The SUV team over at Mercedes-Benz is walking around a bit prouder today as their all-new second-generation GL-Class has just been named 2013 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year, receiving such praises as “the best the luxury SUV class has ever seen.”
This is the second time the Mercedes GL-Class SUV has won this honor, the first being right after its initial launch in 2006 for the 2007 model year.
“We’re honored that the GL-Class has once again been awarded Motor Trend’s Sport/Utility of the Year,” said Steve Cannon, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “From the very beginning, the GL-Class has been perfectly tuned to the needs of U.S. customers and those customers made the GL the segment-leading sales performer. Motor Trend’s critical acclaim for the depth of its functionality together with the broadest powertrain offering in any full size SUV shows our commitment to delivering on our promise to our customers of the best or nothing.”
Speaking of powertrains, the new GL-Class lineup includes the GL350 BlueTEC turbodiesel and gasoline GL450. For those wishing a bit more grunt Mercedes offers the 429hp GL550 or the range-topping high-performance GL63 AMG, each equipped with new direct-injection biturbo V-8 engines.
The Motor Trend editorial staff has been handing out the SUV of the year award since 1999 and to be eligible the vehicle must be all-new or significantly redesigned and must have made its retail debut with the past 12 months.
Vehicles are evaluated in six keys areas: Advanced design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value and performance of intended function and the judges spend a week reviewing all of these vehicles. Tests include 0 to 60 mph, ¼-mile acceleration, 60 to 0 mph braking, handling, and skid-pad testing. This is followed by driving 35-mile loops on a mixture of roads to include city, freeway, and canyon driving followed by five miles of light off-roading.
“We had an extremely competitive field for Motor Trend’s 2013 Sport/Utility of the Year,” said Edward Loh, Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend. “However, the Mercedes-Benz GL truly outshone the field and emerged as the clear winner by the end of our program. The goal of the award is to name the SUV that best meets our six criteria, and none of the new 2013 SUV or crossover models managed to do that better than the GL. Simply put, the Mercedes-Benz GL is an outstanding vehicle, and we’re proud to name it our 2013 Sport/Utility of the Year.”
Recent winners of this award include the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Porsche Cayenne, Subaru Outback and Forester, and Mazda CX-9.