2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review

Pros & Cons

  • Room for seven adults
  • authoritative power
  • available fuel-efficient diesel V6
  • classy and quiet interior
  • strong brakes.
  • Ponderous handling
  • overly light steering effort.
Other years
List Price Range
$24,186 - $43,966

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Roomy, powerful and solidly built, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is one of the very best three-row crossover SUVs you can buy.

Vehicle overview

If you're looking for a vehicle that can comfortably transport seven co-workers to happy hour on Friday, haul an antique dresser home from a Saturday estate sale and tow a ski boat to the lake Sunday morning, you have a number of appealing SUVs from which to choose. If you want a luxury model that can handle all these tasks and do it with a healthy dose of panache, however, you'll find yourself with a list of far fewer options that's topped by the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

While this dearth of choices alone would earn this large seven-passenger luxury SUV a spot on many must-test-drive lists, its unique strengths help it stand out in this small but highly competitive segment. Take the range of available powertrains, for example, with everything from a relatively fuel-efficient turbocharged diesel V6 all the way up to the high-performance GL 63 AMG model's 550-horsepower V8. Standard all-wheel drive and 7.9 inches of ground clearance also mean this deluxe truck is up to tackling everything from ugly winter road conditions to minor summertime off-pavement forays.

Then there's the GL's spacious passenger cabin that includes an adult-sized third-row seat, something few three-row luxury SUVs can claim. As you'd expect from a vehicle wearing the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star, the range of available style, comfort and advanced safety options -- including diamond-stitched leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats with built-in massage and a collision warning system with automatic braking -- is extensive. Cabin quality is also second to none in the segment.

As far as downsides are concerned, the GL-Class's size can make it feel a bit ponderous on the road, a quality that isn't helped any by the overly light steering feel in all but the GL 63 AMG. The other potential drawback is that the price tag can soar to breathtaking heights once you start adding all those desirable aforementioned options.

While the GL-Class has won our admiration, thorough shoppers might still want to have a look at some of its rivals. The 2015 Lexus LX 570 combines a positively posh interior with a powerful V8 engine and truly remarkable off-roading abilities. The same can be said of the 2015 Land Rover LR4, which stands out by undercutting the GL by more than $10,000. The 2015 Infiniti QX80 offers macho styling, user-friendly technology features and its own big V8. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade could also be worth a look.

While all of these competitors are both classy and practical, ultimately we believe the Edmunds "A" rated 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a top choice for a large luxury SUV that provides refinement, sophistication and utility.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class models

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a large, seven-passenger SUV available in four models: GL350 Bluetec, GL450, GL550 and GL 63 AMG.

The GL350 Bluetec and GL450 have different turbocharged V6 engines (one diesel, the other gasoline, respectively), but are otherwise similarly equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, a self-leveling air suspension, automatic headlights, LED running lights, a sunroof, automatic wipers, roof rails, rear privacy glass, power rear quarter-windows and a power liftgate. Inside the standard features list continues with dual-zone automatic climate control, "MB-Tex" premium vinyl upholstery, heated eight-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), a power-folding third-row seat, a rear cargo area cover, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and genuine wood interior trim. Electronic standard features include the knob-based COMAND interface, a 7-inch central display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Mercedes mbrace2 emergency communications (including smartphone app integration), a 115-volt household-style power outlet and a sound system that features a CD/DVD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.

The Premium package for these two models adds power-folding exterior mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming, keyless ignition and entry, power front head restraints, memory settings for the driver and front passenger seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, heated and cooled cupholders, lighted door sills and multicolor ambient lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system, traffic reporting, voice controls, 10GB of digital music storage, an iPod/media player interface and satellite radio.

The Lighting package bundles bi-xenon headlights with Active Curve Illumination and adaptive high-beam assist. The Appearance package includes 20-inch alloy wheels, lighted running boards and chrome exhaust tips (GL450 only). The Lane Tracking package adds blind-spot warning and assist and lane-keeping assist, while the Parking Assist package adds front and rear parking sensors, an automated parallel-parking feature and a 360-degree surround-view camera system. Also available are three-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and "multicontour" front seats that add a massaging feature and adjustable side bolsters and shoulder supports.

The GL550 starts with all of the above, then adds a stronger V8 engine, 21-inch alloy wheels, sporty exterior styling cues, soft-close doors, different wood trim and unique dashboard stitching.

Optional items on all three of the above models (GL350, GL450, GL550) include a panoramic sunroof, heated second-row seats and the Driver Assistance package, with adaptive cruise control and advanced driver warning systems (see the Safety section below for details). The GL450 and GL550 can also be equipped with an On-/Off-Road package that includes a six-mode terrain selector, a two-speed transfer case and front underbody protection.

The high-performance GL 63 AMG starts with most of the above, then adds an even more powerful V8, exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, adaptive stabilizer bars (the "Active Curve System" in Mercedes-speak), AMG-specific styling elements, upgrade "designo" leather upholstery and a microfiber-trimmed sport steering wheel.

All four GL models can also be fitted out with a trailer hitch, an illuminated grille badge, upgraded leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, power-sliding second-row seats for third-row access, rear side window sunshades, a rear entertainment system and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system.

2015 Highlights

For 2015, GL450 models get a new turbocharged V6 engine that's just as powerful as the V8 it's replacing but much more fuel-efficient. All gasoline-powered models also receive an automated engine stop-start feature designed to boost fuel economy. Finally, the six-CD changer has been dropped and the optional panoramic sunroof loses the glass panel over the third-row seats.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 engine rated at 240 hp and 455 pound-feet of torque. Like every other GL-Class model, it features a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. In Edmunds performance tests, the GL350 went from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, a slow time compared to other vehicles in this segment. EPA-estimated fuel economy is very good, though, at 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway).

The GL450 gets a new gasoline-fueled 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline V6 that produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes estimates it will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which would be quicker than average for the segment. Like the rest of its gasoline-powered GL siblings, this engine now includes an automated stop-start system designed to boost fuel economy, which is a good bit better than the V8 engine it's replacing with EPA ratings of 19 mpg combined (17 city/21 highway).

The GL550 is propelled by a twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8 that pumps out 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, it hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and returns EPA estimates of 15 mpg combined (13 city/18 highway).

Last, but certainly not least, is the GL 63 AMG, which features a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 rated at 550 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque. It has an AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy numbers are dismal at 14 mpg combined (13 city/17 highway). According to Mercedes, this AMG variant will go from zero to 60 in an impressive 4.8 seconds.

Properly equipped, all GL-Class models can tow a maximum of 7,500 pounds.


Standard safety features on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, automatic crosswind stabilization, trailer stability assist, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints, a forward collision warning system and a driver attention/drowsiness monitor. Also standard are a rearview camera and the mbrace2 communications system that includes automatic collision notification, an SOS button, stolen vehicle location, geo-fencing, alarm notification and remote door lock/unlock.

The available Lane Tracking package (standard on GL550, optional on GL350 and GL450) monitors blind spots and lane-drifting and alerts the driver by vibrating the wheel or emitting a beep. The optional Driver Assistance package (standard on GL 63) adds collision warning with auto-braking and "active" blind spot and lane keeping assist systems that can automatically guide the car back into the current lane if the driver fails to heed the system's warnings.

In Edmunds brake testing, all non-AMG GL-Class models came to a stop from 60 mph in around 115 feet, an exceptionally short distance for such a heavy vehicle with all-season tires.


Compared to a truck-based full-size SUV like the Cadillac Escalade, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class definitely feels like a cut above, thanks in large part to the smooth ride quality produced by the adaptive air suspension. Handling is solid but rather uninspiring due to the vehicle's size, weight and overly light steering feel. One dynamic bright spot is the GL's impressive brakes, which provide a little extra peace of mind with stopping abilities on par with some sport sedans.

When it comes to propulsion, it's hard to go wrong with any of the available powertrains. The GL350's diesel-powered engine is no speed demon, but it's fine for everyday driving and, with its healthy 455 lb-ft of torque, the small V6 has sufficient grunt to pull a good-sized trailer. The GL450's new 362-hp gasoline V6 should provide satisfying acceleration with the same output as the eight-cylinder engine it's replacing but much better fuel economy. The GL550's 429-hp, 4.6-liter V8 has muscle to spare, making the 550-hp, 5.5-liter V8 at the heart of the GL 63 AMG a case of admittedly thrilling overkill.


All of the above aside, the key to the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class's appeal is its passenger cabin. Though the standard MB-Tex vinyl upholstery on GL350 and GL450 models does seem a bit low-budget for a luxury vehicle, you'd probably be hard pressed to tell it apart from the real leather of some other brands, while in general the materials quality and construction are top-notch. The choice of four different kinds of genuine wood trim and optional upgrades like diamond-quilted premium leather seating surfaces also give the space a noticeably high-end look and feel.

There's more to the interior than just looking good, though, starting with roomy adult-size accommodations in all three rows. The standard front seats are agreeable enough, but the optional "multicontour" seats with heating, ventilation and a massage function are the way to go for anyone who expects to spend long stints behind the steering wheel.

Mercedes' trademark COMAND system uses a large console-mounted knob to access a long list of settings and controls via menus on the dash-mounted display. It takes a while to completely get the hang of, but it's ultimately an elegant way of managing all this technology without a sea of physical buttons.

When it comes to hauling freight in addition to (or instead of) people, the GL-Class offers a healthy 16 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, a number similar to that offered by the trunk of your average midsize sedan. Folding down both sections of the 50/50-split third row gets you 49.4 cubic feet, while dropping both the second and third rows creates a cargo hold with 93.8 cubic feet of space that's comparable to those in other large SUVs.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

First Benz.... Might be Last Benz
GL350 BlueTEC 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
8K$ car (GL550 -2015- Only gave blue tech as trim option via Edmunds review? pull down window)). Sales was outstanding. Issues with the Transmission/Tires/window seals/AC mold issues all within the first 4000 miles. Spent over 2 weeks in the shop in under 5 months of ownership. Once the sale is made you deal with the abyss of service and quality issues. This is the most disappointed I've been in a new car purchase in over 25 years.
3rd GL. Still an impressive vehicle
Bill L.,01/16/2018
GL 450 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 7A)
This is our 3rd GL. We have owned a 2007 GL450, a 2011 GL550 and now a 2015 GL450. Each time we have test driven other vehicles and ended up back at the Mercedes dealer. PROs: Real 7 adult capacity - The back seat is a little of a climb but it can comfortably seat 2 reasonably sized adults for moderate distances. Drives less "trucky" that the truck-based SUVs - This is a unibody and therefore is not built on a truck frame. That allows for lower ride height and more stable feeling SUV with a lower lift height to put stuff in the back. Decent power and ride - This is a change from the old V8s and is a little more slow to respond when accelerating from a moderate pace (the old V8s were quicker) but it is still very reasonable for a vehicle this size. It is also a great highway cruiser with comfortable seats and non-fatiguing driving position. Many safety gizmos available - Lane departure warning, front impact warning, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams, headlights that follow the curves all make for a safer ride. Interior - Although the electronics are not the best the interior is pretty darn nice. Leather wrapped dash, doors, real wood and solid overall feel to the controls and buttons. CONS: Expensive to fix/maintain - MB is one of the more expensive models to maintain. Just a fact. New sets of brakes/rotors every 30-40K miles, general maintenance in the $300-$500 range and this isn't a cheap car to own. Add in that it requires Premium Unleaded and this isn't a cheap vehicle Transmission can range from smooth to harsh - Usually, it shifts very smoothly but every once in a while it will hard upshift/downshift. All 3 I have owned have done this. It never inspired confidence but I ran my last one to 144K miles and it was still going strong when I traded it. Electronics are only ok - Nothing overly exciting about the NAV or Command system as a whole. It works but is a little clunky and low resolution. Summary: Safe, comfortable vehicle that performs well and feels like a luxury vehicle. Electronics are only okay and your wallet/pocketbook won't be thrilled but for some people that extra cost is worth it.
GL63 AMG Money Pit
GL 63 AMG 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl Turbo 7A)
Excellent SUV worth every penny (it's a hotrod) until you get between 10K and 14K miles, then you realize brakes need replacement. Yes, pads and rotors need to be replaced (light turns on) and there is no way to replace just pads. Cost $2400 for front and back brakes. $250 for 10K mile service, $800 for 40K mile and $1200 for 50K mile. Great SUV but very high maintenance $$$
in the shop every other week
GL350 BlueTEC 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
I can look back and guarantee on paper my GL goes in the shop almost every other week, I am very disappointed comparing this car to our Lexus, the Lexus has been in the shop at 30k for the key fob not working and to clean the ac filter due to a smell. AS for the GL we have been in the shop all the time for brakes, sensors, squealing brakes oil leak, rear shock for rear door was not working, transmission trouble, squeaking window, right front air shock had to be replaced, the shock is still making noises when you go over a speed bump, bad design glove box that cant store much and always gets jammed, very cheap center wheel caps that need replacing all the time, so many sensors you will be in the shop getting them replaced and while you are there you might as well do your high price service that can run up to 1200.00. Yes 1200.00 and that is with out getting anything fixed. The service is to keep your car under the MB warranty and if you don't decline the service it will void the warranty. I feel like I keep the dealership lights on while they look for there next person that is as uneducated as I was when i bought this big rolling pieces of junk. When i pull up next to some one with a Mercedes I feel bad for them. I know this for a fact, Most people that work for the Mercedes dealership Don"t drive Mercedes, but if they do they usually are driving it for free. One mechanic stated to me that he likes the MB but due to the high price of parts he stays away. If you buy a Mercedes or a GL and you feel like nothing is going your way remember I told you so.

Features & Specs

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More about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Overview

The Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is offered in the following submodels: GL-Class GL 63 AMG, GL-Class SUV, GL-Class Diesel. Available styles include GL 450 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 7A), GL 550 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 7A), GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A), and GL 63 AMG 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl Turbo 7A).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class GL 550 4MATIC is priced between $29,995 and$43,966 with odometer readings between 18269 and94926 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class GL 450 4MATIC is priced between $24,186 and$31,290 with odometer readings between 44223 and94543 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 2015 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) 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class for sale near. There are currently 13 used and CPO 2015 GL-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $24,186 and mileage as low as 18269 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 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

Can't find a used 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz GL-Class for sale - 6 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $19,594.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 10 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $15,372.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz GL-Class for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $19,315.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 3 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $13,430.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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