The 2013 Mercedes GL-Class GL450 4MATIC SUV gets a pretty fierce 4.6-liter biturbo direct injection V8 engine paired up with a seven-speed automatic transmission that offers shift capabilities. This combination delivers 362 horsepower and 402 pound-feet of torque and can safely tow up to 7,500 pounds, when properly equipped. Standard Trailer Stability Assist ensures that you maintain maximum control of your load. If you are looking for an SUV that returns great gas mileage, you won’t find it here. This vehicle is only going to give you about 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway, so you will be filling that 26.4-gallon a lot more often than you would probably like to. It does have a 40.7-foot turning circle as well. This is not as large as some others in this segment, but parking in tight spaces could pose a challenge. The AIRMATIC semi-active air suspension helps to ensure a smooth ride because the ground clearance can be increased with the push of a button. Steering is nicely weighted and handling is more responsive than some of the other SUVs in this segment.
• Audio - A Harman Kardon LOGIC7® system fills the cabin with crisp audio through its 13 speakers and one subwoofer. It features 830 watts, in-dash CD/DVD player, auxiliary audio input jack and MP3 media interface.
• Navigation - An 80GB hard drive is used to store maps, Zagat® Survey ratings, points of interest, hotels, gas prices, nearby ATMs and more.
• COMAND - The 7-inch LCD screen gives you control of video, audio, navigation and hands-free calling. It can also be integrated with controls on the steering wheel.
• Rear Seat Entertainment - A DVD entertainment system includes LCD monitors behind the front head restraints. It includes wireless headphones and remote controls.
• Music Register - A 10GB Music Register lets you store an abundance of your own music on the hard drive.
Crash tests have not been done on the GL450 4MATIC and likely will not be at this price. Brake testing was done on last year’s model though, and it stopped from 60 mph in 120 feet, a very respectable distance.
An advanced system made up of nine airbags provides 13-way occupant protection while the collision prevention assist notifies drivers if they are approaching another vehicle too close. Other safety features to offer peace-of-mind include:
• Active parking assist
• Child seat anchors
• Attention assist driver-drowsiness monitoring
• Active blind spot assist
• Post-collision response
• Rear view camera
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Crosswind stabilization
• Rain-sensing windshield
• Brake drying
• Emergency braking preparation
• Whiplash protection system in front head restraints
• Rear door safety locks
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Turn signal mirrors
The newly designed 2013 GL450 4MATIC offers sleek aerodynamics and a generous number of refined focal points. From its wraparound tail lamps to its muscular body to its bold grille, this is a vehicle that demands attention on the road.
If the handsome and comfortable four-spoke leather steering wheel is not sufficient for you, then perhaps a wood and leather heated one will be more appealing. Every aspect of the passenger cabin is well thought-out and luxurious. The only downside is that the COMAND electronics interface is a bit dated. As far as seating is concerned, all rows are supportive and comfortable with more than enough leg and headroom for adult passengers; this includes the third row. This is an obvious selling point because the third row in most competing vehicles is only appropriate for children.
If you intend on using all three rows on a regular basis, you will find that 16 cubic feet behind the third row seat is a little inadequate. On the other hand, overall cargo capacity is 93.8 cubic feet, which is more than plentiful.