2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review
Test drivers say that if you can pay for the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, you’ll love its high-tech features and performance.
Automotive reviewers love the way the 2013 GL drives, and appreciate the outstanding fuel economy from its standard diesel engine. Though they write that the base engine is powerful enough for around-town driving, test drivers love the more-powerful V8 engines available in higher trims. They also write that the Mercedes-Benz GL’s handling is smooth and flat in the corners, and that it feels more nimble than most other large SUVs in its price range. Unlike most other luxury large SUVs, the GL isn’t meant for off-roading, but most critics say that its standard all-wheel drive should be plenty capable for most muddy roads or snowy driveways that buyers will encounter.
On the inside, auto writers say the 2013 GL is roomy, luxurious and available with lots of interior tech. They write that the GL’s cabin is nicer than most of its competition, and they appreciate the power-folding second-row seats that make the third row easy to access. In past generations, reviewers complained about Mercedes’ confusing COMAND infotainment system and that criticism persists, along with charges that the system feels dated as well. Plus, many note that in order to get the cool tech features like night vision assist or active lane keeping assist, shoppers are forced to upgrade to higher trims or add expensive options packages.
- "However, for hauling people, pets and shopping bags in particular, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL is an urban warrior of the first order. It doesn't come cheap, but the finest examples of any product or service never do. And, really, that's what Mercedes is offering-one of the best luxury SUVs money can buy.” -- AutoWeek
- "If everyone could swing the 70 grand for a family hauler, Mercedes might need to build a whole lot more of these things.” -- Motor Trend
- "Make no mistake, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is built to coddle, and it does so with more interior room than ever before, genuinely attractive exterior styling and a drivetrain that's only exceeded in refinement by the SUV's suspension. Buyers who found lots to love in the previous generation will discover this newest iteration a welcome sight so long as the crossover specter doesn't scare them off.” -- Autoblog
- "The truth is the GL, for all its utility and improved fuel economy, remains difficult to justify in utilitarian, economical terms. Rather, it's a vehicle you buy first and foremost because it's really, really nice.” -- Automobile Magazine
Other SUVs to Consider
The Cadillac Escalade may be a better value for some shoppers than the Mercedes GL. Its reliability score is better than the GL-Class’, and the Escalade’s V8 engine has much more power than the V8 in the similarly-priced GL450.
If you need more off-road capability than the Mercedes GL-Class can offer, consider the Land Rover Range Rover. Despite being one of the most capable off-road SUVs on the market, it’s smooth, comfortable and quick on-road as well.
Details: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is available in three trims. The GL350 comes with a diesel V6, the GL450 comes with a 362-horsepower V8 and the GL550 comes with a 429-horsepower V8. Standard features include heated front seats and wood trim, while higher trims offer features like a Bang & Olufsen stereo, Mercedes’ COMAND navigation and infotainment system and a rear-seat entertainment system.