This is one of the finest SUV's available being beat only by Land Rover Range Rover Diesel which lists for about 25-30k more. The GL's acceleration is sluggish and is much less nimble than my X-5 diesel.
The GL offers more space than the BMW and has excellent fuel economy given its size. The premium package excludes adaptive xenon headlights and 3 zone climate control which is ridiculous. The standard halogen lights are anemic at best so it is imperative to order any Mercedes with xenon lamps. Do not purchase a Mercedes without upgraded headlights! Another bad call by the manufacturer was not to include as a standard feature 3 zone climate in a vehicle with a third row. Make certain your GL has 3 zone climate control otherwise you can be certain the third row will be very uncomfortable in summer months or warmer climates. My car included the rear seat entertainment package. The operation of this package is by remote controls so is beyond my four year olds ability rendering it useless. Furthermore the rear monitors can only be operated from the rear seats. Skip this package an I-pad is a much better choice. There is only one USB port in this car. Mercedes seems to lag behind its US competitors in amenities and technology. The car has many attributes and is the most practical SUV currently being marketed. Until something better in its class comes to market this still is a hard car to beat.
7 months later and still Love, Love, Love this car
Rocky Mountains Driver
written on 07-09-2016
My first Mercedes Benz . . . I really researched SUV's, looking for that perfect balance of utility, comfort and reliability. I went out of my way to get one with standard tires, the ride is so much better, smoother. It maybe doesn't look very flashy, but then flash was not something I wanted. The seats could be a little more comfortable, they're only ok, they are hard and begin getting uncomfortable after long hours of driving. The pick-up is smooth and immediate, easy to pass. The Distronic cruise control is beyond wonderful, it makes long drives so much more pleasant and easier too. The entertainment system is excellent, very intuitive and the console knob is very convenient and easy to operate. While the bluetooth phone hooks right up without any problem, connecting your music is a little harder and is my only complaint with the entertainment options. Navigation is great. Over the past 10 years I've driven a couple of Escalades (and every year they are little more uncomfortable and missing another bell or whistle), Tahoe (how much stick on plastic pieces can they fit in the interior?), Navigator (why oh why does Ford/Lincoln not get on board with adaptive cruise control in their most luxurious SUV?). The Mercedes beats them all, on all fronts. It's quieter, smoother, more responsive. Cruise control holds as well going downhill as on a flat surface. We don't need the 3rd row of seats and they fold down easily and flat, creating a large cargo area. MB offers great mats and containers built to fit, making optimal use of the area. Body built in America, engine built in Germany. I turned off the lane minder feature, I found the vibration and gentle guide back into my lane aggravating, would probably turn it on if I was driving sleepy, otherwise it's just too sensitive. Overall, great vehicle . . . I hope it continues to exceed my expectations.
Beware, it lokks good on paper, but is very disapp
written on 05-11-2016
Hard seats, mediocre brakes and dreadfully rough transmission shifts. Driving "in town" is awful due to the way the transmission is always slamming down or up, very clunky.
Hard braking is terrifying because the front end goes down and tge rear end lifts just like our 1972 Ranch Wagon witg rear drums.
With 9300 miles, I had the car shut off due to transmission failure, but even woth that fixed, the hard as wood seats still give me pain. And tge brake rotors are already warped.
Truly a mix of astonishing engineering (the bi-turbo V6 is terrific), terrific space and cheap cost cutting combines into a mediocre SUV, I will buy Lexus next.
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.
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.