The GL was a dream come true for me at the beginning. One owner, 2011 GL450 with a clean carfax and good looking maintenance history. Purchased from an MB dealer in April 2015.
On the upside it was incredibly comfortable, fast, elegant, and as capable of hauling 6 adults in comfort to dinner as it was pulling a trailer with 3 tons of rock.
When it was right, it was a thing to behold.
When it went wrong, as it often did, it was like getting kicked in the gut.
In 12 months and 20k miles:
Front Airmatic failure: $2,450 to repair Primary and Secondary Battery Failures: $550 to repair Blown underhood fuse panel: $450 to repair. Standard maintenance for the year: $800, and that was skipping the spark plugs due at 60k which would have been another $600.
Insult to injury was the depreciation in just one year: close to 40%.
It has gone away and I am back to a nice, reliable, Japanese Infiniti. No need for 7 passenger so I also downsized.
The only way this truck makes sense is if you can either do the work yourself, or have no worries about significant unexpected repairs.
Wanted one for 25 years and after a year with the Benz, I suggest if you want a 7 passenger SUV that can tow, Dave yourself the heart wrenching experience of a GL and buy a GMC Yukon or Lexus LX570.
We used to own a GMC Yukon XL Denali. That was a great roomy SUV but frankly it felt like driving a school bus around town, and long trips were kind of draining despite the fact the vehicle was roomy and comfortable. Our GL450 on the other hand has a little less room on the interior, but it is the best SUV I have ever driven. It steers and feels more like a big luxury sedan than a "truck". The seats are comfortable and look almost brand new on a car that is nearly 5 years old. There is plenty of room for our family of 5 and the third seat can be split or both side folded down to give cavernous storage room. The GL450 accelerates very well, brakes great and shifts smoothly.
Some of the controls take a little getting used to and yes, it is a Mercedes so the maintenance can be a bit pricey. That said, we have had nothing major go wrong in the 2 plus years we have owned it. A couple of quirky things required fixing but were covered under the extended warranty we purchased. The GL450 has been really reliable and although the services can be costly, we always get a loaner and are treated with tremendous respect and courtesy by the Mercedes service staff. I think a lot of folks don't consider the loaner value when they complain about the cost of repairs. When I get our Ford or Buick fixed I'm usually out anywhere from $50-$100 to a rental car place.
The GL450 looks great, is a safe and reliable luxury SUV.
Here is a list of repairs on our GL350, 2011: 1. Fuel system changed, fuel rail, high pressure fuel pump, all 6 fuel injectors $600 each in part, total cost > $5000. 2. AdBlue preheater, $1300 part, total $2100 3. Pending issues, oil cooler seal leak, estimate $2800, part and labor 4. Pending issues, cold start rattling noise; most likely due to timing chain stretch
MUST buy extended warranty if you still want this car.
Highly recommend to wait until next business management change at corporate level to bring back their quality products. Currently, it's way below acceptable standard of practicing good business.
The performance of my GL350 is unacceptable at any level of quality standards. The Oil Cooler, AdBlu Heater, and GPS unit have all failed, within 5-8 thousand miles of the warranty. The costs to fix all these items are > 10% of the original purchase price of the car, at >$7,000. No one would offer that this performance meets or exceeds the most basic expectations.
While MB national and local discounts were offered and accepted (20% off), I told the MB national representative, Andrea D., Case Manager, [contact info removed] that I doubted if that discount was near the profit margins enjoyed by MB on parts and labor, making the ENTIRE cost remediation of these issues on my shoulders. We didn’t SHARE the remediation, I paid for it ALL.
I’ve purchased 4 Mercedes since 2008…I’ll not be an eager return MB buyer for my next auto…
UPDATE - (9/16) Since this above, I've had the motor on the autolift tailgate fail and need to be replaced. Another $500 down the drain...
Fell in love with the looks of this vehicle. We had a VW Passat TDI but needed a bigger vehicle, and this seemed perfect. We wanted the diesel for the torque and fuel economy. Very soon after buying it (used with 69,000 miles) we began having problem after problem. Key fob quit working and then mysteriously began working again and now quit again, front wheel bearing went, had it fixed, then had to bring it back after they said they needed to replace it again, got it back and the other one went, then the air strut which began popping over every bump soon after buying it. Motor mounts went, steering column module went bad, transmission valve body had to be replaced, and it still revs and slams into second gear the first time take off in cold weather. Oil cooler seals leak, dealer supposedly changed them but they began leaking again. Never noticed the leak until AFTER they changed them bit it is a common problem. Cost: almost $3,000. AdBlue tank heater went bad, $2,000. Glow plug control module went bad, sway bar bushings and links went bad, tailgate sometimes doesn't close unless you hit the button several times or lock and then u lock with the key fob if you close it with the fob. Can't fold the second row seat back down because the seatbelt gets stuck and I have to unbolt it from the bottom to raise the seat back up. Vehicle now has 83,000 miles. Our Land Rover LR3 never gave us any problems except for an air compressor thay went out and a wheel bearing, which I easilly tackled myself. Fuel economy is dismal for a diesel. Best I can get on the highway is 22 mpg with the cruise set at 75. Cebeer console is poorly designed. You can't put anything in it. Cargo cover is poorly designed. You can't use it without scratching the sides of the vehicle, and the seatbelt snag on it making it a pain to get it into the grooves. I could go on. the LR3 also rode so much smoother, and the headlights were 100 times better, especially the high beams. Cargo carrying was also better even though the GL is much larger. The air suspension also raised and lowered very quickly on the LR3. Takes forever to raise on this vehicle. If you buy one get ready to become good friends with the service people. On the bright side you'll get to test drive alot of cars because at least they give you a loaner car. I can't get rid of this thing either because despite the fact that I got a good deal below book value, it depreciated like a rock. I regret buying this car. I've had BMW's, Land Rovers amd another Mercedes, and while Land Rovers are supposed to be unreliable, this Mercedes is way way worse than any Land Rover I've ever owned, even my 2002 and 2003 discovery II. There are other things I've had to get repaired bUT since there are so many I can't remember them all. I will rejoice the day I can finally get rid of this. Never again will I buy another Mercedes Benz.