Excellent 7 seat luxury SUV with nice & improved features
written on 09-21-2014
We purchased the '15 GL450 as a family vehicle/daily use vehicle for my wife. It's a perfect luxury 7 seat SUV in my opinion. It's roomy, both elegant and athletic inside. I was sort of hesitant on the new V6 bi-turbo engine but what a pleasant surprise! Though the engine sound is not as pleasing as the V8, the performance speaks for itself. It has similar performance as the naturally aspirated V8 in the X164 (GLs before '13) while getting better gas mileage. We've owned the previous version GL450 & GL350 and the interior, especially the "technology" has definitely improved significantly. The navi system is now somewhat user friendly, though not as nice as the Japanese cars and Audi MMI.
Just got this family mover four months ago. It is no doubt a beautiful truck, and is loaded with all kinds of technological gizmos. However, that may be its downfall because a multitude of annoyances keep cropping up and sending us to the dealer: LED lights not working, tire sensor failure, power seat failure, etc. Finally, one morning the car was dead in the garage. A $100K car that would not give any sign of life or start with only 4000 miles on board. Had to have it towed to the dealer where they are still "trying to figure out what happened". Update: Regarding the above problem they found out that one of the air suspension shocks valve shorted and it drained the battery. The piece was replaced and the problem was solved. We've now owned this vehicle for over two years and had to change the tires twice already. Both under 20K miles. The dealer said that the lower profile tires with "softer" rubber are the reason. Perhaps, but that combined with quite a bit of wheel camber and directional tires makes for rapid uneven wear of the tires requiring changing them early at the tune of $350 each tire. Something to keep in mind. We also had multiple issues with the AC system developing an unpleasant musty smell. We live in Florida and AC is a must. It is humid here and there is something about the pipes that causes them to retain condensation and moisture leading to this issue. The AC has been "flushed" and sanitized multiple times, but the unpleasant smell persists. USB connectivity for this year model was poor and difficult to set up. Their remote app is also difficult to use and of limited functionality. Regarding navigation I routinely use Google Maps in my phone now as it surpasses anything cars' navigation can offer. Also, we had to bring the car in several times for tire balancing and alignment due to recurrent vibration at speeds above 70mph. After the service things improved but the ride always has a significant amount of vibration. This is more glaring when I compare it to our other car, a Land Rover, that has a fantastic ride at all speeds. Disappointing at this price range. Overall, I would not buy this particular model from Mercedes. Perhaps it has too many parts from Chrysler, I don't know but many annoyances and quality problems.
The GL450 has so many problems, that dealers across the country and head quarters do not know how to fix, the customer frequently hears "we have no idea what is wrong or how to fix your problem." I had a Lexus LX 470 and as soon as I can get the Mercedes out of the shop, they have had it for 9 days, I am headed for Lexus and trading it in. The vehicle backfires on every cold start, a very dangerous situations. "Nothing but the best, the safest, technologically advanced;" far from it. Mercedes you are better than this. Step up your game and your customer service response. I was told today by Mercedes corporate customer care group "they had no idea when they would have an answer or solution to the backfire problem. When I said do you think you will know something by December, the regional claims manager stated "I have no idea." "Nothing but the best?" I will never recommend or buy another Mercedes.
... and Customer Satisfaction/Retention. All electronics in my GL63 are terrible with Navigation and Voice Recognition poorer than any car I own. Unrealiable, Inconsistent, Quirky, freeze and just don't work. Dealership makes excuses but they are terrible. Voice recognition is the worst of the 5 cars I own. Can not get into vehicle as auto door unlocking doesn't always work. Navigation will take you to Mongolia often and I have no confidence in. Options, electronic just don't work more than half the time. Taken to dealership numerous times but they seem resigned to there is no fix. I don't think they even log in my visits any more. My second but last MB. Others are better. Just not enough for the money $130K. Sticking to American and Japanese as I have experienced better reliability and value. MB has been a disappointing brand for me. Looking elsewhere for my next car purchases.