2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Gets Bottom-Up Redesign

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Gets Bottom-Up Redesign

2012 New York Auto Show

2012 New York Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • The redesigned 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is the usual showcase of technological wizardry.
  • The range-topping GL550 now delivers 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
  • The 2013 GL-Class goes on sale in September.

NEW YORK — The redesigned 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is the usual showcase of technological wizardry, with the range-topping GL550 now delivering 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The 2013 GL-Class goes on sale in September.

Mercedes will offer three variants of the seven-passenger GL-Class, all of them with reworked engines and all of them fitted with 4Matic all-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The basic GL350 Bluetec is powered by a revised 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel now rated at 240 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque, providing 0-60 acceleration in 8.3 seconds.

The midrange GL450 gets a twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 4.7-liter gasoline V8 rated at 362 hp and 406 lb-ft, and gets from zero to 60 in 6.2 seconds.

The top-of-the-line GL550 features a more potent version of the same engine, with output bumped to 429 hp and torque to 516 lb-ft. The 0-60 run can be made in 5.5 seconds.

Official EPA numbers haven't been released, but Mercedes-Benz expects "a substantial improvement in fuel economy" for the 2013 model.

Prices won't be announced until closer to the on-sale date. But figure the new GL550 should brush the $90,000 mark, considering the 2012 variant starts at $86,175.

All three trim levels will offer a wide array of advanced technologies, including radar-based Collision Prevention Assist, Attention Assist driver drowsiness detection, Active Parking Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Curve Illumination, Crosswind Stabilization and Surround View cameras.

All GL-Class models come with a standard Airmatic air suspension system with self-leveling and can be ordered with an Active Curve System with active stabilizer bars. Available on the GL450 and GL550 is an On- and Off-Road package that bundles a skid plate, a two-stage transfer case with reduction gearing, a longitudinal diff lock and expanded Airmatic functions that enable a wading depth of nearly 24 inches and ground clearance of up to 12 inches.

The GL550 rides on 21-inch AMG twin five-spoke alloy rims, while its two siblings get standard 19-inch wheels and optional 20-inch 10-spoke alloys. Among other exterior details are split LED taillamp clusters, a large roof spoiler, a large chrome skid plate and illuminated brushed aluminum running boards. The last item comes standard on the GL550 and optional on the GL450. A power liftgate and power/tilt-sliding glass sunroof are standard on all three models.

Mercedes-Benz has lavished much attention on the interior of the GL-Class, which now features a 2-3-2 seating layout with a power-operated third row and optional power access system to the rear. There is more head-, shoulder and elbow room in all three rows.

Standard upholstery is perforated MB-Tex with contrast stitching. Customers can choose from a selection of wood, leather and metallic trim. A multifunction steering wheel and infotainment system are among the standard features.

As expected, the GL550 is fully loaded, with such standard equipment as multicontour seats with massage function and active ventilation, three-zone automatic climate control and rear air-conditioning, an iPod/MP3 interface, hard-drive navigation and voice control, a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround-sound audio system, satellite radio and multicolor ambient lighting.

Edmunds.com says: The new GL550 should provide an interesting head-to-head matchup against the Range Rover.

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