2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Preview

Jeff Youngs | Apr 19, 2012
  • Completely redesigned
  • New engines with more power and better fuel economy
  • Numerous new safety technologies


The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a large luxury SUV with seating for 7 passengers and genuine off-road capability.

Exterior Features

The new 2013 Mercedes GL-Class features short front and rear overhangs and generous ground clearance to ensure true off-roading capabilities, the automaker says. It comes standard with LED taillights, power liftgate, power sunroof, and aluminum wheels. Brushed aluminum and illuminated running boards are available.

Interior Features

Equipped with three rows of seats, the new 2013 GL-Class features 16 cubic feet of cargo room behind the standard power folding third-row seat and a total of 94 cubic feet of cargo room with the second- and third-row seats folded. Synthetic leather called MB-Tex is standard, and the GL-Class is trimmed in genuine wood with silver chrome controls.

Optional Features

Genuine leather is optional for the GL-Class, as well as a navigation system, Harman/Kardon premium surround-sound audio system, Keyless Go entry and push-button ignition, and a Power Easy-Entry system to make it simpler to access the third-row seat. An optional Parking Assist package includes a surround-view camera and Active Parking Assist.

These features all come standard on the top-of-the-line GL550, which also gets massaging and ventilated front seats, triple-zone climate control, a rear air conditioning system, bi-Xenon headlights with Active Curve Illumination, and more.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Mercedes GL350 BlueTec is equipped with a 3.0-liter, turbo-diesel, inline 6-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower and 455 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,600 and 2,400 rpm. Mercedes says it will accelerate to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds.

The 2013 GL450 model has a 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, good for 362 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm. Acceleration to 60 mph requires 6.2 seconds, according to Mercedes.

The new Mercedes GL550 also has a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V-8, massaged to produce 429 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,800 to 3,500 rpm. By the stopwatch Mercedes uses, it accelerates to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.

A 7-speed automatic transmission delivers power to all four wheels through a standard 4Matic permanent 4-wheel-drive system, and the new 2013 GL-Class rides on a standard Airmatic air suspension. An optional On- and Off-Road package adds an upgraded transfer case and provides 12 inches of ground clearance.


The new GL-Class features 7 air bags including a driver's knee air bag, a stability and traction control system, and anti-lock brakes with brake assist. Additional standard safety equipment includes Pre-Safe cabin-readiness technology, Attention Assist drowsy-driver detection, Crosswind Stabilization, and Collision Prevention Assist. This latter feature operates between 20 mph and 155 mph, recognizes unsafe close rates with traffic or objects ahead, and prepares the brake assist system to deliver maximum stopping power.

Safety equipment levels can be bolstered with the optional Driver Assistance package. This package includes Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control and Pre-Safe Brake autonomous braking capability, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and Active Blind Spot Assist. An optional Lighting package adds bi-Xenon headlights with Active Curve Illumination and Adaptive Highbeam Assist to the GL350 BlueTec and GL450 models.

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