For 2013 the GL-Class SUVs have received a major redesign. If you need space for up to seven passengers and want V8 or turbodiesel power in an SUV, check this series out. All the engines are new, it’s slightly bigger, and a new power-folding second-row seat improves third-row access.
Four models are offered, GL350 Bluetec, GL450, GL550 and GL63 AMG. The GL350 features a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 rated 240 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque, with a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. EPA-estimated fuel economy is rated 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
The GL450 has a twin-turbo 4.7-liter gas V8 rated 362 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, with EPA ratings of 14/19/16. The GL550 also has a gasoline V8 with 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, EPA estimated at 13/18/15. The line-topping GL63 AMG sports a 5.5-liter twin-turbo gas V8 pumping out 550 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque, 12/14 mpg. Properly equipped, the GL-Class can tow a maximum of 7,500 pounds.
The GL350 Bluetec and GL450 are similarly optioned, with 19-inch rims, self-leveling air suspension, power liftgate, sunroof, rearview camera, cruise control, climate control, heated front seats, and a power-folding third-row seat.
Electronic features include Bluetooth connectivity, emergency communications, a premium sound system with six-CD/DVD changer, and HD radio. Premium 1 and 2 packages add a slew of options including a navigation system, satellite radio, keyless ignition/entry, and an upgraded audio system. Other extras include a parking camera, larger sunroof, and a dual-screen entertainment system. With second- and third-row seats folded, the GL holds up to 93.8 cubic feet of cargo.
All 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class have standard ABS, stability control and traction control; enhanced adaptive cruise control blind-spot and lane-departure warnings are optional. The GL550 gets 21-inch wheels and adaptive-suspension, while the GL63 AMG adds air suspension, bigger brakes, automatically variable stabilizer bars and AMG-specific trim. Both the GL450 and 550 can be equipped with an On-/Off-Road package.