Outstanding gas and diesel engines; sumptuous interior with all the toys; adult-friendly third row; excellent highway manners
Desirable option packages inflate cost; massive size isn't for everyone; items such as keyless go, which are standard on lesser cars, cost extra
Following the GL-Class model's complete update for the 2013 model year, the 2014 lineup carries over with only minor packaging and color/trim changes
The impressive breadth of powertrains within the Mercedes-Benz GL lineup makes this a big crossover with something for (nearly) every person seeking a premium sport 'ute. While there's something tempting about the big power of the GL550 and GL63 AMG versions, real-world demands make the GL350 BlueTEC's impressive torque and surprising fuel economy figures of 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy the one we'd order. Tick the Premium Package box and add a few other extras and you have a spacious, comfortable and luxurious 7-passenger car that's ready for almost anything.
The 2014 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 ($63,000) has a 240-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that produces an impressive 455 lb-ft of torque. Exterior options include a lighting package ($1,390) with adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, a panorama roof ($1,090) and illuminated running boards ($670), as well as several wheel/tire combinations. The Premium 1 package ($3,680) offers a long list of extras, including an 80-gig navigation system, a 10-gig music hard drive, SiriusXM audio with traffic and weather, voice control, a 14-way adjustable driver seat, a power-adjustable steering column, power-folding mirrors, heated and cooled cup holders and a 115-volt rear power outlet. Additional comfort and convenience options include multicontour front seats ($1,100), ventilated front seats ($570), heated second-row seats ($620), a Harman Kardon sound system ($850), a rear entertainment system ($1,950), keyless go ($650) and rear side window sunshades ($380). Though the GL-Class has a comprehensive list of standard safety features, options include a Driver Assistance Package ($2,800) with adaptive cruise control, blind spot and lane-keeping assists, a Lane Tracking Package ($875) with blind spot and lane-keeping assists, a self-parking Parking Assist Package ($1,290) with surround view and a la carte Parktronic ($970).
Opt for the GL450 ($65,475) and you'll get a gasoline-powered, twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8 variant with more horsepower (362 hp) but less torque (406 lb-ft) compared to the entry-level GL350 BlueTEC diesel model. An Appearance Package ($1,340) adds 20-inch wheels, illuminated running boards and chrome exhaust tips, while the aforementioned Lighting Package ($1,390) is also available. The same interior comfort and convenience package options are available as on the GL350, and the safety options are, too.
The GL550 ($88,600) goes for brawnier performance with a twin-turbo 4.6-liter V8 that's tuned to produce 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The GL550's more generous standard items make the only major exterior option, on top of the usual wheel/tire combos, a panorama roof ($1,090). Inside, the Premium 1 package comes standard, while options include heated second-row seats ($620), a rear entertainment system ($1,950) and rear side-window sunshades ($380). A driver-assistance package ($1,950) adds adaptive cruise control and blind spot and lane-keeping assists.
The top-line GL63 AMG ($118,160) packages even more standard items along with an outrageous 550 hp 560 lb-ft twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8. A wood and leather steering wheel can be added for $1,050, or a more modern-looking AMG performance steering wheel runs $500. The AMG model offers an available Bang & Olufsen sound system ($5,400) and several of the rear comfort items available in lesser GL variants.
|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|
Cadillac Escalade -- Think of the $67,970 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.
Infiniti QX80 -- Based on the capable Nissan Patrol SUV produced for overseas markets, the $62,550 QX80 is a legitimate off-roader with a luxurious interior, clad with distinctive (and controversial) exterior styling.
Lexus LX 570 -- The $81,780 LX 570 is getting on in years, but it still brings a wonderful V8 and spacious 3-row seating to the table, bundled with pricing that fuels its status as an exclusive, low-volume product.