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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 [w/video]
Filed under: SUV, Mercedes-Benz, First Drives, Luxury
Honing The Arrow's Luxury Leviathan
It's a wonder luxury SUVs survived the mass extinction event of the 2007-2009 recession at all. As investment accounts withered on the vine and fuel prices comfortably boiled past the underside of $5.00 per gallon in some places, chicken-little minded Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator owners couldn't have tossed their keys any quicker if you'd told them the fobs were hewn from chunks of raw BPA by pro-choice Iraqi gay-rights activists. Those shining symbols of status and accomplishment transmuted into social millstones overnight, and used car lots quickly piled up with row after row of models boasting 22-inch wheels and seating for seven.
But the full-size luxury SUV and its brethren didn't vanish from the face of the Earth. Far from it. Clever product planners and marketing managers quickly worked to repackage everything buyers loved about their oil-field-sucking family haulers into new, modestly more efficient and socially acceptable packages. Thus began the reign of the crossover. Mercedes-Benz became something of an artisan in this field, and its efforts have been well rewarded. Last year, the company sold more light trucks alone than it did all of its models combined in 2005.
At the top of that high-riding food chain is the GL-Class. The mammoth utility services the company's youngest average buyer at 48 years old and recently eclipsed the aforementioned Escalade as the most popular full-size luxury SUV in the States. For 2013, the GL has grown in every measurable dimension, offers subtly more fuel-efficient drivetrain options and a rash of standard and available technology, all supported by a miracle-working air-ride suspension. The changes are enough to put the GL that much farther ahead of the ancient Cadillac, but the recipe isn't perfect.Continue reading 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 [w/video]
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 Jul 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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