By on April 4, 2012


My girlfriend is really excited for tonight’s debut of “The Real Housewives of Vancouver”, and I bet that the Real Housewives already hankering for a new ride before the 36-month lease on their current GL350 BlueTecs are up. Here’s more questionably-built ostentatiousness to satiate their vapid souls.

I do have an affinity for the Mercedes-Benz GL because it can be had with the BlueTec diesel engine – a good number of them (apparently as high as 50 percent in Canada) are sold with the oil burner. I imagine that isn’t the case in the United States. The BlueTec 3.0L V6 diesel now makes 240 horsepower and 455 lb-ft.

Two gasoline V8s will also be offered, both 4.6L twin-turbo V8s. The GL450 makes 362 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque while the GL550 will make 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, the better to get to hot yoga before that bitch in the Range Rover Sport steals your parking spot. A 7-speed automatic puts power to the ground. A radar-based collision avoidance system works at triple digit speeds, so you can yak on your phone without worrying about human life.

The GL350 starts at $62,445, and goes up to $86,175 for the GL550.

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27 Comments on “New York 2012: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL Is The Latest Soccer Mom Chariot...”

  • avatar

    I love Top Gear for the irony and satire that’s all in good fun. TTAC seems to have a genuine streak of bitterness….not sure why that is.

    • 0 avatar

      Irony and satire that’s all good fun is part of the British culture. Genuine bitterness is part of the American culture.

      • 0 avatar

        You’re wrong. “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way”.

      • 0 avatar

        Well, Derek is Canadian, as far as I know, and so am I. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the humour. Our culture is somewhere in-between that of the British and Americans. Check out The Kids in the Hall if you want to understand the twisted workings of the Canadian mind!

        The time is gone, this post is over, thought I’d something more to say.

  • avatar

    Yeah, this just seems harsh for bitterness’s sake.

  • avatar

    Derek, I don’t know about these other guys, but I like your style.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you. It’s a delicate balance. When you like a car for what it is, you are called a shill. When you dislike a car based on merits, you are bitter or biased or have an agenda. The only solution? Write it regardless of outside opinions.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      I do too. If writing about cars was just about the nuts and bolts, how endlessly tedious that would be. Cars are so much more than that. Their symbolic value, the nature of their owners, and the messages they convey about status, etc. is the much bigger story, and Derek (and Jack too!)does a hell of a job with his pithy takes on who buys what and why. So screw worrying about the fine line anyway.

      • 0 avatar

        – 1.

        I agree with your larger point, but in between Bertel and Derek, it’s gotten much. Jack has miles under his belt… he is forgiven one or two here and there. Derek comes off as trying too hard… what does a 20 something know about “soccer moms” ?

        Choose your (writing) role models wisely. Till you settle onto your own.

  • avatar

    The modern SUV really has become the vehicular equivalent of “Mom-jeans.” In this case designer Mom-Jeans.

  • avatar

    So the TTAC hate for all things MB now extends to its Soccer Mom customers… ouch. Derek just write the “generic” article that damns every MB made after the W123 & W126. Deride anyone anywhere who’s ever bought or thought of buying these vehicles. Then lets have all the MB haters comment on how every one underperfoms in every category that can be evaluated… excepting of course sticker price and depreciation which are obscenely high, and maintenance costs that run into the untold tens of thousands of dollars yearly. Because as we all know Mercedes are exactingly engineered to begin disintegration immediately after the warranty period. Thus providing untold billions of dollars of profits for their nefarious dealer network and parent company Daimler AG. Once you’ve done this TTAC can run more hedonistically funny Baruth posts, those crazy Bertel auto industry updates from around the world, the ever popular trips down memory lane with Murilee and of course your insightful poison pen views.

  • avatar

    Sarcasm and anarchy is part of me but when I write, which I do professionally, I try to remember why I do it and who is my audience. Your blurb has many words in it but very few words are about the truth about this car. Reciting the engine specs is garbage, I can find it on google. Tell me something I can’t learn from the brochures, tell me about the technology and underneath the skin. You know, the truth about the SUV. But then again, you probably have no frigging clue.

    • 0 avatar


      Please discuss in a dignified way. Do not write something you would not say straight into the face of the other person, or what would endanger your well-being if you said it straight into the face.

      We never ban someone for expressing his or her opinion in a civilized way. But we are known to expel people who are rude and insulting.

      Last warning.

      • 0 avatar

        Not that I necessarily disagree with anything Derek said in the article, or necessarily have a problem with the way he said it. And of course, this is your site so you can set whatever rules you please.

        But, it does seem a little weird (to me) to threaten to ban someone for being a little rude and insulting, in response to an article in which the author was also a little rude and insulting.

    • 0 avatar

      If I hear one more word on this, then Mr. tallnikita AND Mr, quoteunquote will be asked to leave and not to come back.

  • avatar

    “My girlfriend is really excited for tonight’s debut of ‘The Real Housewives of Vancouver\'”

    Dump her. Dump her now.

    Unless she’s really hot…

  • avatar

    Mercedes’ styling direction has been largely unmemorable for almost a decade now. The designs look like angular caricatures of 2000s models with LED running lights and side-panel creases tacked on; it’s Porsche-style updating, done wrong. I feel that the big three German brands have managed to lose their way. BMW looked like it was maturing in its Banglist phase, and then decided that it would be better if their cars resembled Angry Birds pigs from the front and looked positively Down’s-syndromic from the rear. The B8 A4/A5, the A7, and even the land yacht A8, are exemplary in the composure, restraint, and attention to detail of their styling. Even their SUVs are good-looking. Yet, all good things must come to an end: the replacement A5’s designers appear to have also been told to “Make it more aggressive! Add some fins! Make the wheels bigger, the Americans love that!!!”

    And here we have the Mercedes GL. This is a car that its designers, didn’t want to design. They begged to be on the team that would restyle the SLK, or update the C-class, hell, they’d even pen R-class concept sketches! But please, not the GL! No? Fine then, we’ll make this easy on ourselves. Taillights from the E65 7-series, enormous chrome skid plates front and rear (really?)… what else could we add? Ah, that rear bumper is looking a little sparse. Throw some mesh grille cover on it, make it resemble the front fascia, that’s design cohesion, right there. Das wird tun.

  • avatar

    “so you can yak on your phone without worrying about human life”

    This is one of my favourite lines ever – thanks for the laugh.

  • avatar

    It would be 10000% better with a standing hood ornament.

  • avatar

    Are soccer moms really driving vehicles that start at $62K? It seems that if one can afford that price point, one hardly fits the soccer mom demographic.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh god, yes they do. They’re all over my town. It’s basically the default choice of the family with a lot of money and a couple of kids between 5 and 12. They want a nice car, need the third row for carpools, and price just doesn’t really matter.

      As for the car itself, I’ve been a passenger in the old one, and it’s nice, but damn, Mercedes hasn’t made a decent looking car in what feels like decades now.

    • 0 avatar

      Being a soccer mom transcends race and class (but not gender, heh heh heh)

    • 0 avatar

      Depends on the area. I work in a more upscale part of town, and see these all the time. Almost as much as the Q7. Rarely see the big Lexus. I guess it’s too truck-like. This new model looks longer and lower. A good direction for MB.

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