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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Wins Motor Trend SUV of the Year

The all-new, second-generation Mercedes-Benz GL-Class sport utility has won the 2013 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year award. The full article, citing the GL as “the best the luxury SUV class has ever seen,” will be published in the December issue of Motor Trend. This marks the second time the GL has won the prestigious Motor Trend award.

Built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the highly successful GL was the first full-size SUV from Mercedes-Benz. When the first-generation GL was launched, it also won the 2007 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year. The GL model lineup for 2013 includes the fuel-sipping GL350 BlueTEC turbodiesel (240 hp, 455 lb.-ft.) as well as the popular GL450 (362 hp, 406 lb.-ft.). The GL550 (429 hp, 516 lb.-ft.), and the high-performance GL63 AMG (550 hp, 560 lb.-ft.) are equipped with new direct-injection biturbo V8 engines. One of four sport utilities offered by Mercedes-Benz, the full-size GL is part of an SUV family that includes the mid-size M-Class, the compact GLK and the legendary G-Class.

Rather than conducting a direct comparison, each Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year contender is individually evaluated against six criteria – advancement in design; engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value and performance of intended function. After a week of reviewing each of the vehicles, the Motor Trend staff selects which model best meets those six criteria. Each vehicle is subjected to multiple tests that include 0 to 60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration testing, 60 to 0 mph brake testing, figure-eight handling and skid pad testing. After making a first cut to eliminate a few of the vehicles, the editors conducted 35-mile road loops on a mixture of roads – city, freeway and canyon – followed by five miles of light off-roading. The GL scored especially well in off-road handling, premium interior and the breadth of its line.