Always thought I would have it made when I could afford to buy a MB. Well after 25 months and 9 repair trips not including 5 service trips, I traded the dog on a GMC. If this vehicle would have run well I would have kept it but it did not. Small things like senors, computer software and large things like new rack and pinion steering and power steering pump were just too much. Beware of your warranty's end. Repairs are very expensive and time consuming. In discussing the issues with the MB reps in USA and Germany, I found that they were more concerned about themselves than the problems I was having.
I bought the 2008 MB GL CDI used with 14K miles on it. I have 50K on it now. I bought 4 Blizzak snow tires for it and it makes it go through any conditions like a tank. I had the air suspension replaced under warranty by MB. No other problems. On a ski trip to Vermont one night got down to -10 degrees. Failed to start without putting in a bottle of 911 diesel fuel treatment. Started right up after that with no more problems. What a ride, 2 adults, 5 kids loaded to the hilt with a roof rack and still got 23 miles per gallon.
Towing beast, embarrasses many pick up trucks, absolute serenity
written on 04-27-2015
GL320 CDI 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
Bought used one year ago at 100.000 km (60.000 miles). Towed a 30 ft, 6500lbs travel trailer for long distances (Alberta to British Columbia). Absolute towing beast, gobs of torque, the smoothest auto ever, very smart when trailering. Towed the same trailer with a 6.2 V8 Gmc truck and it sucked. Reved it up all the time to keep pace, fuel economy was horrible. This one just sits at 2000 rpm, 3000 at worst when going o steep uphils. Fuel economy is the same as a Sequoia empty when towing, better than a sedan when empty. 1100 kms on a tank frequently (650 miles). Quality all around, comfort is supreme. Built like a tank. Problems?Hid light, rear electric hatch lock replaced, turbo oil leak.
Purchased new, our 2008 GL320 ate us out of house and home in 2013. When it hit 80,000 miles, we had multiple, expensive repairs with each being about $1,500 to $1,800. In this order, left front air strut replaced, turbocharger replaced, fuel pump replaced, right front air strut and air compensator valve replaced. Both the turbo and fuel pump failures left us stranded and required towing it to the dealer. Unfortunately, we did not purchase the extended warranty as I thought that a diesel would be bulletproof. Obviously, I was very wrong. In 2015, we had to replace both rear air struts and a leaky fuel injector that was causing strong fuel odors inside and outside. And since 2015 we've been experiencing a strong exhaust smell inside the vehicle, when stopped, even when the AC recirculation switch is on. I've had the exhaust smell investigated multiple times by a local Bosch certified auto shop to no avail. Since my last review we found the source of the strong exhaust smell, after visiting 2 shops multiple times. The dealer told us it was a $5,000 repair, but an independent shop found 2 leaking injectors dripping on the exhaust manifold. Problem solved. But we sold it soon afterwards and bought a new 2017 Range Rover Sport diesel, and we love it. It's much quieter, handles better, and gets better fuel mileage.
CONS: A MB service tech told me 18 months after I purchased my GL320 that you need a slush fund keep this car on the road, addition to the already known cost due to regular service maintenance. Oh...how he was right! I have had the air-suspension module replaced twice. Tires-they are only good for 20-30,000 miles and at $1200 for a set of four it gets expensive, and let me just add there are only two tires to pick from-the Continentals and the Pirelli’s. Windshield-twice now at $989.00. I love the Bluetooth while driving, however it disconnects when the car is turned off and the door is opened. Then you can’t use your phone for about another 5 mins while it’s still disconnecting.