German carmaker Mercedes-Benz managed to sell last year more light trucks alone than it did all of its models combined back in 2005. The top of the pyramid is the GL-Class. For 2013, the GL offers subtly more fuel-efficient drive-train options and a rash of standard and available technology all supported by an air-ride suspension. It seems that the GL450 represents 60% of total GL-Class purchases. The SUV is half an inch taller than its predecessor, even though designers have done a very good job with disguising it.
At the front, the Mercedes-Benz GL450 has the well-known vertical front fascia, a mesh lower grille and a two-bar grille dominated by a Silver Arrow emblem. The model also features LED daytime running lights situated into the lower bumper. It avoids any threat of being slab-sided thanks to a bold body line situated just below the door handles and an aggressive up-kick in the rear flank. The integrated exhaust tips are very well executed and so, the model looks monolithic. On the inside, the second and third rows are now mechanized and so is the way-back bench. It features an upholstered dashboard. The front seats are a little too stiff for long stints and the COMAND infotainment interface is getting a little old.
The 2013 GL-Class is available with 4Matic all-wheel drive as standard equipment. Most of its buyers choose the twin-turbocharged direct-injection 4.6-liter V8 engine found in the GL450, capable of developing 362 horsepower and 406 lb. ft. of torque. This output enables the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. All the power is being sent to the wheels through a 7-speed automatic transmission. Each GL unit comes with the Airmatic air ride suspension. The final price of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 was established at $90.030, including destination charge.
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