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The second-generation Mercedes-Benz GL was released for 2013. Four model lines are offered, including the GL350 Bluetec, GL450, GL550 and the high-performance GL63 AMG.
The Mercedes GL offers a commanding presence with an upright grille that’s marked by the trademark Mercedes emblem. Wraparound headlights, a large lower grille opening and oversized pockets for the fog lamps are also present. This model has strong shoulders, an even beltline and a sloping roof. At the rear is a liftgate spoiler, wraparound combination lamps, chrome embellishments and embedded dual exhaust ports.
The GL’s cabin offers seating for seven with bucket seats in the first row, as well as a 60-40 split-folding second-row seat and a 50-50 split-folding third-row seat.
The GL is outfitted with numerous technologies, including innovative safety systems. All models are equipped with heated front seats, power-folding third-row seats, a rearview camera, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system.
A collision prevention assist package uses radar technology to maintain distance between the GL and the vehicle in front and applies braking, as needed.
The GL350 Bluetec is powered by a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 engine making 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes GL450 and GL550 models are powered by twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 engines that make 362 and 429 horsepower, respectively. A seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard across the Mercedes GL line.
Beginning in 2015, Mercedes-Benz replaced the GL450’s engine with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 362 horsepower. Maximum towing capacity across the model line is 7,500 pounds.
Chief competitors for the Mercedes-Benz GL include the Infiniti QX80, Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX and Lincoln Navigator, as well as the Land Rover Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class arrived on the market in 2007. That first-generation model stayed in production through 2012.
Upon its introduction, Mercedes-Benz offered the GL-Class in GL320 CDI and GL450 trims. The GL320 CDI is powered by a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 engine with 215 horsepower. The GL450 is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 engine that makes 355 horsepower. A seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard on both models. When properly equipped, the first-generation GL-Class has a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.
For 2008, Mercedes-Benz introduced a third GL-Class model, the GL550. This vehicle is powered by a 5.5-liter V8 engine making 382 horsepower.
Standard features for the first-generation GL-Class include Mercedes’ COMAND system, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers and heated, power-adjustable front seats.
A 2010 refresh brought in LED daytime running lights and tail lamps, as well as a 3-D instrument cluster and power-folding third-row seats. A premium audio system and voice-controlled navigation are standard with the GL550, but available elsewhere.