2009 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Strong acceleration from V8 engines, quiet interior, many available luxury features, comfortable seating, excellent craftsmanship.
- Ride quality may be floaty for some, second row does not adjust fore and aft, GL550's full load of features jacks up the price.
Most helpful consumer reviews
GL450 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl 7A)
I've got a 2009 GL450 with 65K miles. My wife drives it for light suburban driving only. In general, we like the vehicle, but it has been in the shop at least every three months. We are now out of warranty and have had a flood of issues in the past month. Three weeks ago the driver-side door lock mechanism went out. The audio (radio, phone, everything) went out last week and the system needed to be reset. This week, both front struts went out and nearly killed her (car was out of control). The bill for the struts and the doorlock is $5K, but the dealer offered to pick-up some of the tab. I've owned a lot of new mercedes, but won't buy another one.
GL550 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl 7A)
The upside: Smooth ride. Precise steering. Powerful acceleration (with the GL550). Fairly capable off road for a vehicle w/o locking differential. Prestige. Comfortable seat(s). The downside: Maintenance cost(s)... E.g. had to replace all for air shocks (front about $1300--each; rear about $900 (for both)), starter motor ($800). Brakes actually last a long time and replacing rotors surprisingly "cheap" at about $350/axle. Tires only last about 20-25K miles (295/40-21) and there's a limited selection--a new set will set you back about $2200. The electronics were capricious--sometimes car wouldn't completely shut down when door opened (i.e. normal shut down is engine off & accessories stay on until door opened. started acting up sometimes where accessories wouldn't power down when door opened & had to open/shut door a few times to get it to shut down). Homelink garage door opener had a button that wouldn't work. EZ-GO door handles had to be replaced. Driver's side mirror folding mechanism broke. When I smelled leaking oil burning on the exhaust manifold, I knew it was time to get rid of it. Bottom line: Surprisingly comfortable and agile for a 7 passenger, 3 ton SUV and most comfortable car/truck I've ever driven. However, after repair issues cited above, I'd be reluctant to own a M-B again..... Update (5/2016): Traded in @ 120K miles. Reading through original review brought back bad memories of astronomical repair bills. There are better choices in the large luxury SUV segment.
GL450 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl 7A)
Will never own a Mercedes again. Non-stop money-pit from the day I bought it to the day I sold it. Beware the air suspension on Mercedes-Benz. Mine went "out" every six months or so. Paint peeled off around the windows just when it was out of warranty. I estimate I spent $6,000 a year in repairs. It is also a huge gas guzzler.
GL320 BlueTEC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
Purchase this car in 2014 with 70k miles on it for around 28k. Got an extend warranty for the car and glad we did. The entire rack and pinion steering system had to be replaced at 75k miles which was paid by warranty with a cost of around $4600. The heating element for the def tank went out at a cost of $3300 and the entire tank had to be replaced since they heater is sealed in the tank. That was paid out of our pocket, then we got the dreaded oil cooler leak which is a very common issue on almost every GL diesel which cost right around $4200 to fix as the most the engine has to be taken apart in order to replace the $16.50 oil cooler gasket. Had huge diesel fuel leak due to o-ring issues with the fuel filter, another $250 spent to fix that. Then I the air bag compressor failed, $875 to replace that, then had 1 air bag fail, another $1400. The rear power lift gated failed at cost of close to $2000 to replace it. The final nail in the coffin was the sale of the vehicle for $6500. We had lots safety recalls with the airbags, but Mercedes has failed to do anything to replace them and keep pushing it off claiming that they do not have the parts to replace it and because of these recall no dealer is able to resell the vehicle till Mercedes fixes the issue making it nearly a worthless suv. Sticker price on this suv new was $106,235 as it had every option available on it. Stay away, stay away and please google all the known issue with these vehicles. Don't let our mistake be your mistake!