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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Majorette Mercedes-Benz A-class and GL SUV




Even as Majorette focuses heavily on European models, especially those close to France, it does have a history with the Mercedes-Benz brand.  Some of the most impressive models that i've seen them made are the SL500, 190 E, and 300 TE wagon just to name a few.  These two are a very unique offering as Majorette chose traditional passenger vehicles over coupes, convertibles, and any exotics that Mercedes would offer.







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Mercedes-Benz A-class

The A-class orgins started in 1997 when the first A-class was revealed, a tall compact city car that had lots of practicality and a unique engine that was designed to travel under the passenger compartment in the event of a frontal collision.  However, only time would tell that the tall wagon-like car would not be preferrable for some, so after two generations the next A-class diverted to a new strategy.  The hatch is now a normal 5-door that is comparable to such other cars as the VW Golf and Alfa Romeo Giulietta.  In the U.S. the hatch is replaced by a four-door sedan and five-door SUV called CLA and GLA.  The styling now flows in line with the rest of the Mercedes car line with an upright grille and rounded headlights, while the rear has large rounded taillights.  Even the interior design follows the car line, also following the design of the SLS sports car.  The front-wheel drive car is powered by a 2.0L DOHC turbocharged I-4 that produces 208 horsepower and 258 Ib-ft of torque through a 7-speed automatic transmission.








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This Majorette version is nicely done if for one problem: it is rather large for such a small car nearly reaching the size of the GLK SUV.  The car's width also contributes to the larger size.  The front has clear sweptback headlights with a large black grille that has the three-pointed star.  The lower bumper has a center black section that is part of the base.  The sides show a sweeping lower beltline to add character to the styling and the blacked-out 5-spoke wheels look great here, though rather odd on the GL.  The rear has large rounded taillights and an abbreviated rear that causes some detail issues with the opening rear hatch design.  Just below are dual exhaust.  As in tradition each Majorette hatchback has an opening rear hatch and cargo space is good though the rear opening is intruded by the taillight design.  The interior has seating for five with typical Mercedes-Benz luxuries as leather seats that are bolstered in the front, 3-spoke steering wheel, and a dashboard with a center infortainment screen that pops out from the dashboard.  The shifter on the seven-speed is a smaller design mounted on the steering column that frees up space for the center console area.  Handling is nice, but would be great if the car was smaller.







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Mercedes-Benz GL

On the other end of the spectrum is a nicely-done SUV from the Mercedes brand, the large GL.  The GL started life as the largest vehicle based on the ML class platform that can support seating for seven yet still retain the off-road prowless of the G-class, and yes this SUV was supposed to replace the G-class but thanks to high demand the ancient G-class still hangs around (and returns to Majorette for 2017).  The SUV is long, has plenty of room inside, and has familiar Mercedes styling cues.  The engine is a 4.6L DOHC turbocharged V8 that produces 449 horsepower and 517 Ib-ft of torque through a seven-speed automatic transmission and offers a two-speed transfer case with full-time or part-time control.  A new naming convection arrived for 2017 as all SUV models have the GL name with the third letter relates each SUV to the car line in size, which is the S-class for this GL so it is now called the GLS.







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Looking sharp in blue with blacked-out wheels this GL looks rather, um, sporty for such a practical SUV and this is not an AMG version either!  The front has large clear headlights with lower LED running lights and a large grille with the three-pointed star.  On the sides you get a typical boxy SUV profile with roof rails and smoothly-integrated running boards below.  At the rear are rounded taillights and dual exhausts below.  The SUV handles really well despite the long wheelbase and works with the working suspension gracefully.  It still has great off-road capability along the lines of a Land Rover or Range Rover.  The rear hatch opens up to a barely adequate cargo area with the rear seats up, but those seats can go down in the real vehicle to increase the cargo capacity.  Seating for seven is pretty comfortable in leather trim and nice Mercedes touches.  The dashboard has a four-spoke steering wheel, along with gauges, center floating touchscreen, and center console design shared with the Mercedes car line.  These two Majorette Mercedes vehicles are nicely done and for the first time in a long while based on models that are your every day vehicles and not for the rich and famous.

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