LOS ANGELES, CA (October 24, 2007) -- Motor Trend, the world's automotive authority and part of PRIMEDIA's (NYSE:PRM) Consumer Automotive Group, today announced that the Mercedes-Benz GL450 is Motor Trend's 2007 Sport/Utility of the Year.
The GL was selected from a field of 22 vehicles--the largest crop of sport/utilities Motor Trend had ever evaluated. Angus MacKenzie, editor in chief of Motor Trend, noted that this year's field was especially strong.
"The GL may be a surprise winner for many people," said MacKenzie. "The first full-size sport/utility from Mercedes is not cheap, but it has astonishing technology. It offers a seven-speed automatic transmission and a V-8 engine with 335 horsepower, and it will be available in a version that runs on the new low-sulfur diesel fuel for greater gas mileage. Comfortable, third-row seating has become one of the most important measures for sport/utilities, and the GL's is the best."
2007 Mercedes Benz Gl Front Action
MacKenzie added, "The GL extends the reach of Mercedes-Benz in the sport/utility segment, and is certainly the best sport/utility they've made. In every facet, from performance to the interior, the vehicle is a winner."
To judge the prestigious award, Motor Trend's editorial staff conducted exhaustive off-road, street and track testing, and carefully considered essentials such as driving performance, engineering, design, safety and features. Eligible vehicles had to be all-new or substantially upgraded and on sale in the 12 months since November 1st each year.
The rest of the 22 vehicles Motor Trend evaluated include:
2007 Mercedes Benz Gl Rear
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-, Mitsubishi Outlander, Suzuki X17, Toyota FJ Cruiser, and the Toyota RAV4.
The Evolving Sport/Utility
MacKenzie noted that this year's Sport/Utility of the Year testing recognized the rapid and dramatic change in the sport/utility segment. Many industry observers have pointed to the rise of a new class of vehicle--the crossover--that more clearly delineates the SUV's evolution from an off-road, truck-based platform to one that offers a more car-like experience with better feel and driveability.
"If you look at the sport/utility segment on that basis," said MacKenzie. "All of the vehicles that we drove this year are crossovers. It used to be that the sport/utility was an off-road vehicle, plain and simple. This year, only three vehicles--the Mercedes-Benz GL, the Jeep Wrangler and the Toyota FJ Cruiser--had real off-road capability. Many of this year's new sport/utility models will be offered in two-wheel drive versions that will certainly be popular in states where weather and roads aren't a problem.