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2014 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

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2014 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

If you want the biggest SUV built by Mercedes-Benz the 2014 GL-Class is it. Think of this 3-row, 7-seater as the S-Class of sport-utility vehicles, and you won't be far off. It's built with impeccable precision and structural integrity, is amazingly quiet, its suspension deals with any paved or non-paved surface you will likely encounter, and any one of its four available engines cranks out impressive power. The GL can tow a trailer up to 7,500 pounds and, with its generous ground clearance and sophisticated all-wheel drive, is even capable of moderate off-road trips. Add in the Mercedes-Benz reputation for exemplary fit and finish, plus safety features and occupant protection that are second to none, and the GL-Class stands in the very first rank of full-size sport-utility vehicles.

You'll Like This Car If...

You know who you are. You need to carry people, or their stuff, or both, and tow a trailer (or maybe you don't actually need to do any of that), but you do want the top of the pecking order in a full-size SUV. Welcome to the Mercedes-Benz 2014 GL-Class.

You May Not Like This Car If...

This is not a budget-friendly choice. You can own any number of perfectly suitable full-size SUVs for about half (or less) of the price of the GL. For the price of the GL550 or GL63 AMG, you could have a pretty nice family fleet.

What's New for 2014

As the GL-Class was completely redesigned just last year, the 2014 model has only the most minor of changes: some small packaging alterations and a few color and trim choices.

Driving the GL-Class

Driving Impressions The 2014 GL-Class is certainly at the top of the full-size SUV category in its driving behavior with supremely capable ride and exceptional handling. While the GL is a big...

vehicle, it certainly doesn't feel ponderous, and it is at all times composed, quiet and confidence-inspiring. To find these characteristics in a full-size SUV is remarkable, indeed. The ride has been engineered to be comfortable rather than sporty but, for curvy roads, a "sport" mode firms up the steering feel. All the engines are strong, and the BlueTEC diesel V6 delivers noteworthy fuel economy. The turbocharged gasoline engines make more power, but they also use more fuel. The standard all-wheel drive (AWD) will get a grip in places where there are no roads but will be most appreciated for its ability to deal with the slippery surfaces that result from bad weather.

BlueTEC DIESEL V6 ENGINE
With 240 horsepower and a mountainous 455 lb-ft of torque, the 3.0-liter BlueTEC V6 not only delivers plenty of power, it also is EPA-rated at 26 mpg on the highway. Add that it's smooth and quiet, and the diesel becomes the engine of choice for many GL owners.

SURROUND VIEW SYSTEM
With this optional feature, four cameras work together to create a virtual bird's-eye view of the GL-Class to make parking easier. This marks the first Mercedes vehicle to receive the high-tech system.

2014 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Details
Interior

The 2014 GL-Class seats seven passengers in three rows with good legroom for all occupants. Cargo space behind the third row is somewhat limited, but folding the second and third rows down opens up the cargo capacity to a generous 93.8 cubic feet. Fit and finish of the interior is impeccable, with soft-touch surfaces and lots of well-done wood and metal trim. Standard equipment includes MB-Tex, which is very much like leather, with real leather an option. The seats themselves are terrific for long hauls, and outward vision is good except to the rear, so the blind-spot monitoring system is a wise choice.

Exterior

The rugged, somewhat boxy look of the 2014 GL-Class will not be mistaken for anything other than a Mercedes-Benz SUV. Its purposeful stance has a definite presence, characterized up front by the 3-pointed star in the center of a large grille with twin chrome bars, with a prominent skidplate under the front bumper. Along the sides are artful creases and detailing, and the entire effect is one of luxury, style and confidence. There is no doubt this is a Mercedes-Benz.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the base 2014 Mercedes GL-Class is well-equipped. The GL350 has heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, power tailgate, power-folding third-row seats, rearview camera and an audio system with a 6-disc CD/DVD changer. Bluetooth audio streaming is standard but, if you want to physically connect your iPod, that's extra in the base model GL350 and GL450 and standard in the top-line GL550. The mbrace2 system lets you check on your vehicle, lock/unlock it and more from a smartphone or computer. Safety features include crosswind stabilization and systems that monitor for driver drowsiness or an impending collision.

Optional Equipment

Extras for the GL-Class are in the form of packages or as stand-alone options. The package that includes a premium harman/kardon sound system and soft-close doors is nearly $6,000. Others packages, such as a heated wood-and-leather steering wheel, are relative bargains at just a few hundred dollars. Additional features include a night-vision assist system, blind-spot monitoring, navigation system and 3-zone climate control. For the few who will want to venture off the beaten track in this luxury SUV, the On/Off Road package has a 2-speed transfer case, 6-mode drive selector and added underbody protection.

Under the Hood

The GL350 uses a 3.0-liter V6 BlueTEC turbodiesel engine with 455 lb-ft of torque and an EPA highway fuel-economy rating of 26 mpg. The GL450 has a twin-turbo 4.6-liter V8, and the GL550 has another version of that engine that makes even more power and that can propel the vehicle from 0-60 mph in an estimated 5.5 seconds. The GL63 AMG has a hand-built 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes an enviable 550 horsepower. GL-Class models have all-wheel drive standard, and all engine choices are connected to a smooth 7-speed automatic transmission.

3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6
240 horsepower @ 3,600 rpm
455 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-2,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg

4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8
362 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 mpg

4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8
429 horsepower @ 5,250 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 mpg

5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8
550 horsepower @ 5,250-5,750 rpm
560 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 mpg

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2014 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 19 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.7/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Lifetime Yukon Owner now a GL Owner for Life!

By on Thursday, January 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very quick, solid, dream to drive"

Cons: "NAV could use updating for shorter command string"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"At 6'5", there are a limited number of vehicles in which I feel comfortable. I have owned mostly GM products over the years due to their superior headroom and prior to buying the GL450, had been in two GMC Yukons for about 13 years. They were good vehicles and held their value well. But, when I decided to step up a notch, what an amazing difference! The electric assist steering and overall ride and handling of the GL450 are significantly superior to the GM SUVs. The GL450 has a more car-like ride, seems to sit a little lower to the ground, has superior headroom, unbelievable power from the bi-turbo V8, and better fuel economy that the 2010 GMC that I previously had. The fit and finish is perfect and the functionality of the 3rd row power seats is the best I have seen in the market. Front seats are extremely supportive, yet comfortable and the visibility is very good in all directions. I recently travelled and rented a 2016 Chevy Tahoe (new generation). I would grade it about 3 notches below the MB. I had forgotten how much more the GMC SUVs feel like a "truck" and the difference in engine performance. Important note - Most dealers carry GL450s loaded with options, so you see many exclipsing the $90-100K range. if you are patient, you can special order a GL450 and trim some of the very expensive "fluff" that you may not want or need and get the price down in the low to mid-$70s (and still get Premium package, large wheels, NAV and H-K sound system. I wanted three months and my $76K version looks, runs, and rides no different than the $100K version. And if you price a new GM, Lexus, or Land Rover product, mid-$70s is actually very price competitive."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Okay, but Expensive for okay...

By on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Great power and handling for a family car."

Cons: "Expensive and trouble if unfixable problem."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I see the other write-ups are all over the map! Ambivalence - I love it! I hate it! We have decided to get rid of it because like the one review, it has constant vibrations that the dealership gave up trying to find long ago. (They said it was the tires. MB factory tires!) Also there is a known problem with the air filter that makes the car smell like mildewed laundry when it first starts up, again apparently unfixable. There is a rattle that comes from the center console that may not bother some people, but for the money, I should not have to put up with. I agree with the other write-up about the power and handling ===> Amazing! We felt like we were driving on a cloud for the first 3 months, then the vibrations started and it makes riding in the far back almost unbearable. Want to believe the best and try another one, scared to try another one."

17 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Just another solid offering from MB.

By on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We tow a 7500lb Airstream with this vehicle effortlessly. Wonderful and capable car. Would buy again."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Best car I have owned

By on Thursday, August 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Drives wonderfully and luxurious"

Cons: "expensive, wish roof rack came with crossbars"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Own the gl350 turbo diesel which I am very happy with that choice. the gas mileage is great, the pickup more than adequate. The GL series options are a bit like ordering at nice restaurant where all the sides are "al a carte." The main difference between the 350, 450, and 550 is the engines with only a few additional options included vs being addons. Mine is optioned up and is very nice. The ride is very smooth compared to other large SUVs including the escalade/yukon denali which is nice, but still rides like a truck. I highly recommend the GL series and in particularl the turbo diesel."

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Great Tow Vehicle

By on Monday, April 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great SUV for towing"

Cons: "Extras add up fast!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought the GL to tow. We tow a 28ft Airstream with this truck and get about 17mpg towing. Torque of 455 beats most light trucks and the lower center of gravity makes towing safe and maneuverable. Of course, getting there is much more comfortable in the GL350 compared to a truck. When driving around town the handling and ride of the GL is wonderful. Great milage and I can't find a SUV that has more than 1CF of cargo capacity. Just a great vehicle so far."

29 people out of 48 found this review helpful

Is any automobile really worth this price?...Maybe

By on Monday, March 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 650

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Ride quality, craftsmanship, quickness"

Cons: "price, No remote start (how is this possible?)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I'm a car guy, but recently (might be middle age) have sought after a vehicle that can still fit 7 comfortably, has above average acceleration/power, AND drives as smooth as silk. I've had the QX80 and New Denali (same frame/suspension as Escalade). They are roomier and have power but their rides are harsh and they cannot comfortably handle normal driving around town. Their suspensions and steering don't manage poor road conditions well. My Gl550 is a lot smaller and is more of a drivers car. If you need that extra 3rd row this is one of your better choices. I lost my shorts trading cars in over the last two years but this SUV is a top notch vehicle that I'm very happy with."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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