Mercedes-Benz reveals second-generation GL-Class sport utility vehicle

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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The GL-Class from Mercedes-Benz is now in its second generation for the 2013 model year, replacing the first generation model that was introduced way back in 2006. With its more angular design and slew of new standard features, the 2013 GL-Class is poised to compete against other full-size sport utility vehicles such as the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX56 and the Audi Q7.

The 2013 GL-Class is expected to be available in Canada this fall to coincide with the U.S. debut scheduled for September. But although Mercedes-Benz has announced the GL350 BlueTEC, GL450 and GL550 for the U.S. market, it is unclear if the GL450 will arrive in Canada. That's because Mercedes-Benz currently sells only the GL350 BlueTEC and GL550 versions of the first generation model north of the border.

With seating for seven in a 2-3-2 layout, the 2013 GL-Class offers more occupant shoulder, elbow and headroom in all three rows of seats than before, and the third row can even be electrically operated. Attractive interior amenities include a harman/kardon Logic7 surround-sound system, hard-drive navigation with voice control, a surround view camera and a panorama roof. Of course, the 2013 GL-Class also comes finished with plenty of wood and leather and the cabin is packaged within bodywork that is altogether more sculpted and muscular looking than before.

Up front, the 2013 GL features bi-xenon headlamps with active curve illumination and corner illuminating lamps, while the rear end houses split LED taillight clusters and a rear spoiler above the rear windshield.

Power for the 2013 GL350 BlueTEC diesel V6 is rated at 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque, while the biturbo V8 engine in the gasoline-powered 2013 GL450 produces 362 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The top-of-the-range GL550 churns out 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque from its V8 biturbo gas engine. All three engines come mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.

In a testament to its offroad prowess, the 2013 GL-Class has been fitted with 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive, a hill start assistant, and downhill speed regulation system. The new GL-Class also has an Airmatic full air suspension system with a self-leveling function.

Safety technologies include an electronic stability program, anti-slip regulation traction control, anti-lock brakes, blind spot assist, lane keeping assist, crosswind stabilization, collision prevention assist and attention assist. The 2013 GL-Class also features adaptive two-stage airbags for driver and front seat passenger, front and rear side airbags, a driver side knee airbag, and window curtain airbags across all three seating rows as standard equipment.

The second-generation 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class goes on sale later this year.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, SUV, Mercedes-Benz, 2013, GL Class,

Organizations: Mercedes-Benz

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