10 Best & Worst Mercedes-Benz GL450 Years (Facts & Stats)

The Mercedes-Benz GL450 is a three-row luxury SUV that started out as a 2007 model year. 

It comes with a robust engine, premium interior features, and exceptional ride comfort. 

In this article, we’ll be talking about all of the best and worst model years of the GL450.

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Mercedes-Benz GL450 Are:

The best Mercedes-Benz GL450 model years are 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2009. The worst model years of this model are 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Mercedes-Benz GL450?

2016 and 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL450

The 2016 and 2015 GL450 models have established themselves as top choices for a three-row SUV, offering spaciousness, robust performance, and lasting quality.

These final iterations marked a significant shift from the conventional V8 engine to a turbocharged V6 engine, delivering comparable power but with enhanced efficiency.

Equipped with a 3-liter turbocharged gasoline V6 engine, these models boast 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. They also feature a smooth 7-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 19 MPG for combined city and highway driving, which, while not outstanding, is commendable for its class. 

Owners have praised these models for several attributes, including:

  • Luxurious Interior
  • Exceptional Comfort
  • Advanced Technology
  • Comfortable Seating
  • Striking Appearance
  • Superior Safety Features
  • Efficient Fuel Economy
  • Smooth Ride Quality
  • Generous Cabin Space

2016 GL450:

  • Edmunds: 3.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2015 GL450:

  • Edmunds: 3.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 77 / 100

2016 GL450, Edmunds Review:

“This is one of the finest SUV’s available being beaten 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…”

2014 Mercedes-Benz GL450

The 2014 GL450, aptly positioned between the efficient GL350 Bluetec and the more powerful GL550, strikes a perfect balance of practicality and impressiveness.

This model stands out with its extensive array of standard safety and entertainment features, offering ample legroom and headroom to comfortably accommodate up to seven passengers.

Under the hood lies a formidable 4.7-liter V8 engine, delivering a solid 362 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Its fuel efficiency is rated at an EPA-estimated 16 MPG for combined city and highway driving, which is respectable for its size and power.

Enhancing its appeal are optional packages that cater to a variety of needs and preferences, including a lane tracking package, lighting package, driver assistance package, and even an off-road package for the more adventurous.

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2014 GL450, Edmunds Review:

“After months of research into the true SUV and Luxury class of truck based, non-crossover vehicles, the GL450 consistently rated high among the likes of the Audi Q7, Escalade, Land Cruiser, Range Rover and Lexus 570. Because of the company it kept regarding comparable SUVs in the Luxury Class, I selected the Mercedes Benz GL450 as the used vehicle to buy. I have no single regret…”

2009 Mercedes-Benz GL450

The 2009 GL450 is a significant improvement compared to many of its predecessors and successors that were notably more fraught with issues.

This model offers robust acceleration delivered by V8 engines, a serene cabin environment, a wide array of luxury features, plush seating, and exceptional craftsmanship.

Owners have consistently lauded this model for its:

  • Refined Interior
  • Comfortable Seating
  • Exceptional Comfort
  • Elegant Appearance
  • Engaging Driving Experience
  • Powerful Engine Performance
  • Smooth Ride Quality

Significant enhancements in this iteration include the incorporation of an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system, a hard-drive-based navigation system, and a 6.5-inch infotainment display equipped with a dedicated iPod connector.

The model also stands out for its impressive safety equipment and driver assistance technologies, such as:

  • Advanced Stability Control
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Front Headrests Designed to Reduce Whiplash
  • Driver-Side Knee Airbag
  • Comprehensive Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags with an Integrated Rollover Sensor
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Hill Descent Control

2009 GL450:

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2009 GL450, Kelly Blue Book Review:

“This car has amazing cornering abilities. It is beautiful, stylish And very comfortable. I’ve had it for 12 years and still love it like it was brand new.”

Consumer Scores For Best Mercedes-Benz GL450 Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2016 Mercedes-Benz GL4503.3 / 5.04.3 / 5.079 / 100
2015 Mercedes-Benz GL4503.3 / 5.04.3 / 5.077 / 100
2014 Mercedes-Benz GL4503.9 / 5.04.3 / 5.081 / 100
2009 Mercedes-Benz GL4504.2 / 5.04.1 / 5.075 / 100

Related: 13 Most Common Mercedes GL450 Problems (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Mercedes-Benz GL450?

2007 Mercedes-Benz GL450

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL450, the first-ever model year produced and offered in North America got off to a rough start.

Based on reports online, this SUV’s seats had several heating-related issues, caused primarily by defective seat heating mechanisms.

Problems reported included the following:

  • Seat fires
  • Seat burn
  • Seat damage
  • Smoke from seats
  • Burning odors

This was such a widespread issue, affecting hundreds of users, but was fortunately contained and addressed in the succeeding production cycles. 

“Heating element in the driver’s side is defective. The car seat caught on fire. Mercedes refuses to fix under warranty. Will only cover 25% of a $1400 repair. This does not include the damage done to the seat.” – CarProblemZoo.com

“After starting vehicle and turning on seat warmers, the car smelled of a burning smell and I felt a very hot spot on my back. I turned off the seat warmers to find a hole burned into the leather. All occurred on the driver’s side of 2007 mb gl-450.” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2007 GL450 had a total of 5 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 156 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Common problems:

  • Seat malfunction
  • Will not start
  • Tailgate does not latch properly

2008 Mercedes-Benz GL450

The succeeding 2008 GL450 had a fair share of unique problems of its own, securing second place in terms of problems and complaints.

The primary area of concern was the steering, problems included:

  • Difficulty steering at slow speeds
  • Steering wheel locking and seizing

“Steering wheel doesn’t work the way it should. Steering wheel gets frozen when the vehicle is driving…” – CarProblemZoo.com

“2008 Mercedes gl 450 steering sporadically locks up and causes loss of control of vehicle… Occurs at slow, medium and fast speeds. Vehicle very difficult to steer and steering wheel difficult to turn.”

Alongside these steering-related concerns are suspension-related issues. 

Based on reports online, the Mercedes-Benz’ patented air suspension system, known as the Airmatic Suspension, was very problematic. 

Owners suffered from suspension drops, imbalances, and abnormal sounds, causing an unstable and unsafe driving experience. 

“The airmatic suspension has failed, the truck is sitting low, the air compressor blew into pieces from working too hard. This is a big problem with Mercedes airmatic shocks on many different models…” – CarProblemZoo.com

“Replaced right front Airmatic strut. Suspension kept dropping. At times, after closing door, air escapes and suspension drops. Dealer checked codes and nothing. Suspension continues to drop when door closes. Can hear air escaping.” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2008 GL450 had a total of 1 complaint on CarComplaints.com and 83 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Common problems:

  • Airmatic suspension issues
  • Power steering problems
  • Shuts off while driving

2010, 2011, and 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL450

While most of the widespread issues that plagued the 2007 and 2008 models were solved, the 2010, 2011, and 2012 GL450 models all fell victim to severely defective airbag systems.

This issue is related to none other than the Takata airbag recall which has affected millions of different units across various makes and models. 

Specifically, issues reported by owners included the following:

  • Airbag sensor inaccuracy
  • Airbag deployed unnecessarily.
  • Airbag warning light illumination
  • Airbag deployment failure

What made things worse was the extreme delay (up to several years) in repairs for the majority of owners. 

“Takata recall – the recall originally came out in 2/2016, and at the time, it said a remedy was not yet available. I recently read another article about the recall and when I checked it still said a remedy wasn’t available. That’s three years they’ve had to fix it and they haven’t.” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2010 GL450 had a total of 40 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2011 GL450 had a total of 3 complaints on CarComplaints.com and 57 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2012 GL450 had a total of 1 complaint on CarComplaints.com and 51 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Common problems:

  • Air conditioning smells like mold
  • Airbag issues
  • Intake manifold air flap issues
  • Air suspension failure
  • Airmatic failure

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450

The 2013 GL450 has had various electrical and engine problems, including:

  • Engine harness wire damage
  • Engine start-up problems
  • Vehicle stalling while driving
  • Oil leaks

These problems have led to costly repairs.

“The engine failed under 100k miles after being properly maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.” – CarProblemZoo.com

“This car has lot of issues with water pump, radiator leak, lot of engine problems. Oil leak it’s got less than 100,000 miles. Radiator hoses leak. Car stopped on Mass Turnpike going to Albany, NY took it to Benz of Albany they said engine misfires needs engine replacement and it would cost $47,000 to replace.” – CarProblemZoo.com

  • The 2013 GL450 had a total of 1 complaint on CarComplaints.com and 44 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Common problems:

  • Front harness wiring falling apart
  • Engine problems
  • Electrical faults

Related: 9 Best & Worst Mercedes-Benz GLC Years (With Pictures)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2016 Mercedes-Benz GL4503125
2015 Mercedes-Benz GL4500193
2014 Mercedes-Benz GL4502203
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL4501443
2012 Mercedes-Benz GL4501512
2011 Mercedes-Benz GL4503572
2010 Mercedes-Benz GL4500402
2009 Mercedes-Benz GL4501192
2008 Mercedes-Benz GL4501831
2007 Mercedes-Benz GL45051561

What Problems Do Mercedes-Benz GL450 Have?

  • Faulty wire harness
  • Intake manifold air flap issues
  • Airmatic failure
  • Electric seat failure
  • Keyless entry system problems
  • Air conditioning issues
  • Air suspension failure
  • Will not start
  • Tailgate not latching properly

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Buick Encore?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Mercedes-Benz GL4508.0$19,853 – $30,011City: 13 – 19 /Highway: 17 – 26
Toyota Land Cruiser7.8$53,743City: 13 /Highway: 18
Cadillac Escalade7.6$29,773 – $37,794City: 15 /Highway: 21 – 22
Lexus LX7.6$49,664City: 13 /Highway: 18
Infiniti QX807.5$23,866 – $31,825City: 13 – 14 /Highway: 19 – 20
Lincoln Navigator7.4$22,167 – $26,607City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 19 – 22
Land Rover Range Rover7.1$28,275 – $66,400City: 14 – 22 /Highway: 19 – 28

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 8 Best & Worst Mercedes-Benz GLS Years (Explained)












  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...