Out of twelve contenders, the Motor Trend narrowed down the shortlist for its SUV of the Year to three finalists, but ultimately picked the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class as the best of them all.
Every year the good people at Motor Trend magazine come together for numerous auto competitions and plenty of comparison tests. Like the Car of the Year and the recent Best Driver's Car awards, the golden calipers for Sport Utility of the Year are awarded to the vehicle that simply overshadows the rest of the pack. This year Motor Trend identified sixteen contenders and proceeded to whittle down the list to just one, identifying three principal semi-finalists along the way: the Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Escape and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.
Each was identified as the best in its respective category, but when it came down to picking just one, it was the Mercedes that got the nod. MT particularly identified the GL's safety systems, off-road capabilities, fuel efficiency and luxur amenities as the principal reasons behind its ultimate decision.
"The GL-Class truly outshone the field and emerged as the clear winner by the end of our program," explains MT's Editor-in-Chief Edward Loh. "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." This wasn't the first time the GL won the award, having taken it in its previous iteration in 2007.