"I bought my GL320CDI new in November of 2007. It is quiet, comfortable, and nice to drive. However, it is very costly to maintain. M-B ownership comes at price, in general. Oil changes are $300 by the time that you get out of the shop. And that is a cheap visit. I have had glow plugs fail, a glow plug controller fail, and transmission slip. The transmission was out of warranty and almost cost me $6,000, but I got it in to the shop in time, so I spent $800 instead. And it has never towed a thing!! Had issues with the engine running rough which was due to a clogged filter in the exhaust system. I was originally quoted $2500 to repair/replace filter, until dealership found out it could be cleaned. Was happy to spend $300 or so for that. Tires are a pain too because they are high performance tires that last 24,000 miles, if you are lucky. There have been lots of little things fail too: door handles, rear door lock, etc. Most of the little stuff happened under warranty. Bigger stuff happened out of warranty. I even had a power steering line blow. Come to find out that the clamp that was used on one of the high pressure hoses was a recalled part from the M-Series from 2002 or so. No one had an explanation for how that part even got onto the GL. Overall, car is nice to drive, but a maintenance pig."
"We bought this car certified pre-owned about two years ago. Seven months after the extended warranty ran out, we had to pay $5000 for a new steering rack. Now, three months after that, the Check Engine light comes on, and we have to pay another $3000 for a new thermostat and intake manifold, not to mention that we apparently need new brakes, spark plugs, boot, and air filters. Maintaining this car is really breaking the bank."
"I drove the GL550 for 5 years and 98,000 miles, would have traded it in for a new one but... From mile 1 to mile 48,000 it was great. A few minor issues, all covered by the warranty. Maintenance was expensive, about $1200-2000 each time in, mainly because of the $600 tires (yes, $600 a tire). From 48,000 to 98,000 the car cost us $18,000 in repair costs. It was in the shop every 3-5 months. I loved many things about this SUV, drove beautifully, great size-fitting my family of 5 well, looked great, luxury features. We ultimately settled on a more reliable car for our trade in. If you decide on this model, buy the extended warranty!!"
Cons: "Run flat tires stink, Blue tec is expensive,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I have owned this car for three years and love driving it and have had no problems. The only problem with this SUV is the tires and the cost of maintenance. It has run flat tires and they are terrible. If you have a flat it is very difficult finding a tire in less than a week. You cannot carry a spare because of the blue tec system. The dealer will sell you the blue tec fluid for 5 times what is cost at the VW dealer.Having a diesel does not save any money because of the tire maintenance and the blue tec. I will not buy another GL 350 CDI again."
Pros: "Mileage Range > 600, Power, Flexibility, Safety"
Cons: "Slow starts, large blind spots, front seat comfort"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought the MB GL 350 Bluetec for it's diesel option and 7 passenger seating. I was also swayed by the brand, safety rating and mileage claims. My daily commute is 22 miles one-way and generally involves 5 miles of surface roads, the rest on highways with some gradual hills. I generally get 26 mpg going to work and 24 mpg returning. I have reviewed my trip odometer multiple times since purchase and have always found that mixed driving nets about 22.8 mpg (usually 1000 miles before clearing the data) of which I often will have some intermittent fun with using the diesel to pass and start. It is a bit sluggish off the line but makes up for this in passing, especially on hills. I like the seats but my former BMW X5 with comfort seat package has left me yearning for that level of perfect adjustment. One point to make is that the second and third row seating in the MB blows the BMW X5 seating out of the water. The MB GL 350 needs side view cameras and needs to include (not as an option) backup sensors and front sensors. There is difficulty clearing blind spots and this is a daily safety concern. The 600 w Harmon Kardon sound is excellent. Love the push button fold-down third row seating. This SUV is not too bad off road. Despite AWD, the run flats are expensive summer tires and not ice friendly. Overall, I would buy the MB GL 350 Bluetec again if MB would offer it with better driver and front passenger seating (i.e., thigh support, better lumbar support)."