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.
A used Mercedes, who brags about quality, should not need a new cylinder head at 65,000 miles. Running rough? When they do a compression test, dont be suprised if it is number 2 or number 4 on the passenger side. It will cost you $5000 and you can forget about warranty coverage. The electronics are way out of date. Save yourself money and frustration...do not buy used. And dont be misled when you get a call from Mercedes "corporate". It is some hourly employee who gets paid to tell you how special you are but they wont do a thing about their crappy motors. I will never buy another one. My AUDI Q7 is much better all the way around.
It's been a month since I traded my Lexus LS430 sedan for a 2011 GL 450 SUV. I researched the luxury SUV segment for more than 6 months. I ordered it with the P2 option, entertainment center and other luxury options. After 1000 miles, I realize that German engineering is very different from Japanese. The GL is very quiet, roomy and an attention getter. The drivetrain is excellent and smooth. It is awkward getting in and out of the cabin. Sitting high is excellent for urban driving.
Overall, I like this vehicle but am still acclimating to MB luxury. It meets my needs for additional seating with a luxury nameplate. As I expected, the gas mileage is consistent with this segment.
I like the excellent sound system.
The styling is very impressive.
Interior seating is comfortable.
The multi-function steering wheel is very functional.
The bluetooth phone programming is excellent and easy to use.
Transmission is very smooth and shifts are imperceptible.
The two sunroofs are great.
Third row seating is definitely for adults.
The power lift gate is a charmer.
Plenty of space in the back for just about everything you can purchase.
The NAV system screen is much too small and not user-friendly to program.
On the other hand, the audio instructions are very good and precise.
The standard seating material is hard and not attractive for this price point.
The cruise control stalk placement is wrong and easily mistaken for the turn signal.
At highway speeds, it is not as stable as I expected from MB.
It seems floaty at speed.
There is no place to store sunglasses.
The dealer could not program the garage opener, after three attempts.
I finally viewed the Mbrace video and programmed it myself.
I was delighted with significant improvements in Mercedes GL450 in the last few years. The firm seats are comfortable for both short and long distance driving. As a previous Land Cruiser owner, I am mighy pleased with the third row seats in GL450 as compared to Land Cruiser. It was a very simple push-button to set up the third row seats.
The favorite feature is the push button gears.
For Park you just push a button to park without shifting any gears.
Acceleration is good.
Blind spot feature is also excellent.