We've owned our 2015 GL diesel since early summer, and just completed a 3600 mile camping road trip through the 4-Corners region, involving highway and off-road travel with the truck loaded to the gills. we averaged 26.4 mpg for the trip as a whole, even though freeways in Utah and some of New Mexico were 80 mph. The front seats are very firm, well contoured but we used soft seat pads from Costco for 8 hour drive days. The truck handled very well off road an freeway driving is extremely comfortable. The turning radius is quite remarkable, well less than our prior Lexus LX470 making parking and maneuvering easy. The engine did have a "check engine" light go on, in Nevada, and was checked at a Reno dealership who said no problem to continue the trip--it turned out to be a faulty exhaust temp sensor, since replaced under warrantee. Maintenance costs have been reasonable. We're very happy with the vehicle.
We have owned this suv for 7 months now and we love it. It is so comfortable, quite, and great to drive. Our only complaint is for 70k the navigation and entertainment system could be better. This is the only shortcoming. Otherwise this is our favorite car for the family.
The car has terrible blind spots. The sideview mirrors are way too small. The safety warning systems for changing lanes do not help that much. The transmission bangs when changing gears at low speeds. The engine hesitates nearly all the time when accelerating. It chokes out like a gas engine in cold weather, makes for a dangerous situation when trying to pass. Decent mileage for a big car but the highway mileage never approach the rating.
Have gone thru a few winters. Very reliable in all road conditions. Averaging between 22 mpg to 24 mpg. 500 to 575 miles between fill-ups. Have gotten used to the poor mirrors to some degree but I still turn around to change lanes. The transmission does not bang as much at low speeds. Bought new tires at 50,000 miles, brakes front and back at 52,000 miles.
I have owned many luxury SUV's over the years and my GL550 has been the most all around satisfying SUV that I have owned. You can find one thing to like about any SUV, but when the product receives high marks in every category of owner satisfaction, I am inclined to believe I have found the best in class for the moment. This is my second GL550, and that should be an indication of my satisfaction, as I shopped other luxury brands before buying the second GL550. I have every option on my GL550, and that's how I generally ordered all my new vehicles, so that tends to increase owner satisfaction, but the basic unit is solid and sets a high bar of meeting expectations in this category before getting into the personal tailoring to meet the owners needs. I have the upgrade Designo interior in my current GL550, and find this expensive option to be worth every dollar, as the seat comfort on long trips is exceptional to the standard seat. Our Audi A8 with the upgraded interior, has the most comfortable seats in the industry (pretty much sets the bar for comfort), and the GL550 gets as close as anything to an Audi interior experience. The Mercedes product line is very customizable to personal taste, so I suggest that you pick your salesman carefully, so that you receive a exceptional experience in learning about the product before buying. As a note of caution, I have friends that felt conflicted after taking delivery of their new Mercedes cars, because after a couple weeks of ownership, they learned about what their car did not have, that they expected to be included based on talking too and buying from an inexperienced salesman.
I have done a follow-up review of my previous comments shown above and still stand by the original comments. This industry segment is becoming crowed with new entries into the luxury segment, but the value of the new entries is questionable when you looking at starting prices that would scare a Billionaire. I am anxiously waiting for the totally redone 2019 Mercedes Benz GLS. I now have forty-thousand miles on my GL, and I have had zero issues. I replaced the original equipment summer-tires with all-season Continental tires and actually improved handling, ride, and traction on wet roads. Gone are the days of hydroplaning on wet or slushy roads.
The GL550 is quick, looks good, and is made of high quality materials. My sticker was 95K. I enjoyed the vehicle for about 900 miles., but prior to 5k Miles there was over 6k worth of warranty work that included tires, transmission, window seals, and an HVAC smell that was similar to mold. This was my first Mercedes and my hopes were very high. I knew a lot of folks that had E and S series sedans and they mostly had no issues. If you spend the time to look very closely to consumer complaints and ratings of this vehicle you'll soon find out that the quality is sub-par across the board. Maintenance costs, breakdowns, ongoing known issue that should generate recalls but instead generate TB's (Technical Bulletins) that outline the known issues but give the dealership the "flexibility" to address the fix at their own discretion. Take the time to investigate the customer issues and total cost of ownership and you'll find this is a poor choice. I traded mine in at 19200 miles because I just got fed up with the downtime in the shop and all of the overall issues.