• Oct 24th 2006 at 2:41PM
  • 26
Motor Trend has gone and named the 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL450 its SUV of the Year. We apologize if you were waiting with baited breath for the December issue of MT to arrive because you like to find these things out for yourself, but if that's the case then we can't help you. The GL450 beat out 22 other SUVs including such contenders as the new Acura RDX and MDX, four variants of General Motors' GMT900 platform (Escalade, Tahoe, Suburban and Yukon Denali XL), the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, as well as Ford's own version of the Hail Mary Pass, the new Edge. The GL450 was no doubt aided by its ability to repel side impact barriers, set slalom cones on fire, and swallow an entire home's worth of furniture (how do the Germans engineer this stuff?), all of which you can check out the GL450 doing in this "controversial" commercial.

Forget for a minute who won Motor Trend's SUV of the Year award and let's examine the 22 contenders (follow the jump for a complete list). MT editor Angus Mackenzie admits himself that only three out of the 22, the Mercedes-Benz GL, Jeep Wrangler and Toyota FJ Cruiser, have any real off-road capability. In fact, the vast majority are really crossovers, or CUVs, built on unibody frames like a car and meant for fair weather excursions where the road is always on an even keel. It's appropriate that the MT editors picked an actual SUV as this year's winner, as next year we might be reporting on Motor Trend's CUV of the Year.

[Source: MT and Mercedes-Benz]

The rest of the 22 vehicles MOTOR TREND evaluated include:
  • Acura MDX
  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q7
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Chrysler Aspen
  • Dodge Nitro
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Expedition El
  • GMC Yukon Denali XL
  • Honda CRV Ex-L
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Lincoln MKX
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Mazda CX-7
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Suzuki X17
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser
  • Toyota RAV4


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  • 26 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just drove a GL 450, after the test drive I bought it,this is my first MB, the interior is as nice as the bathrooms at the delership,they kept giving me bottled water so I went in there several times.Quietest,smoothest suv I've ever been in,and it can tow a jeep to where ever I need real off-road capability, p.s averaging 18 mpg.
      • 8 Years Ago
      NOTE TO EVERYONE: real SUVs CAN have unitized construction. Every Jeep except the Wrangler/CJ has had a unit body. So does the current Range Rover. And the Touareg/Cayenne. And the Mercedes GL that won this award.

      That said, after a slow start in the press the GL-Class seems to have really picked up steam, winning a few recent comparison tests. The reason for the slow start: the styling resembles that of a Grand Cherokee. Not a bad look, but a bit low on bling. The reason for the wins: excellent packaging and interior materials. Love the roomy third row and upholstered IP myself.

      My site's page for the GL, with links to price comparisons and my own review (gave it five stars before the glowing press rolled in):

      http://www.truedelta.com/models/GL-Class.php
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mercedes awards biggest ad budget of the year to Motor Trends.

      In unrelated news, Motor Trends picks GL-class for SUV of the year.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I commend Mercedes-Benz (and DaimlerChrysler in general) for making real SUVs. The G, M, and GL are some of the most capable SUVs in production, and Mercedes has proven that you don't have to go the crossover route to make a successful SUV.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is among the avaiable packages:

      334 Off-Road Package
      The GL-Class may be refined, but with an Adaptive Damping System (ADSII), two locking differentials, 2-speed transfer case, front/rear skid-plate protection and roof rail crossbars it proves it's not afraid to get dirty.

      I don't think many are built with this package, though. When the suspension is fully extended, the GL has about eleven inches of ground clearance. You might not see them on the trails, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't capable of handling those trails.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Baited breath" is that when you have been eating night crawlers and minnows.
      "Bated breath" is when you are breathless, stop breathing in anticipation. (Your breathing abates.)

      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe great initial build quality. MB has been having real problems with short and long term quality.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Another excellent bulls**t choice. MT has gone way down on the credibility scale of many readers ... anyone notice when the new Escalade came out, it beat a Range Rover in a comparison test. But, less than two months later, the GL won in a comparison that found the Escalade last - beaten by the same Range Rover. The beginning was the Ridgeline, what will be next?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I was only willing to look at U.S. built suv's. was driving 03 navigator, planned to get an escalade as I think it's an awesome looking truck. A friend suggested looking at the GL and said it was built in the U.S. I checked it out and it is built in Alabama and has 62% U.S. parts. that was important to me. I took one home for the day and was IMPRESSED....
      quicker than the escalade, much quieter and handles better. with lots of options it's more expensive, but I'm telling you, the ride is unreal and worth the price.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is another "Honda Ridgeline award", Motor Trend is nothing more than a platform for those willing pay out the big bucks for Advertising.

      When my subscription expires there will be no more Motor Trends in my house. Nothing they write can be taken literally.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice minivan!! What happened to real SUV's?? It used to be that an SUV was something that could take a beating, haul your crap, and get across whatever happened to be in your way...Now anything with 4 doors and over 4 feet tall is an "SUV"...Sorry, the Subaru Forester is not an SUV, neither is the CRV, Outlander, etc., etc., and the GL isn't one either....The next time I see a GL with anything but street tires on it will be the first time...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Motortrend is terrible at picking trucks. I mean who the f**k picks the Ridgeline. Another terrible pick by Motortrend. I am about to remove their link from my site. They're done son!
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