2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is our kind of SUV

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 4, 2012

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz GL full-sized SUV has just been unveiled. It will start selling this September but so far, the pricing details haven’t been announced. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t disappoint fans and critics alike since the model comes with an exterior that is definitely sportier and has dimensions that are slightly larger and is also offered with a generous helping of new safety and handling features.

The new model – an all-wheel-drive GL – can seat seven people. It is equipped with new standard systems that help thwart collisions and make the vehicle more stable. It also gets a new self-leveling air suspension and electromechanical steering. The redesigned GL is longer than its predecessor by about an inch to an overall length of 201.6 inches. And at 84.3 inches, it is a half-inch wider.

This provides more shoulder, elbow and headroom in all three rows of seats. So that access to the second row is easier, Mercedes offered an option called "power easy-entry.”

This model is being rolled out at Mercedes’ plant in Vance, Ala. The GL is available with new or reworked engines that have more horsepower and torque. The base GL350 BlueTEC diesel comes with a re-engineered 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 240 hp. This is 30hp higher than the existing model. It delivers 455 pounds-feet of torque, higher than the existing model by 55 pounds-feet.

The two bi-turbo V-8 models will be available with a 4.6-liter engine. The GL450's engine produces 362 hp and 406 pounds-feet of torque -- an increase of 27 hp and 67 pounds-feet. The top-of-the-line GL550 comes with an engine that develops 429 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque.

When compared to the 2012 model, it is higher by 47 hp and 125 pounds-feet with a 5.5-liter V-8. All three engines are mated to a new seven-speed automatic transmission. The new radar-based Collision Prevention Assist, or CPA, is activated during speeds of between 20 and 155 mph. It determines when the distance decreases between the GL and the vehicle in front of it.

Unmoving objects are also recognized by this system. If the system finds that a front crash is likely, the driver receives visual and acoustic warnings and the brake assist system gets ready and is activated when the driver pushes down the brake pedal. The CPA system measures just how much braking force is required to steer clear of an accident. Mercedes-Benz claims that the CPA system is capable of adapting to bumper-to-bumper traffic. The 2013 GL also features the standard crosswind stabilization system that triggers "targeted" brake impulses during high winds.

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