Alabama-made Honda, Mercedes vehicles earn Car and Driver honors

Alabama-made Honda, Mercedes vehicles earn Car and Driver honors
The Mercedes-Benz GLS450 (upper left) is produced at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plant in Tuscaloosa (lower left) and the Honda Ridgeline (lower right) is produced at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (upper right). (Alabama NewsCenter)

Two Alabama-built vehicles earned top spots in their categories in Car and Driver magazine’s list of the best trucks.

The Alabama-build Honda Ridgeline was named the best mid-size pickup truck while the Mercedes-Benz GLS450 was named the best large SUV in Car and Driver “10 Best Trucks and SUVs for 2019.”

Car and Driver tested each vehicle’s unique attributes, including ride and handling, safety features, technology, comfort, practicality and fuel efficiency.

This is the third straight year the Ridgeline has made the list.

The Honda Ridgeline won Car and Driver’s best mid-size pickup truck for 2019. (Honda)

“The Honda Ridgeline proves that different can be better,” the magazine wrote. “A unibody pickup based on the same platform that underpins Honda’s Odyssey and Pilot, the Ridgeline is an anomaly.”

It went on to praise “its unique features: a lockable in-bed weatherproof trunk, a dual-hinged tailgate, and a composite bed that can double as a big speaker. The Ridgeline’s outside-the-mainstream design imbues it with real versatility, and make it something more than merely a shrunken version of a full-size pickup. Furthermore, it boasts a roomy and comfortable cabin, and its superior ride and handling are befitting a sedan. The Honda also boasts excellent fuel economy and robust acceleration.”

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama produces the Ridgeline along with the Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV at its plant in Lincoln.

Also for the third year in a row, the Alabama-built Mercedes-Benz GLS450 was named Car and Driver’s best large SUV due to its hauling capabilities and being a comparative bargain.

The Mercedes-Benz GLS450 was awarded Car and Driver’s best large SUV for 2019. (Mercedes-Benz)

“Even within Mercedes’ dizzying range of products, this $71,145 S-class of SUVs starts $20,000 lower than an actual S-class. You get a lot when you buy a GLS,” Car and Driver wrote.

“The GLS’s unibody structure feels aptly Teutonic. It steers more like a sedan than a truck, and its air springs deliver a pillowy ride. It is smartly sized and packaged such that all three rows provide enough room to be comfortable, and yet the GLS can still fit handily in the average garage,” the magazine went on to say. “The GLS simply rides better, drives smaller, and offers a higher level of fit and finish than you can get in any other large SUV, and that’s as true of the base vehicle as it is the six-figure examples.”

The GLS is produced in Mercedes-Benz U.S. International’s Tuscaloosa County plant along with the C-Class sedan, the GLE SUV and the GLE Coupe.

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