Saying that the SUV embodies the idea that “big is beautiful”, Mercedes-Benz marketing executive Dr. Joachim Schmidt said that 2013 GL-Class “May be built like a German castle, but it still has moves like Jagger.” And with that, a marching brand entered playing the Maroon 5 hit “Moves Like Jagger.”
Whether or not you believe Schmidt’s description of the GL-Class, there’s no doubt that the three-row SUV is big business in America. With 25,000 copies sold on our shores last year, America accounts for more than a quarter of global GL sales. And the 2013 GL, which is refreshed with new equipment and tweaked styling, “will exceed its predecessor in every respect,” Schmidt says.
The update starts with two new standard safety features. Collision Prevention Assist, which works between 20 and 155 mph, continually monitors cars and obstacles ahead of the SUV to determine whether a crash is imminent. If so, the system sounds an alert and displays a warning message to the driver, at the same time priming the brake system to reduce stopping distances. Also new is Crosswind Stabilization, which can gently apply one of the brakes in order to mitigate the effects of strong winds pushing the SUV around.
All three of the GL’s engines are new and more powerful. The GL350 BlueTec, which has a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6, sees power climb from 210 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque to 240 hp and 455 lb-ft. The GL450’s twin-turbo 4.7-liter V-8 jumps from 335 hp and 339 lb-ft to 362 hp and 406 lb-ft. And the top-spec GL550 sees its twin-turbo V-8 engine climb from 382 hp and 391 lb-ft to 429 hp and 516 lb-ft. All three models have 4Matic all-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The GL also receives a mild facelift, with new headlights, a new front fascia, and new taillights connected by a new chrome strip. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class goes on sale in September.
For more on the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 New York International Auto Show, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our New York Show homepage.