12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 - Back up to Snuff

September 24, 2013
2014 Mercedes Benz GL450 Front Right Side View 3
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Long-Term 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Update - FALL 2013 (1 OF 2)
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.
2014 Mercedes Benz GL450 Front Right Side View 3
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 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:

FALL 2013
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 - Back up to Snuff
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