2013 Mercedes GL-Class
The full-size luxury SUV market is filled by a short list of capable 7-passenger machines including the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX56, Audi Q7, Land Rover LR-4, Lexus LX and the Mercedes GL-Class. One might think that the domestic manufacturers would have the lion's share of sales in this category, especially the Escalade, but that is not the case. After arriving at the world launch of the GL-Class in Santa Fe New Mexico, I quickly learned that the GL is the top seller in this category. In Canada, Mercedes sold 1660 GL-Class last year and with the introduction of this all-new model the dominance of this brand looks solid. The GL gets a more refined and muscular exterior, a refined and roomy interior, three power configurations to choose from-- all wrapped under the Mercedes brand, which holds significant appeal to many perspective buyers.
The more expressive ''face'' of Mercedes Benz SUV's was introduced last year with the arrival of the new M-Class and now GL takes it one step further. The front grille is larger, framed by LED running lights, extensive chrome accents and a more muscular stance, making the GL look more capable off-road and sophisticated at the same time. The fender arches have been squared off and filled with two styles of 20-inch wheels plus the window surrounds are covered in bright chrome work. In Canada, Mercedes includes the AMG appearance package on the top GL550 model and offers it as an option on the GL450 and GL350 diesel model. This tasty update pumps up the aggressive stance of this big SUV to include 21-inch wheels, fender flares, running boards, lower front valance and more chrome below the rear bumper. Regardless of which trim is chosen, the boxy shape of the GL provokes a feeling of confidence and substance.
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