12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 - An American S-Class

May 21, 2013
2013 Mercedes Benz GL450 Front Left Side View
View All (5) Photos
The Mercedes-Benz S-class is the global-summit delivery vehicle for diplomats and business leaders from around the world. Here in the land of the SUV, however, we need something bigger and taller to fit our collective driving psyche. The GL-class is our S-class, able to comfortably and luxuriously transport up to seven adults across vast Montana ranches or along Wall Street.
This is the first model year for the second-generation GL, which explains why we added the luxury SUV to our Four Seasons fleet. Unlike the homegrown Cadillac Escalade, the GL rides on a unibody platform, derived from the smaller M-class and stretched to accommodate three rows of seats. We chose the middle of three models, the GL450, at a $1500 premium over the "base" GL350 Bluetec turbo-diesel. The GL550 is a step up, adding equipment and boosting the GL450's 4.7-liter twin-turbo V-8 by 67 hp for another $23K. The bat-guano-crazy GL63 AMG, with a 550-hp, 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8, was added to the lineup most recently and comes with a sticker price of $117,830. Cue Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries."
2013 Mercedes Benz GL450 Front Left Side View
Key standard equipment for our steel gray (a $720 paint option) GL450 includes height-adjustable air suspension, nineteen-inch aluminum wheels, a power sunroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a CD/DVD player, a power liftgate, heated front seats, roof rails, and the Mbrace2 wireless connection, which includes a trial subscription.
We added a $1620 black leather interior (MB-Tex, Benz's euphemism for "vinyl," is standard), along with a panoramic sunroof ($1090), a heated steering wheel ($225), a trailer hitch ($550), blind-spot monitoring with lane-keeping assist ($850), a parking assistance package ($1290), and a lighting package with active xenon headlamps ($1290). The $5850 Premium 2 package adds (take a deep breath) auto-dimming sideview mirrors, navigation, voice control, Harman Kardon surround-sound audio, SiriusXM satellite radio with a six-month subscription, multicolor interior ambient lighting, illuminated front doorsills, soft-close doors, and keyless entry and ignition. By bravely foregoing massaging seats and an appearance package, we kept the bottom line to $78,290.
Is it worth $100 fill-ups at the gas station to have all this in the S-class of SUVs? We've got four seasons to find out.
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 4x4 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

Long-Term 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Reviews to Date:

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 - An American S-Class
go back to top of article


Photo Gallery

Select a Vehicle

Select a vehicle to research pricing, photos, compare and much more
research now

Research A Vehicle

Select a vehicle to research pricing, see photos, compare similar vehicles and much more.
Research Now

Top Lists

Find Local Car Deals