New Car Reviews

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 – Back up to Snuff

Miles to Date: 14,773

Long-Term 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Update: Fall 2013 Array Miles to date: 14,773

With Humpty Dumpty back together again, we were again enjoying the decadent luxury of a high-power, high-dollar SUV.

When we last left off with our Four Seasons Mercedes-Benz GL450, the big beast was hurting. The radio had quit working, the motors for the power-folding third-row seats had stripped gears, and the windshield was cracked. Putting the GL back together again was a top priority, as we were in peak vacation season.
First, the power third-row seats were put right, with new motors having arrived at the dealership. A warranty repair, this work was done at no cost.
Next, the radio. This turned out to be a big job, as the audio system runs off a moss ring, rather than being hardwired. A moss-ring system relies on all parts working together, so if one part goes down, it can be difficult to troubleshoot and fix. The system’s control module is under the driver’s seat; its fuse panel is under the passenger seat. Both came out. It turned out there was an internal fault in the amplifier that caused a fuse to blow. A new amplifier fixed the problem, and we have tunes again! Another no-cost warranty repair, although the car was out of commission for several days.

Finally, the windshield. This one we had to pay for: $942.53. That includes $8.75 for a “Mercedes-Benz” sticker. After all, it’s important to that factory look, right down to the last detail. We wouldn’t want some far-in-the-future owner to lose points at Pebble Beach.
With Humpty Dumpty back together again, we were again enjoying the decadent luxury of a high-power, high-dollar SUV. “A big SUV is always welcome on open roads,” wrote associate editor Greg Migliore. “It feels commanding. You can see over people and use the V-8 engine to blast by them.” The GL450’s turbocharged, 4.7-liter V-8 churns out 406 pound-feet of torque at only 1500 rpm, so blasting by slower traffic comes pretty easily.
Overall, Migliore found the GL to be “a handsome SUV that drives with attitude.” But its recent troubles left him just a little leery: “Hopefully, it can stay in one piece….”
Yes, indeed, since the big Mercedes has a lot more vacation miles ahead of it, including an extended stay in New York.


  • Base price (with dest.) $64,805
  • Price as tested $78,290
  • Body Style 4-door crossover
  • Accommodation 7-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody


  • Engine 32-valve DOHC twin-turbocharged V-8
  • Displacement 4.7 liters (285 cu in)
  • Power 362 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Torque 406 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
  • Transmission 7-speed automatic
  • Drive Four-wheel
  • Fuel Economy 14/19/16 (city/hwy/combined)


  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Turns lock-to-lock 2.9 turns
  • Turning circle 40.7 ft
  • Suspension, Front Control arms, coil springs
  • Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented disc/disc
  • Wheels 19-inch aluminum alloy
  • Tires Continental 4×4 Contact
  • Tire Size 275/45R-19 111H


  • Headroom F/M/R 41.2/40.0/38.9 in
  • Legroom F/M/R 40.3/38.5/35.0 in
  • Shoulder Room F/M/R 58.5/58.3/50.5 in
  • Wheelbase 121.1 in
  • Track F/R 64.8/65.5 in
  • L x W x H 201.6 x 84.3 x 72.8 in
  • Passenger Capacity 143.6 cu ft
  • Cargo Capacity 16.0/49.4/93.8 cu ft
  • Weight 5401 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R TBD
  • Fuel Capacity 26.4 gal
  • Est. Range 425 miles
  • Fuel Grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)


  • standard equipment

    • Height-adjustable air suspension
    • 19-inch aluminum wheels
    • Power sunroof
    • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
    • Rearview camera
    • Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity
    • CD/DVD player
    • Power liftgate
    • Heated front seats
    • Automatic dual-zone climate control
    • MB-Tex-trimmed interior
    • Flat-folding second- and third-row seats
    • 115V power outlet
    • Roof rails
    • Rear window wiper and washer
    • Automatic headlights
    • Collision prevention assist
    • LED taillights and DRLs
    • Mbrace2 w/trial subscription


  • Steel Grey paint $720
  • Black leather interior $1620
  • Panoramic sunroof $1090
  • Heated steering wheel $225
  • Trailer hitch $550
  • Blind spot monitoring system and lane-keeping assist $850
  • Parking assist package
  • $1290
  • Front and rear parking assist
  • Active parking assist
  • Multi-view camera system
  • Lighting package
  • $1290
  • Active xenon headlights
  • Adaptive high-beam assist
  • Headlight washers
  • Premium 2 package
  • $5850
  • Auto-dimming, power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Comand w/navigation
  • MB Apps
  • Voice control
  • SiriusXM satellite radio w/6-month trial subscription
  • Front seat memory
  • Multi-color interior ambient lighting
  • Front illuminated door sills
  • Harman/Kardon surround sound audio system
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Soft-close doors
  • Lockable rear storage compartment