"I just switched from a Lexus GX-470 to a GL 450. The ride is much better than Lexus and is more roomier. However, the instrument panel needs a major overhaul. This is the first car that requires you to read the manual just to find out how to operate the radio/CD. Once the radio is on, turning it off is yet another challenge. If I hit the power button, it turns the entire COMMAND off. The panel is over complicated. Why do I have to read the manual to operate such basic tasks???
There should be ONE button to do these things. I have to hit several buttons in the panel before anything starts."
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."
"We've owned our GL450 for almost a year and have a little over 12,000 miles on it. We had a minor glitch at the beginning with the navigation system, but it was quickly resolved, and the only other time in the shop was for the annual maintenance where a few minor issues were tweaked (burned out light bulbs, glitchy rear hatch). Overall, we've been very happy with this SUV. The ease and flexibility of going from an 8-seat vehicle to a 5-seat with enormous cargo capacity is great, and the ride strikes a nice balance between maneuverability and comfort. It's also the quietest car we've ever owned. The only negative I can think of is the electronics (e.g., navigation and voice command) are a bit dated compared to the competition."
Pros: "expensive tires and have issues w/tire pressure"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The GL-450 is a great vehicle. I wish the gas prices had not risen the way they did because it takes a pretty penny to fill it up. Tires are extremely expensive for it, but overall I am extremely pleased."
Pros: "Diesel, great gas mileage, large towing capacity"
Cons: "Too many sensors, expensive tires, gas cap issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own have owned this vehicle since new and I am on my 4th set of tires. The original factory tires lasts less than 15,000!!! Absolutely unacceptable. Only tire manufacturer is Parelli and these tires are extremely expensive. After 3 sets of Parellis I now have a set of Hankook tires and these are the best - reasonable in price, aggressive tread pattern, etc.
As for the diesel engine, it is the only way to go. I get well over 600 miles per tank. I drive from Raleigh, NC, to NYC in one tank and I do not need to refill until I am in NJ where full service gas stations offer the cheapest gasoline (and diesel) in the Eastern US.
Too many sensors on the vehicle is a curse and a blessing. Fuel filler cap does not close when the outside temperature is very high - another annoying fact.
Otherwise a fine vehicle which is aging well."