"BY FAR THE BEST SUV AROUND ANY WEATHER SNOW DRY AND ANY AMOUNT OF RAIN POSSIBLE WE DROVE 70 MILES IN AN ABSOLUTE DOWNPOUR GOING 65-75 MPH THE 550 ATE THE ROAD NEVER SLIPPING AN INCH AND THE WIPER SYSTEM WAS BEYOND GREAT SO IF YOU TAKE LONG ROAD TRIPS THIS IS #1"
"I've had my GL 320 CDI for 25,000 miles and no repair problems whatsoever. Gets 21 to 27 MGP. First tires wore out at 15,000 miles, due to 19" rims. The 19s are a rare tire without much in the way of off road tread, I would recommend the 18". The off-road lift is fun, you just need 18" off-road tires to have traction. The vehicle is happy puttering around town or Autoban fast crusing the hinterland. Love the sound system/navigation/blue-tooth phone. Nice integration. Drives like a Euro-sedan, mileage like a econo-box, great traction with constant 4X, eats tires a little too quickly. Still, a great ride. A little cramped compared to a huge US SUV, a little big compared to an E-class size sedan. I just wish tire makers would make more SUV-like tires (deeper tread, longer lasting compounds) on the 19" wheels."
"We have had our GL for over a year now. I have only had to take it into the shop one time for a minor problem (which was covered in warranty). The performance of this vehicle has always been top-notch. It is, in my opinion, the prettiest SUV on the road. Lots of room for the kids, and the 3rd row of automatic seats has come in handy when I have to take their friends with me. The only problem I've ever had is that the tires make a whistling noise on some roads. My oil change was only $220 at a Mercedes Dealership (and only needs to be done every year or 13,000 miles). Lots of great features give you a true "luxury" experience!"
"I call this the "Gopher" vehicle because it is constantly going back to the dealership because it had "go for this, and go in for that" Everytime something is fixed, a new problem arises. Can't remember last time entire vehicle was in working order. Also, very expensive to fix. When working, the ride is good and the performance is excellent. Our Yukon we had prior to this was every bit as good as for ride and performance."
"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."
"1. Engine too weak, I would recommend the 550 instead.
2. Down/Up shifting with the two buttons on the wheel is the most cubersome idea I would have expected from Benz.
3. The Nav/Radio/CD systems are not intuitive. Plus according to Benz customer support, you can't turn off the radio. It is ON all the time, you can only Mute it!
4. Back seats straps are located way back for a child or an elderly to draw it, when they do, it does not draw back and will most certainly break when the passenger locks the door on it.
Not a well thought off vehicle. A dissapointment from Benz."
"I purchased my GL 320 with 115 miles in May. During the 14 months I owned it, it was in the shop 25 times for repairs. I had the following items fixed or repaired: DVD, parktronic sensors, new struts, mystery oil lights, battery, computer upgrades, air temp sensor, hatch corrected, would not come out of gear, sideview mirror pivet replaced and this is only part of the list . We even had to take it to the shop while we were on vacation. We took a loss to get out of this car and avoid lawsuit. BTW, maintence is expensive. We paid about $450 each time and tires cost us about $1200. We were told that the tires last 15,000 miles. Look around at other cars before buying. You can get more for your money and more reliable."
"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!!"
- Drives like a cross-over with the size of a large SUV
- Styling inside and out cannot be beat
- Fun to drive, plenty of legroom in front, rear, and 3rd row
- Navigation system is terrible, difficult to use and costs >$300 to keep maps up to date; better off using after-market GPS; in dash GPS display is helpful, if the GPS system finds your destination in the first place.
- Electronics overall under-deliver for this type / priced car; also cause you a few trips to the dealership.
- If you go with this car you will need to put up with the arrogance of the MB dealership at least twice a year.
- If you need a car for 3 baby seats, this is not it; even with the third-row; save time and money and BUY THAT MINIVAN.
- If you live any where near snow; this 4-matic SUV is useless without snow tires; buy them that's why you bought 4-matic
- If you buy this SUV, plan on leasing or holding onto it for a while; its resale values aren't terribly great
Bottomline: For style, performance, durability - this truck delivers... Along with all of this... it is a bit 'high maintenance', but that's ok."
"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."
"The story begins with a silver 2008 Merc. GL320CDI. I bought it new in 2008 and had several problems. One that reoccurred over five times was that the power lift gate would not close properly and would drain the battery. It was determined that that car qualified for the lemon law in Virginia. My dealer let me pick from several gl cdi's and I ended up ordering a white one from Denver. When I received that one, I was hoping that it would be better; it was not. after one winter, there were several paint chips on the side that were filling with rust. they were hardly noticeable so I did not worry about them. At 2,500 miles the in car computer had to be totally replaced. At around 12,000 miles the gas gauge had broken and I ended up stranded on I-95. I had several more problems with the car. I also had problems with my dealership service facility. On several occasions they did not fix my problems and at one time i went to pick up the car and the engine cover was sitting in the back seat!!! THE BACK SEAT!!! That is absolutely insane. Also I paid over 60,000 bucks for that car and the loaners my dealership gives its customers are base toyota camry's!!! I ended up selling the second GL and bought an escalade. I love that car wayyy more."
"I had purchased this vehicle for a little over a yr now and it's been in the dealer shop for repairs for over 2 months. Called and complained to the rsvp about it b/c of the duration of the repairs and finally got my GL550 back and a week later something else is wrong w/it. Like the previous reviews, I seriously think these suvs are haunted. My gas gauge sensor is out of whack going from full to empty in mins (all caught on my phone camcorder while waiting in the drive thru at McDonald's). For the $90,000 price tag, it's not worth it. I hate bringing it in and getting a loaner b/c the loaner is never big enough to fit 2 car seats (for my newborn and 3 yrs old and), double stroller, 6yr son, and 5 yr nephew. They (the dealer) never seem to have bigger loaner cars! Thats why I spent that much money on a car with a 3rd row seat for a reason. I would never recommend anyone to purchase this car."
"This is a wonderful vehicle to travel with. Very comfortable on long distances and, with it's large fuel tank and very good fuel economy stops can be made when you chose rather than when you have to.
However, traveling becomes less fun when the car needs multiple visits to the dealer per maintenance cycle for broken sensors, ad-blue tank and pump failures, etc. And that is in addition to failing oil cooler seals and a steering rack that needed to be replaced.
Very disappointing, especially since it is a Mercedes-Benz........"
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)."
Cons: "wish it had captains chairs in second row."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is my second GL. I had a 2007, now a 2008.
Have had a few problems.
1-I think it is the fuel pump. car didn't want to start bc fuel wasn't getting to the proper place, it was replaced under warranty.
2- rattling sunroof that drove me crazy- got fixed after 6 or so trips to the dealer
3-SOS system was not locating me, had that fixed
All have been fixed
Have been through multiple visits for problems bc i believe the mechanics do things quick and don't take their time. after i had fuel pump replaced, a week later it the hose came loose and exploded fuel all over the place. They had to tow it and reconnect the hose
long story short, love the car, but repair shop has been a pain in the rear!
I was also in a bad head on collision that left me alive! I believe that it is a safe car! the car received $22000 in damage, i had whiplash and a concussion.
Wish this car had captains chairs in 2nd row. entering 3rd row is a pain in the rear. however, 3rd row is quite spacious compared to other suv's"
"We've had our GL450 for a couple of years. Seems we have had to take it in every couple of months. Latest problem was blowing one of the airbags in the suspension system. Blew up like a bomb and needed a $980 repair to fix it. We have continual problems with the ride. Have been through several repairs including new shocks more than once. We are looking to back to our previous style of vehicle."
"I finally got rid of my 2008 GL CDI. In the eight months I owned it it depreciated $22,000, I had 20,000 miles on it when I traded it for an AMERICAN S.U.V. In that time I had to perform two scheduled services @ $370.00 each (oil and "checking out the car"), and a new set of tires @ $1,600. (more if you decide to have more options at a 20" tire and better tire selections than that of the 19"). Had I kept it for the full year I would have spent nearly $6,000.00 in maintenance, almost $30,000. with depreciation, and over that should this "gem" have needed brakes. YOWZA!!!!! Think hard before you buy, particularly if you drive more than 10,000 miles per year. In all the years I owned my Ford Expedition, I never did anything but change breaks, tires, oil and filters, never coming close to this. For the record, I've had a number of fussy vehicles in my day (Porsche, Jag, Land Rover, BMW, etc.), but nothing like this."
Pros: "Comfortable, well appointed, great looking"
Cons: "Expensive maintenance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love this car! I bought it in February 2010 with about 40000 miles on it and I added an extended warranty to 100,000 miles. I didn't buy it brand new because at the time my three kids were all under the age of four so I didn't want them to ruin a brand new one! I now have just under 70,000 miles and haven't really had a major issue yet. Aside from regular maintenance I've only had it in for a couple minor issues (ALL covered under warranty). The only one I specifically remember was the motor on the back door started malfunctioning so they replaced that and one of the air shocks (I think that's what it was called) had a leak so they replaced that as well.
My only complaint in this model year is that the nav system isn't as great as the newer ones and it isn't really all that great if you're searching for POI's. I literally sometimes get a location that is hundreds of miles away even thought I know for a fact there's a location within 10 miles. In case you're thinking I may need to update my nav disk, that's not it. I bought a new one about a year ago.
The only complaint I really have is that maintenance is expensive. Regular maintenance visits are several hundred dollars - pretty close to $1000. The other thing is that these cars are heavy and they go through tires MUCH quicker than I'm used to. They told me that when I bought it, but it still hurts. I just put new ones on for the second time and it runs about $1500. That's right - for the second time in 30,000 miles.
All of this said, I really do like this car a lot. It's comfortable and even the third row is tolerable for me (I'm 5'7). I wouldn't want to be back there for a cross country trip, but when my mother in law is in town I always somehow wind up in the back somewhere (that's a whole saga in itself….) Anyway, that's about it. I'm just starting to look for a replacement - more because my husband thinks I need a new car. I'm perfectly happy in my car and since my boys are getting bigger I'm considering a larger SUV (maybe an Infiniti QX56 or Q80), but since I'm losing the 5 point harness car seat in late 2014, I may just stay in the same size car and therefore I'm seriously considering a 2013 or 2014 GL."
Pros: "Nice interior, great cruise control, nice ride."
Cons: "breaks a lot, bad cust. svc, unworkable nav system"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Had this car for under a year when the problems started - nothing that big, just little things like headlights going out (3 times) or check engine and other warning lights coming on. We'd take it to the dealer, and they'd take care of the problem, but it got to be a hassle to take it in so often. Then, almost exactly at 4 years / 35k miles, just when the warranty ran out, we got several oil leaks, as well as other, very expensive problems. Tried to talk to MB customer service but they would not return our (repeated) calls for weeks - outrageous for a car of this supposed caliber and a company that supposedly prides itself on excellence. All in all a horrible experience with Mercedes, and one I haven't had with Porsche, Lexus, BMW, and various other cars. I've since talked to friends and they've had similar bad experiences with their Mercedes. I will not buy one again."
"I have owned this car for a year now. The first 1500 miles the vehicle had been into the dealership twice. I've had an axle replaced, all brake pads and rotors, and an air bag sensor replaced. Each trip to the dealer is 300 miles one way and I have to have a loaner car each time for at least two weeks. My brakes still make a horrendous noise, very embarrassing. The front end makes a lot of racket when stopping slowly and slowly going over small bumps. I've like my loaner vehicles better than this one and I can hardly wait until I can get rid of it. What a dissappointment!
On the plus side, it has a very smooth ride and is comfortable on long road trips. It also has a lot of power. But the negative aspects, in my opinion, outweigh the pluses."
"I went from a 2005 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer to the 2007 MB GL450. Wow, what a vehicle! More power than most folks need and the quietest ride I've ever been in. The seats are comfortable, although for $50K, you'd expect leather seats (leather seats are an option). I also expected the memory seats to be linked to the key, like my Ford had. There are memory seats, but you have to press a button on the side of the seats; it should go off of the key.
The 3rd row is adequate, but you can only load from the passenger side of the vehicle."
"This is my 3rd Mercedes. Quality and customer service are images of the past Mercedes-Benz. I have religiously serviced this vehicle and taken care when driving. After numerous mechanical problems and thousands of dollars in repairs, I will never purchase another M-B product. Replaced transfer case, front struts, etc, etc. Service manager tried to get M-B to help with cost of transfer case failing after 80K miles, to no avail. They just don't build them like they used to."