2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review

Used GL-Class for sale
List Price Range:$11,900 - $17,540
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Mercedes-Benz GL-Class model years
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2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class appraisal values can range from $8,568 - $14,062.
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Excellent V8 performance
  • quiet cabin
  • high standard of luxury
  • comfortable seating for all
  • fuel-efficient diesel engine.
  • Breathtaking prices when fully optioned
  • non-adjustable second-row seats.

Classy and refined, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class rises above the competition with its confident road manners and excellent build quality. It is quite pricey, however.

Vehicle overview

As prevalent as it might be in these days of downsizing and budget cuts to dismiss full-size SUVs as relics of the past, they exist for very good reasons, most of which are clearly demonstrated by the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. Despite the considerable price of ownership, the GL presents a perfectly logical argument for the existence of the seven-seat luxury vehicle, most particularly for large families who prefer to travel in style and a high level of safety through all types of weather.

Mercedes' three-row SUV is more egalitarian than any other model in the brand's lineup, sharing its wealth of space, comfort and safety features among all seven travelers. Every seat is a good fit, and even the two passengers relegated to the third row will have little reason to complain. Despite its plus-sized heft and girth, the GL is surprisingly light on its tires and carves through urban congestion like a wood nymph slipping quietly through the forest. And when the road starts to bend, the standard air suspension and all-wheel drive keep this Mercedes luxury liner on a smooth and even keel.

As a vehicle type, the GL is a crossover, which means it's built like a car and thus is better able to deliver superior road manners and interior packaging than truck-based SUVs. There are three GL models, two featuring V8 engines and one with a turbocharged clean-diesel V6. A diesel engine makes a lot of sense in a big and heavy SUV because of its muscular torque and superior fuel economy. In comparison, the GL diesel is just about as economical to operate as the Escalade Hybrid, which is slower, more cumbersome to drive and more expensive.

In fact, few other luxury SUV can deliver the same balance of driving refinement and interior space as the 2011 Mercedes GL-Class. The 2011 Lexus LX 570 has an edge when going off-road, but it's typically more expensive and not as roomy on the inside. Models like the 2011 Cadillac Escalade and 2011 Lincoln Navigator have the space but can't match the Mercedes' overall refinement. The new 2011 Infiniti QX56 and 2011 Land Rover LR4 are interesting comparisons as they provide similar space and power as the GL550 for considerably less money. But overall, we're pretty fond of the GL and find it a perfectly logical choice for those who need a full-size luxury SUV.

2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class models

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a full-size luxury crossover that seats seven people. It is available in GL350 Bluetec, GL450 and GL550 trim levels, which correspond to the engine choice. All GLs have standard all-wheel drive.

The GL350 Bluetec and GL450 are similarly equipped with an adaptive air suspension, a sunroof, automatic headlights, roof rails, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air-conditioning controls, heated eight-way power front seats, MB-Tex premium vinyl upholstery, burl walnut trim, third-row power split-folding seatbacks, the COMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. The GL350 gets 20-inch wheels while the GL450 has 19s.

Selecting the Premium I package adds a power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, a rearview camera with integrated compass, upgraded front seats with memory functions, auto-dimming driver-side and interior mirrors, a hard-drive-based navigation system, voice controls, digital music storage, HD radio, an iPod interface and satellite radio. The Premium II package includes all the previous items plus keyless ignition/entry and a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

The Full Leather Seating package adds leather upholstery, "comfort headrests" and ambient interior lighting. The Lighting package adds LED daytime running lights and adaptive bi-xenon headlights with washers. Parking sensors, running boards, ventilated and massaging front seats, and tri-zone climate control are also optional.

All of the above equipment comes standard on the GL550. To those items the 550 adds 21-inch wheels, performance tires and a more aggressive-looking front fascia. Stand-alone options available on all GL-Class models include a blind-spot warning system, a trailer hitch, roof crossbars, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat entertainment system and heated rear seats.

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2011 Highlights

For 2011, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class gains a blind-spot monitoring system. The GL550's front bumper has also been restyled.

Performance & mpg

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec features a 3.0-liter diesel-powered turbocharged V6 with 50-state-legal clean diesel technology. This engine produces 210 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Like all GL-Class models, the V6 sends its power through a seven-speed automatic transmission and "4Matic" all-wheel drive. Though we haven't tested the latest GL diesel, we estimate it will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds. Fuel economy for the Bluetec is 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.

The Mercedes GL450's 4.7-liter gasoline-powered V8 is good for 335 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. Tests show zero to 60 mph in a swift 6.7 seconds, and the estimated fuel economy is 13/17/14.

A jump up to the GL550 brings with it a 5.5-liter V8 delivering 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, and the estimated fuel economy is 12/17/14. When properly equipped, each of the GL-Class models can tow up to 7,500 pounds.


Standard safety features on the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class include stability control, antilock brakes, a driver knee airbag, first- and second-row side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing head restraints fitted to all seven seats. Hill start assist, hill descent control and the mbrace emergency system are also standard. A rearview camera, parking sensors and a blind-spot warning system are also standard or optional depending on the trim level. In Edmunds brake testing, we've measured an average stopping distance from 60 mph of about 124 feet -- excellent performance for a large luxury SUV.


There's no lack of power with either of the two V8s, and both are capable of smoking their competition. If getting off the line doesn't mean all that much to your driving pleasure, the GL350's V6 diesel is more economical but delivers plenty of low-speed punch around town and is so quiet only the badging gives it away. Quietness, in fact, is the GL's most endearing trait. The GL's handling is a bit soft for those who like to carve precise lines through the corners, but it's generally better than the handling from the truck-based behemoths. And though the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL's steering might be a bit slow for sporty drivers, it's nicely weighted and provides excellent straight-line tracking.


The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL's cabin is comfortable and luxuriously appointed. Fit and finish are superb, the seats are exceptionally supportive and headroom and legroom are ample in nearly every position. The COMAND electronics interface is finicky to use, employing awkward push-buttons on a center-stack-mounted circular control pad instead of the preferred console-mounted control wheel used in more recently introduced Mercedes-Benz models.

The GL is one of the most spacious luxury crossovers on the market, as its third row is big enough to seat two average-sized adults in comfort -- something the Audi Q7 can't claim. The second row could use a sliding adjustment, however, to allow for more legroom in both the second and third rows. The GL provides 83 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume, which falls below competing SUVs like the Infiniti QX56 and Land Rover LR4.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

3 out of 5 stars
Love/Hate Heartbreak
GL450 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl 7A)
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, save yourself the heart wrenching experience of a GL and buy a GMC Yukon or Lexus LX570.
3 out of 5 stars
Nice, but costly to maintain
GL350 BlueTEC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
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...
3 out of 5 stars
6 Years of Maintenance Headaches, but still Own It
Jim A.,09/26/2017
GL350 BlueTEC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
Original owner, vehicle serviced 100% by Mercedes repair/maintenance facilities in San Francisco & Monterey CA. After 50,000 miles, the maintenance problems began, and they are common to many other postings I have seen on the web. Engine oil cooler seals go ($4,000), front wheel bearings leak/go ($3,000), AdBlue Heater goes ($3,000), vehicle loses speed and requires multiple repair visits to finally repair fuel system problem ($2,500), plus regular maintenance that has averaged $1,500 per visit. Vehicle has locked me out twice, battery has unexpectedly drained on several occasions requiring jump-starts, "Check Engine" light goes on way too often, requiring dealership visits. Vehicle itself is a pleasure when it's working properly, but those intervals are getting shorter and shorter. Bought the diesel for power, efficiency and reliability but it's not turing out that way.
1 out of 5 stars
Worst vehicle ever! Better get real good warranty!
GL350 BlueTEC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
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.

More about the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Overview

The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is offered in the following submodels: GL-Class SUV, GL-Class Diesel. Available styles include GL450 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl 7A), GL550 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl 7A), and GL350 BlueTEC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A). Pre-owned Mercedes-Benz GL-Class models are available with a 4.7 L-liter gas engine or a 5.5 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter diesel engine, with output up to 382 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class GL450 4MATIC is priced between $11,900 and$17,490 with odometer readings between 73430 and160728 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class GL550 4MATIC is priced between $17,540 and$17,540 with odometer readings between 93957 and93957 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2011 GL-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,900 and mileage as low as 73430 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

Can't find a used 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz GL-Class for sale - 11 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $21,263.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $16,112.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz GL-Class for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $13,766.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,540.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz GL-Class lease specials