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

Article by Christian A., 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.

One look at the new GL-Class from Mercedes-Benz and there is no question that it is truly a part of the SUV range of the brand. The new version reveals a reinterpretation of many of the features of the first generation. This new iteration also has a more sporting elegance with the dynamic strength being more prominent. Looking at its side, the proportions are indeed well-balanced with the length measuring 5,120 mm and height at 1,850 mm. In addition, it has a wheelbase measuring 3,075 mm that helps highlight the on-road presence of this model. By making sure that the overhangs in the front and the rear are shorter, the ground clearance is better, making it suitable especially for off-road travel.

The design of the front section meanwhile is mainly dominated by the radiator grille that is now more upright and has a star in the center. Its headlamps come with a high-quality design which also has the brand’s signature LED. The GL 500 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY for instance is fitted with the Intelligent Light System headlamps as standard.

With this, it gets that exclusive and high-quality appearance. One reason that makes the new GL-Class distinct is that it utilizes the light wave conductor not just for the position lights but for the indicators which use LED technology. Offered as an option for the new GL-Class is the Night View Assist PLUS. In addition to using LED technology, the daytime running lights have been integrated to the bumper through a chrome clasp.

Completing the confident look of the front end is the large underbody panel that is in chrome and that lies beneath the radiator grille. Going to the rear end, the two-piece lamps also use LED and light wave conductor technology.

Other features include the bumper which has the more contemporary wing design and a large roof spoiler. A large portion of the underbody panel is in chrome, rounding out the rear section and underscoring this full-size luxury SUV and its social status. Since many customers of the GL-Class want their vehicles to have that dynamic and athletic look, Mercedes-Benz will be offering them, for the first time, with an AMG exterior sport package.

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