Premium large SUV; Built in
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $40,600 – $95,200*

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

  • Build quality
  • Fuel economy (diesel-powered GL350)
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Fuel economy (gasoline-powered V8 models)

The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class doesn’t have the sheer interior volume of some premium-large SUVs, but accommodations are more than adequate for the majority of buyers. Relatively trim exterior dimensions ease parking and maneuverability, too. Any GL offers impressive power and high levels of refinement. Don’t overlook the diesel BlueTEC–it’s the least expensive model, yet is plenty powerful and remarkably fuel-frugal.


While not entirely new, Mercedes-Benz gave the GL-Class SUV a substantial freshening for 2013. The company tweaked the exterior and interior styling, it was slightly larger in most key dimensions, yet it weighed more than 200 pounds less than its predecessor. The drivetrain of the diesel-powered GL350 BlueTEC was largely unchanged. The gas-powered GL450 received a bit more power. The uplevel GL550 used a new engine, and for the first time, Mercedes’ AMG performance division gave this SUV its special high-performance treatment.

The starting points for this family of SUVs were the diesel-powered GL350 BlueTEC and gasoline-powered GL450. Save for their engines, both vehicles had identical levels of standard equipment. Included were dual-zone automatic climate control, heated power front seats, vinyl “leatherette” upholstery, a rearview camera, split power-folding 3rd-row seat, and a load-leveling, height-adjustable suspension. Also standard was a drowsy-driver alert that Mercedes called ATTENTION ASSIST.

The uplevel GL550 added blind-spot alert, lane-departure warning, front- and rear-obstacle detection, navigation system, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats with memory and massage functions, keyless access with pushbutton engine start, music hard drive, power liftgate, and steering-linked adaptive bi-xenon headlights.

Most of the 550’s standard features were available as extra-cost items on the 350 and 450, either as part of packages or as standalone items.

Other optional features included a night-vision camera, surround-view camera, heated 2nd-row seats, a power-slide function for the 2nd row designed to ease access to the 3rd row, adaptive cruise control, specific wood trim and leather upholstery, adaptive suspension dampers, and dual-screen rear DVD entertainment.

The GL63 added standard adaptive cruise control, active suspension, heated 2nd-row seats, power-folding 2nd- and 3rd-row seats, power panoramic sunroof, and a surround-view camera.

All GL-Class models included Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Optional on the GL450 and 550 was an Off-Road Package that included a 2-speed transfer case with low-range gearing for those who wished to venture off the beaten path.

The GL350 BlueTEC employed a 240-horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine. The GL450 had a 362-horsepower 4.7-liter turbocharged V8; this represented an increase of 7 horsepower over the 2012 model. GL550 also had a 4.7-liter turbo V8 but with 429 horsepower, which was 47 more than the 5.5-liter V8 offered on the 2012 GL550. The GL63 used a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 with 550 horsepower.

A 7-speed automatic transmission was standard across the board.

Maximum towing capacity was 7,000 pounds.

EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class was as follows:

GL350 BlueTEC: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway

GL450: 14/19

GL550: 13/18

GL63: 13/17

All but the GL350 required premium-grade gasoline. The 350 used a urea-based exhaust-treatment system that required periodic dealer maintenance.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class included a standard complement of expected and federally mandated safety features. Blind-spot alert and lane-departure warning were standard on the GL550 and optional on the GL350 and 450. All models included driver-fatigue alert.

Yearly Updates

2013 GL-Class
The only news for 2014 was the addition of Mercedes-Benz’s unique Splitview dashboard display screen as an option. Splitview could project different images to the driver and front-seat passenger, for example the driver could view the navigation system’s map while the passenger watched a DVD movie.


longitudinal front-engine/all-wheel drive

The GL350 BlueTEC employed a 240-horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine. The GL450 had a 362-horsepower 4.7-liter turbocharged V8. GL550 also had a 4.7-liter turbo V8 but with 429 horsepower. The GL63 used a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 with 550 horsepower. A 7-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive were standard across the board.

Turbodiesel dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 455
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic


Turbocharged dohc V82
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.7/285
Engine HP 362
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 406
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic



Turbocharged dohc V83
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.7/285
Engine HP 429
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 516
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic


Turbocharged dohc V84
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.5/333
Engine HP 550
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 560
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic



1. GL350 BlueTEC. 2. GL450. 3. GL550. 4. GL63 AMG.

Road Test

Acceleration in the GL450 is plenty strong for any task and benefits from a smooth, alert automatic transmission. Some testers complained of non-linear throttle response.

In Consumer Guide testing, a GL450 returned 15.7 mpg in mixed driving. The V8s require premium-grade gas, and the BlueTEC diesel is emissions legal in all 50 states. Note that the BlueTEC uses an exhaust-treatment system that requires periodic dealer maintenance.

GL’s ride is composed and well isolated from road imperfections. GL350 and GL450 have standard 19-inch wheels while the GL550 has 21s.

Steering is accurate and direct. In fast turns on smooth surfaces, the GL has plenty of grip. They stay flatter in corners than most large SUVs. The experience is more car-like than its rivals.

These are among the quietest large SUVs. Wind rush is particularly well controlled.

Gauges are large and easy to read. Most controls are logically placed, but some have cryptic markings and the navigation system absorbs most audio functions, complicating their use. Gear shifting is via a short steering-column lever with a toggling action that takes some getting used to, but the design frees up lots of space in the center console area.

High-quality materials, including standard real-wood trim, give the cabin a premium feel. Controls adjust with a weighted, precise feel. Available designo leather trim includes hand-stitched seats and dashboard panels and notably upgraded cabin materials.

In front, there’s ample headroom and legroom, and the seats are supportive and generously sized. Some testers say the cabin doesn’t feel notably spacious for a vehicle this size, though. Entry and exit are easy via large doors and a no-stress step-in height. Outward visibility is good, but larger exterior mirrors would aid lane changing.

Outboard passengers in the 2nd row have ample headroom and legroom and good seat support. But a relatively narrow cabin and low-hanging ceiling vents limit the center position to occasional use. Smaller adults fit in the 3rd row, but only kids will be happy there on a long trip. Only the right-side section of the 2nd-row bench seat slides forward for 3rd-row access, though it does create a large passageway.

Just a few grocery bags fit behind the 3rd row. A low floor height and 2nd- and 3rd-row seat backs that fold flush with the deck ease loading and unloading. Relatively tight dimensions limit overall volume, however, and the rounded hatch opening limits cargo-item size. There are numerous cabin storage areas, but none are generously sized.


Model Tested: GL450

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 3
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 8


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 9

Total: 70


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
121.1 201.6 84.3 72.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
93.8 26.4 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.2 40.0 40.3 38.5
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2013 Not tested 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Coolant leak
Description: Incorrectly positioned lower radiator hose may prevent coupling from locking in place. (2013)
Exhaust system
Description: Fault with exhaust back-pressure sensor can cause engine to go into limp mode. (2014)
Water leak
Description: Air conditioning condensation hose can leak water under front seats. (2014)
Electrical problem
Description: Malfunction in fuse or relay boxes may result in the engine not starting. (2013)
Navigation system
Description: Navigation screen may flicker and audio may not be available because of software problems with Audio20 control unit and a particular version of the Garmin SD card (2013-14)

Recall History

2013 GL-Class
Description: Certain 2013 model Mercedes-Benz GL-Class vehicles made between May 15, 2012 and October 4, 2012 may have second-row seat belt anchor bolts that were not properly torqued at assembly.
2014 GL-Class
Description: Certain 2014 model Mercedes-Benz GL-Class vehicles made between November 4, 2013 and November 15, 2013 may have a foldable second-row seat bottom that may not fold low enough to allow the child-seat anchors to be used properly.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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