A 1200-mile outing to Zion National Park has editor-in-chief MacKenzie gushing: "We arrived home at the end of a 600-mile day feeling fresh, a testament to good seats and impressively low NHV levels. While our GL is a real-deal SUV rather than a wannabe crossover, it's actually a nice rig for the great American road trip. It's quick, quiet, and comfortable, with a high seating position and big windows that give you a panoramic view of landscapes. And though you feel its mass at times, it drives more like, well, a Mercedes than a truck." No vehicle's perfect, though. "I'd prefer a 50-state-legal version of the 4.0-liter V-8 diesel Mercedes offers in Europe. That baby delivers nine-percent-less power but 52-percent-more torque."

2007 Mercedes-Benz GL450
Months/miles 7/10,649
Avg econ/CO2 14.8 mpg/1.3 lb/mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $234.91 (oil change, tire rotation, inspect brakes)
Normal-wear cost $0