Bought used GL350 and told the wife it was a Mercedes, they been making diesel cars forever. First few months, oil "o" ring goes to the tune of$1,600. Four months later timing chain stretched for about $ 3,000. Two weeks later windshield leaks and rusts connections to air bag module. $ 6,600. One month later rear wheel bearing goes bad for $800. That's over $11,000 in repairs in just over a year. Funny part is "0" rings and modules have been recalled on other 350 models. Not a happy Mercedes man.
Nobody who is looking for a reliable diesel car/ truck should buy MB GL350, which is a constant source of frustration. It is a large SUV with good fuel economy considering its size. But there is no other positive points about this car. Negative points include the following: Frequent problems with check engine light repeatedly turning on Electronics are not at all user friendly No spare tire. Although you can run on a flat tire for 50 miles but what if you are driving at night on a long drive. Traction is not the best in bad weather conditions. It depreciates faster than any other car in this range, almost 10,000 each year. Interior is spacious but not comfortable.
If you are looking for a stylish, spacious, comfortable SUV with good highway mileage, this would be it! It took me six months to find this vehicle with the diesel engine and particular bells and whistles. We typically range between 24-28 mpg when we are on the highway using the cruise control, which happens to be one of the easiest cruise controls I have ever used, great design. My wife still thinks she is dreaming as the owner of this SUV and loves it more than any other car she has owned. Great space for sports equipment and plenty of passengers (the 9 yr. old loves his own back seat section with panorama moonroof). Now....the downsides! This vehicle was MB serviced by the previous two owners as if it was one of the family. Warranty up to 70,000 miles, when we bought it, and still runs like a top. On our 2nd long trip, only two weeks after buying it, the heating element for the AdBlu feature (Blutec) needed replacement, $1700 out the gate as the MB would not allow us to extend the warranty at the time of the repair, but the dealer gave us a small break on the price and tried to accommodate the situation. Servicing to do the brakes and for MB parts is not a cheap venture no matter what mechanic you use. Next issue was the air suspension, which we were warned about before purchasing. Front, driver side was "sagging" due to this malfunctioning and that part was $650 with labor we were about $1,000 with a very fair mechanic. I am sure the other side will go out at some point through normal wear and tear. Without the center knob to control the electronic components (phone, Nav., radio, etc.) like my other MB, this makes it very awkward to control and enter addresses. Very poor design on this component. Long and the short of it, we will bear through the expenses, diesel is cheaper for now, 20% more fuel efficient than gas, we expect to go many miles on this engine, good lines on the design and most importantly, the wife still loves it.
Let me start off by saying that when I test drove my 2010 GL-350 I fell in love with it. The engine was smooth, transmission great and interior quality was fantastic, so I went ahead and purchased it. Despite having 90k miles on it (I have had diesels before and run them until 150k easily and know they can go much higher so the miles didn't worry me) I thought it was as sound decision as I have also had 2 Mercedes before and loved them. Well after 4 Check engine lights (Blue Tech low, Fuel line break, Blue Tech heater replacement and an O-ring failure on the turbo) and over $3000 in 4 months I finally traded it in for a new Japanese car. My advice, DO NOT buy and older Mercedes !
Engine smoothness, Interior, Size, MPG.
Quality of components to improve longevity. I even test drove an 2010 ML-350 as a potential replacement and the Check Engine Light came on, that really put me off Mercedes for life !!