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Mercedes-Benz GL450 Reliable?

I'm looking for a large SUV. GL450 seems to be a good choice. But consumer report says that the reliability is below average. I'm not sure exactly what it means. Can any GL450 owners share their owner experience with me? Also I'm living in silicon valley CA. Does anyone know which dealer I can get the best deal for premium package 1?


  • awj123awj123 Posts: 7
    I have a '08 GL450 that I purchased in November, now has about 3000 miles on it. This is my first Mercedes and had heard rumors about quality, but I have experienced no issues to date. I traded in a 2003 Escalade to purchase this vehicle, and the Escalade had multiple issues including front end problems with the steering column (a fairly common problem on the Escalade, Denali, and Tahoe), the Nav unit, as well as the chrome wheels- which corroded around the valve stems and would no longer hold air issue that was not covered under warranty. I was thinking about the new Escalade as a potential purchase, but after the poor response from the dealer on the wheels I decided to go with the GL and have not regretted it. I am in the market for a second SUV and may buy another GL (currently have a Lexus GX470). The new GX470 is the best SUV value out there (I've looked at everything) and the dealer experience is much better than Mercedes- at least in the Boston area...but the size and impractical 3rd row seat configuration of the GX is proventing us from buying another one. I bought the GL at $3000 below MSRP and got the best trade value on the Escalade from Mercedes which helped close the deal. Good luck with your purchase.
  • Mercedes will alway have reliability issues. My 2007 GL450 is my 3rd Mercedes.
    Our 2000 C240 had navigation and moonroof problems that couldn't be fixed. So we traded that in for 2003 S430. Problems with exhaust, catalytic converter, which had to be replaced 2X. Luckily under warranty. Still own it with no other problems yet.
    Now we have the GL. Bought it in July 07. Currently has 6000 miles. Only one problem thus far. The liftgate closes, but doesn't lock. So the car warns me while I'm driving to close the liftgate. It sucks to have to stop. Open and close the liftgate sometimes twice before it locks. Or I sometimes have to go to the back of the car
    and pull on the liftgate handle, then it locks. Still annoying. I'm going to take it in this week.
    Why buy Mercedes when I have problems in every car. One word. WIFE.
    I like BMW and Porsche. My Porsche 911 has no problems in 6 yrs. Wow, even that surprised me.
    Back to the GL. Mercedes is starting to wear on me though. I like the looks and the ride. It can't be beat. I don't even like SUV, but don't mind the GL b/c it rides and feels just like a car. Acceleration and smoothness one of the best. So I'm hoping there will be no other issues with the GL. One thing for sure. Never had an engine or transmission problem with any of my Mercedes.
    I bought the GL for $7000 off MSRP. Thought I got a great deal until I found out my friend got one two months later for $9000 of MSRP. Most likely b/c the '08 was coming in.
    Have fun shopping, You'll be pleased if you decide on the GL450.
  • jsc_usajsc_usa Posts: 11
    I'm considering of buying GL450. Do you mind to share with us which dealer or area you and your friend got the deal from?
  • occarfanoccarfan Posts: 23
    Bought the GL at Merc of Anaheim (southern California).
    Should be able to get below invoice in this area easily.
  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    like BMW and Porsche. My Porsche 911 has no problems in 6 yrs. Wow, even that surprised me

    Have you ever heard the problems that bmws have? Maybe its the best to drivers car but reliability I am not so sure btw I am talking abt the x5.

    About the porsche 911 is 1 of the most reliable sports cars again cayenne is a suv but a blast to drive but again reliability is not the best.

    As far as reliability goes nothing beats the japanese but the fun to drive part I guess the germans takes that.
  • occarfanoccarfan Posts: 23
    You're right. My brother drove his Lexus SC400 230,000 miles w/o any issues
    before trading it in for Lexus RX350. Very, very reliable cars.
  • haymistahaymista Posts: 12
    We have been less than impressed with our 07 GL with 39k miles. We bought shortly after the car came out, and perhaps some of the bugs have been worked out. The tire pressure monitoring has been a constant annoyance. The warning light still comes on frequently despite numerous trips to the dealer. We had problems with the liftgate closing and locking. The service locally is terrible as you have to book two weeks in advance to get a loaner and they rarely fix anything in one day. The service wait room is always packed with people complaining aout their MB. After driving Lexus and Acura for several years, I appreciate the prompt service and few problems. The GPS is so over engineered that we bought a Garmin which is much faster to use. I will not buy another MB no matter how "exciting" the german cars drive.
  • occarfanoccarfan Posts: 23
    haymista. Did MB fix your liftgate properly? I have the same problem but haven't taken it in yet. Currently I pull on the liftate lever, then it locks (b/c sometimes my wife forgets and the interior light stays on overnite which will eventually drain battery). Very annoying.
    Also passenger visor won't stay up. It creeps down to lowest level making it hard to see if you're tall. But leaving up completely will leave glaring sun in your eyes.
    But it is a MERCEDES my wife says :confuse:
  • I have a 2007 GL450, at around 28,500 miles. So far we've had many issues with this car, but not within the last six months. The car had many air suspension issues within the first 10,000 miles, and the dealer had so many problems with similar Gl450's that they ran out of parts for the suspension (luckily that was covered under warranty). Electrical problems also persisted, among them problems with power windows from time to time and the sunroof.
    Also I had similar problems with the tailgate not locking earlier on, but we just had to slam the trunk shut manually. And it would've been nice if the car came with leather seats as a standard option, instead of high quality vinyl. And the factory-fitted Continental tires wore out kind of quick, and I had to replace them at around 28,500 miles.
    The only good thing about this car is that it's a mercedes and you get a nice blend of wood and other trims in the car. And it has great acceleration for a big suv. But coming from a 2005 Toyota Landcruiser, this car's reliability is in the toilet.
  • mbbqmbbq Posts: 2
    Wow. Everyone seems to have the same problems. We have (had?) a 2007 GL450 with about 12k miles on it.
    Tailgate problems....check.
    Air suspension problems...check.
    Car spontaneously bursting into flames while parked in a driveway...check.
    Oh wait, that may be a unique problem.
    But it did happen to my wife last week. If I knew how to post photos here, I would. Thankfully no one was hurt but had our children been in their car seats or had it been parked in our garage, it is safe to assume there would have been loss of human life.
    And remember, the car was not even running. Scary, huh?
    The fire started under the passenger seat (battery location?) and fully engulfed the car in less than 3 minutes. First a funny smell, then some smoke, then some sparking/popping noises to a raging inferno. It was a large fire. Thankfully the fire station was close and they put it out before the fire caught the tree above the car (which in turn would have likely caught the house on fire).
    Needless to say the car and all of its contents are a total loss.
    Perhaps the most amazing and astonishing thing about our experience has been Mercedes' response to our experience...or shall I more accurately say, their lack of response?! Their only response has been that they would gladly talk to our insurance company but not us directly....hmmmm.

    I sincerely hope no one else has had a similar experience. I am certain Mercedes' legal department doesn't want to hear about any more GL450 fire bombs!
  • JayceJayce Posts: 1
    I would like to buy a 2007 or 2008 GL450 but consumer reports rates the 2007 very poorly especially for electrical problems. On the forums and blogs, its seems like the 2008 is getting some of the same reviews. The dealer says its pre-certified, has warranty and much in demand sso what is there to worry about?. My other choices are 2008 BMW x5 and a 2007Lexus LX470 , all very low mileage and in very good condition . How would you make this decision? Do you think a 2007 or 2008 GL450 is worth the risk? I am looking for a high performing quality vehicle but reliability matters. I also have to carry up to 5 kids and me from time to time and the BMW x5 seat in the back is not the most desirable. I look forward to your candid comments. Many thanks in advance.
  • brwbdwbrwbdw Posts: 3
    I am having so many problems with my 2007 GL. Now Mercedes does not want to cover the problems under warranty. My biggest concern is the computer located under the seat near the battery. It has malfunctioned and shut the vehicle down 2 times in a 3 week period and had to be towed to the dealership. This computer also works my windows and they roll up and down without the key in my car. The other day while my children were in the car the windows started smoking. Has anyone out there had any luck getting Mercedes to stand behind the GL?
  • I recently purchased a White 2008 GL450 for my wife with P1, rear seat entertainment, leather package, etc. We were dissapointed with the fact that the Harman/Kardon system kept malfunctioning and the rear seat entertainment had horrible movie quality. In addition, the COMMAND system was REALLY BAD, my wifes old Honda Oddysey had a better system and that was a year 2000 model. So, we decided to trade the 08 in for an 09 8 months later. SO MUCH BETTER! Navi is amazing (similar to 09 S Class), rear seat entertainment is so much nicer (LCD screens/flat panel/play 2 dvd's on 2 separate screens), the larger exterior side mirrors are a nice touch and the appearance package is great. New power lumbar support and in dash 6CD/DVD changer wrap up the package. AND THE TAIL GATE IS FIXED!!!!! NO MORE PROBLEMS!!!!! I have to say that the 2009 Mercedes Benz Gl class is A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE FROM THE 2007 AND 2008 MODELS!
  • bertrockabertrocka Posts: 1
    Well mbbq - My brother's house burnt to the ground last night and his dog died in the fire due to his wife's GL450 catalytic converteres catching on fire! I am going to post photos. Fire investigators determined that the GL parked in the garage was the cause of the fire. if you could, please contact me - We are embarking on a journey to go after Merecedes benz because of this. THere must be something here... Obviously my brother is devastated over the loss of his dog and house and EVERYTHING that he and his family owned. THEY HAVE NOTHING!!! They were lucky to get out alive. The car was off for at least 5 hours before catching on fire.
  • gregoryxgregoryx Posts: 44
    OMG . . . that is awful news for your bro. Hope he and his family recover well. prayers to him.

    Can you please provide an update with MB response? my wife drives an 02 ML 320 which she loves, despite the well known issues that the model had. I am looking at the Audi Q7, the Lexus 470, and the GL. i only added the GL after speaking with some friends who had no problems with it. However, after reading the 2 posts about spontaneous fires - i am very concerned. please tell us more
  • mbbqmbbq Posts: 2
    send me an email to discuss. (yes, I know I am not supposed to post my email address but do not know how else to contact you)
    [email protected]
  • Not sure if my previous post made it clear or not but i just want to clarify that it looks like that it was NOT the catalytic but ELECTRICAL according to the person i spoke to at Allstate.
  • st99st99 Posts: 1
    My friend's 2008 GL450, 27K miles, caught on fire last Friday 09/27/09. It happend exactly as you described....(The fire started under the passenger seat and fully engulfed the car in less than 5 minutes. First, a funny smell, then some smoke, and then the fire) and it bursted into flames before the fire brigade arrived. Luckily, the car was on the driveway outside the garage only 8 feet away from the house. Amazingly, the house did not get on fire and only incurred minimum damages. Mercedes should recall 2007 and 2008 GL450 models.
  • Will you please contact me? I am trying to talk with others that have had the same problem. These cars are not safe and Mercedes Benz is not wanting to fix the problem. I would really appreciate any help you can give me. I have had many electrical problems. I have now turned my car back over to Mercedes bc my husband refuses to put me and our kids back in it. Thanks
  • Please email me at [email protected] I have had the same electrical problems and Mercedes is not willing to help in anyway. I am looking for an expert for a upcoming trial and need help. Thanks
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Will you please contact me?

    Let's keep the conversation here so everyone will benefit. To do otherwise tends to defeat the purpose of a Forum. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • no pun intended. I was considering getting a CPO GL450 but this thread has scared the crap out of me.
  • watkinstwatkinst Posts: 119
    The original post was regarding 08's

    As for the fire thing - the battery is a high tech AGM battery we use in the boating industry very good product which has a long life and Gel format so have little risk of spilling etc in an accident.

    As for electrical fires you need to be very cautious of after market and even dealer add on products that require electrical work in any new high tech car given the electrical systems being modified or altered can cause fires and other major issues.

    Once a car leaves the factory there is no telling what is done to it even by the dealer before its sold.

    I have a good friend with a private company that specializes in MB electrical work and fixes. The local MB dealer has started shipping their cars to his business given they were having all sorts of issues caused by 3rd party attempts to add alarms - radio equipment - back up cameras - entertainment systems etc.

    Not to mention there are electrical standards regarding this sort of work which nearly no 3rd party small shop is up to speed on or certified for.
  • kurtz350kurtz350 Posts: 1
    Hi I HAD a 08 GL. It caught on fire. Investigation still pending. I cannot tell if the fire started from the engine or interior due to smoke travelling from vents at the time or incedence. The car is burnt to a crisp and took the fireengines around 25 minutes to respond due to my location. My question is since you have knowledge, do you know if the computer can be salvaged to acquire information on how the fire got started or give a brief history on the step by-step problems that occured prior to combustion?
  • wk0312wk0312 Posts: 1
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. My wife and I was considering a 07 GL450 at our local MB dealership. Now that I have read the threads we will no longer be pursuing this vehicle.

    Many Thanks,

  • priority1priority1 Posts: 1
    I was contemplating buying a certified 2008 GL. This is the first I heard of any fires! What did MB attribute the causes to? Is this a problem in 2007 and 2008 models only? I would appreciate any updates on this issue?

  • I just lost my MB 2008 320 GL last night. The fire was so hot it melted both the front and back license plates. I am so thankful that my kids were not in the car...we just had a wedding last week, and we have had many relatives riding in the car up until the day before the fire. I planned on replacing the car with another MB GL, but now, after reading these posts, I am very concerned. I had never heard of any issues until now!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    Were you driving the car at the time or was it parked somewhere?
  • It was being driven back to the dealership by a driver for repair...the check engine light had come on and I had been having problems with acceleration, so I was sending it to the dealer. Apparently, the driver was flagged down and told the back of the car was on fire.
  • ermsamermsam Posts: 3
    :lemon: :lemon: OMG! I thought I was going crazy until I began reading these posts! Today, I was driving my recently purchased pre-owned 07 GL-450, with my wife and kids when I started feeling intense pain to the left side of my lower back! I thought I had gotten bitten by an insect! But when I reached back, I felt heat. I looked at the heated seat indicator and noticed it on. How it came on is a mystery, because it was 101 degree outside and I did not turn it on. The pain intensified to the point where I had to pull over on the side of the highway. When I got out, I smelled smoke and noticed what appeared to be a circular burn in the vinyl seat approximate to a burnt area on back. Upon arriving home, I took a thermometer, placed it on the burnt area on the seat, started the car and turned on the driver side heated seat on low. In less than 30 seconds the seat began to smoke and the thermometer spiked and broke! I moved the car out of my garage. I believe the car is still smoldering even though some time has passed and now we are afraid to go near it! I would be surprised if the heated seat function isn’t really the cause of all these internal fires. We’ve had the car less than a month, have yet to pay the first payment, and have had to have this car serviced 4 times by Mercedes. I wonder if I am protected by the lemon law! To think I traded a fully loaded Nissan Pathfinder LX in for this very expensive Piece of Crap! Mercedes use to stand for something!
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