB 2850 Lgth 4950 Weight 2675 (L-Wb=2100).

Or maybe the Toyota size is the deceptive one - smallest wheelbase of this group but bigger overhang = bigger unit than all but GL and heaviest of all (even with significantly less standard equipment).

As with all vehicle discussions the debate can rage on forever, but frankly I can't see why the fully equipped TD Toyota/Sahara (and Lexus) are rated so well by many people against other contenders. And just for the record I have had three Saharas since 1986 - the earlier they were the better they were and I decided the 100 series wasn't for me.

Like every purchase there are compromises and often personal taste and experience is a big factor in picking a vehicle.

Now I know this woudl be stretching things but couldn't resist it! Laughing (1966 MkI Cooper S - one of my toys)
IAN
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4966
Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another GL Mercedes leaves with a Bushtracker Hybrid Lite on the back..



Now why would I be highlighting this Mercedes GL 4 door? Because this is the first time, when usually they are not equipped for the Outback, being a more of a city vehicle orientation for the Owners... But this one: Have a look, a Mercedes with a BULL BAR, Driving Lights, AND A WINCH...!!! This is a first... Wink



Good luck to them, on the road with the Ranger...
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aussiedmax



Joined: 11 Aug 2007
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Location: Sydney
State:: NSW
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that is actually a Merc ML Steve; was it a Diesel? In that case probably an ML270. Max Towball weight enough for the Lite van?
Cheers,
AussieDmax
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I know, I let you know.... I am an open book and absolutely fair-dinkum with all things... I am also not bashful about telling you when I do not know something and that is now... Laughing Laughing

I know near nothing about these little Mercs. Matthew looked into it when we sold them the van, and yes it has the adequate ball weight and towing capacity, from memory exceeding the Hybrid Lite requirements, and from memory now, we even stretched the ATM (GVM for trailers) for him to 2750 kg so he could load it up a bit more......

As to know what model, not me, I thought it was a GL like the other four door one on this Post, and the little one was the ML a two door, but like I said I don't know. My Staff did however enquire as to all the necessary towing capacity and ball weight and it was qualified. Otherwise, fair dinkum, we would not have sold it to him. If you want more info, it will have to wait until I am back in the Office, because as I said I know more about camels than these and I know near nothing about camels.. Ha! Laughing
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aussiedmax



Joined: 11 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve. I am sure you checked that the ML could tow the Hybrid Lite. Hell, I am writing this response to the man who in 2004 didn't want to sell me a 19Ft for my Suburban petrol Very Happy Glad you didn't because then I had to buy a new truck Razz and the GMC Sierra + 20Ft BT is a great combination!!
It is just that I had never seen an ML with a BT behind it......
Hope you enjoyed your long weekend!
Cheers,
AussieDmax
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From memory DMax, if I recall correctly you had the lighter version of the Suburban with a lower capacity, AND it was petrol. If I talked you out of towing with it, I did you a favour... Wink

On the Mercedes, yes it is an ML, I did not recognize them and thought the ML was a two door.. Rolling Eyes Now Perspective ML/GL Owners NOTE: This turns out to be an older model of the ML before the GL came out, and the older ones have a higher rating. I did the checking today and it was 2650 kg towing capacity and 225 kg on the ball, which suits the 18' Hybrid light.

On doing the sums and my Research for you, the newer model of the ML is inadequate, and you should be looking at the GL....... This one is from early in the decade and has a higher rating. The new ones are the ones that Oz Nomads or someone in this Thread was saying was too light, and they have a funny rating of 2265 kg at 225 ball weight, but if you go up to 2650kg the ball weight drops to the 140 kg??? Not going to work..

I still know nothing of the vehicle, but would counsel that parts and assistance might be a bit rare in the Bush. However: We have a number of Owners with a variety of ML and GL Mercedes out there, possibly what a half dozen now at least...

Best Regards, on the Road with the Ranger
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aussiedmax



Joined: 11 Aug 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Sydney
State:: NSW
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spot on Steve; we had a 5.7L V8 petrol which only had a 2,700 kg max. towing capacity (the diesel, like Tracy had, has a 3,500 kg max. towing capacity). Good to see there is nothing wrong with your memory Razz !!
Cheers,
AussieDmax
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