Outstanding gas and diesel engines; sumptuous interior with all the toys; adult-friendly third row; excellent highway manners; real off-road capability with optional equipment
Massive size isn't for everyone; some expected luxuries (such as keyless entry/start) cost extra
While there's something tempting about the big power of the GL550 and GL63 AMG versions, real-world demands make the GL350 BlueTEC the one we'd order. It's attractively priced and remarkably fuel efficient for such a big rig. Find a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class for sale
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class comes in four variants, from a (relatively) modest clean-diesel model to an over-the-top high-performance AMG version.
The GL350 BlueTEC ($64,525) includes amenities such as an AIRMATIC air suspension, 19-in alloy wheels, a sunroof, LED running lights and taillights, aluminum roof rails, a power lift gate, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, wood trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette (MB-Tex) upholstery, power front seats with adjustable driver lumbar support, power-folding third-row seats, a 4.5-in color driver information display, Bluetooth and the COMAND infotainment system with a 7-in display, a USB audio port and an SD card reader.
Opt for the GL450 ($66,125), and you'll get essentially the same features. The twin-turbo gasoline V6 under the hood is the main difference.
The GL550 ($90,875) obviously costs a whole lot more, and in return you get the 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 plus standard adaptive suspension dampers, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, 21-in AMG alloy wheels, power-closing doors, keyless entry/start, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, top-stitched dashboard trim, upgraded wood inlays, 3-zone climate control, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, multicontour front seats with massage functions, auto-dimming mirrors (with exterior power-folding), a power adjustable steering column, driver memory settings, a navigation system, voice controls and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with digital music storage.
Most of the GL550's extra standard features can be added to the GL350 BlueTEC or GL450 as options.
The GL63 AMG ($120,375) goes all out with the 5.5-liter V8 plus an AMG body kit, a roll-resistant suspension system (Active Curve System), performance brakes, a sport exhaust, a panoramic sunroof, illuminated running boards, a sport steering wheel, sport front seats and various exclusive AMG interior flourishes.
The GL63's panoramic sunroof and active suspension can be added to lesser models. Optional across the GL-Class line are a heated steering wheel, power second-row easy entry and a rear-seat entertainment system with twin LCD monitors. The GL450 and GL550 are eligible for an unusual On/Off-Road package that includes a 6-mode driving program selector with an increased maximum ride height, a 2-speed transfer case with low-range gearing and front underbody protection.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
2015 Cadillac Escalade -- Think of the Escalade as the GL's boisterous American cousin. It's a relatively cheap date, and you'll have a lot of fun inside its plush, well-appointed cabin.
2015 Infiniti QX80 -- Based on the capable Nissan Patrol SUV produced for overseas markets, the QX80 is a legitimate off-roader with a luxurious interior, clad with distinctive (and controversial) exterior styling.
2015 Land Rover LR4 -- Don't be fooled by the LR4's lower base price: This is a full-on luxury SUV with roomy 3-row seating, iconic styling and legendary off-road chops.
Used Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon -- The GL-Class is basically at the top of the SUV pyramid, so if you're looking for a used alternative, how about a certified pre-owned example of the world's wildest station wagon? The E63 AMG's track-ready handling puts the GL to shame, and its practical interior offers much of the SUV's functionality.