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There are also plenty of new, mostly optional driver aids, including lane-keeping assist, surround-view cameras, and self-parking. Choose among them wisely lest the price, particularly on a GL350 or GL450, quickly balloon by some $20,000.
New available safety aids forestall rear-end collisions, lane changes caused by crosswinds, and nodding off at the wheel.
Car and Driver
The list of safety equipment on the GL, mostly standard, is downright exhaustive.
Safety is one of Mercedes' longtime marketing advantages, and in the 2013 GL, there's more safety technology than ever.
As of yet, though, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the GL Class. They didn't test it in the last generation either, due to its low sales volumes and high price--and its close kinship to the M-Class, which the IIHS rates as a Top Safety Pick.
All GL Class utes comes with the requisite airbags, including front knee airbags and full-length curtain airbags, and stability control. Every version also has standard Collision Prevention Assist, which uses cameras to sense impending collisions and applies brakes to mitigate impacts--or to stop the ute fully, if speeds are below 20 mph. The GL also has crosswind stabilization, which uses stability control to modulate braking and cut down on the steering effect generated by strong crosswinds. A rearview camera and Bluetooth are standard, too, as is Attention Assist--the Mercedes-pioneered system that flashes a coffee cup on the dash when a rearview-mirror-mounted camera detects a drowsy driver.
Safety options on the 2013 GL include some of the innovations seen on recent S Class sedans, including night vision. A new 360-degree camera adapts its display as you dial into a parking spot--and the GL can also park itself, with available active park assist. Lane keeping assist nudges it back into a lane if you cross the median. Blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts are included in option packages as well.
No safety scores are available, but the new GL has 360-degree views for parking, adaptive cruise, and the power to stop itself from danger ahead.