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

Launched for 2017, the GLS succeeded the GL-Class as the flagship luxury SUV in the Mercedes lineup.

It has an upscale interior, tons of tech features, and smooth-running engine options. 

In this article, we will discuss the finest and least impressive model years of the GLS, providing detailed insights into each.

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

The best Mercedes-Benz GLS model years are 2024, 2023, and 2022. The worst model years of this model are 2017, 2020, 2021, 2018, and 2019. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

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

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS

The 2024 GLS makes a remarkable debut, boasting enhanced style and advanced technology.

This model sees a design refresh with a new grille design, updated bumper, fresh LED tail lights, a modernized steering wheel, and distinctive interior color options.

Buyers have the choice of the standard GLS 450 or the more powerful GLS 580.

The GLS 450 comes equipped with a turbocharged 3-liter 6-cylinder engine delivering 375 horsepower, while the GLS 580 features a turbocharged 4-liter V8 engine with 510 horsepower.

For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury and performance, the AMG GLS 63 is the ideal choice.

This top-tier model is powered by a stronger turbocharged 4-liter V8 engine, offering an impressive 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.

Key safety features include the Automatic Collision Notification System, Pre-Safe Sound, and Active Emergency Stop Assist.

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2024 GLS, Edmunds Review:

“I have driven about 2,000 miles as of writing this. My first comment is, wow! Did not think the V6 in my 2018 was lacking until I got the V8 in the 580. Truly impressive acceleration. The real reason I prefer the GLS is the ride. For a vehicle with nearly 7500 lb GVWR it rides marvelously. The road noise and engine noise is minimal. I prefer the GLS450 interior to the 580, but the quality is great on both…”

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS

The 2023 GLS is an impressive luxury SUV that beautifully blends comfort, performance, and technology.

It has a three-row seating arrangement that can comfortably seat regular-sized adults, has plenty of standard (and optional) safety features, and its responsive engines and stable handling create the sensation of piloting a smaller SUV.

New additions for this model year include a standard panoramic sunroof and metallic paint finish.

Critics have lauded the technology features of the GLS as one of its most significant attributes, particularly praising its advanced touchscreen infotainment system, exceptional navigation system, and the innovative augmented reality overlay that presents crucial driving information.

It comes in 3 distinct trims: GLS 450, GLS 580, and AMG GLS 63. We have found the entry-level GLS 450 to be satisfactory for most people’s needs, even those who prefer a premium and luxurious driving experience.

According to the EPA, you can easily get around 20 MPG for combined city and highway driving for the GLS 450 (while the GLS 580 can attain 18 MPG and the AMG GLS 63 can reach 16 MPG). 

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2023 GLS, Edmunds Review:

“Bought the 580 version fully loaded. Have about 12,000 miles on it, with no real issues. Had to top off coolant, and replenish cabin fragrance. Delivers on interior, versatility and quiet ride. Only nit I would have is ride quality over choppy roads…”

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS

The 2022 GLS boasts an expanded array of standard safety and driver assistance features.

Initially released with just the GLS 450, the lineup was soon complemented by the midrange GLS 580 and the top-of-the-line AMG GLS 63.

This model has been widely acclaimed for its interior, comfort, performance, and overall driving experience, both by owners and critics. Key aspects frequently highlighted by owners include:

  • Value
  • Spaciousness
  • Comfort
  • Technology
  • Safety
  • Seating
  • Interior

The base model GLS 450 is equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, 4Matic all-wheel drive, and a turbocharged 3-liter 6-cylinder engine producing 362 horsepower.

The GLS 580 steps up with a more powerful turbocharged 4-liter V8 engine delivering 483 horsepower, alongside features like illuminated running boards and leather upholstery.

At the top end, the AMG GLS 63 offers a twin-turbo 4-liter V8 engine with 603 horsepower, along with performance-tuned suspension.

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2022 GLS, Kelley Blue Book Review:

“I sold my 2021 GLE to buy this GLS 2022. Much better car, very well equipped compare to the GLE. Smooth ride, comfort and quality. A real S class Mercedes. Maybe the best one I’ve had.”

Consumer Scores For Best Mercedes-Benz GLS Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS3.8 / 5.04.9 / 5.078 / 100
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS3.9 / 5.04.9 / 5.078 / 100
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS3.9 / 5.04.9 / 5.075 / 100

Related: 6 Most Common Mercedes-Benz GLS Problems (Explained)

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

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS

The 2017 GLS has been identified as the most problematic model year in its production history, according to comprehensive online data. The primary issue reported by numerous users involves instances of the vehicle spontaneously catching fire.

These fires have been attributed to a range of causes, including electrical, engine, and transmission problems. Such incidents not only posed unexpected risks but also led to consequential damages to other properties, including garages and houses.

“Car destroyed by fire on March 19, 2023 while at a quick stop near Chickasaw, OK. Car was last serviced by Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City in December 2022. No personal injuries, just a total loss of the vehicle. Cause of the fire at present is unknown…” – NHTSA.gov

Another frequently encountered problem is the subpar headlight visibility, attributed to the use of low-quality halogen headlights. Although this issue might not be as severe as the vehicle catching fire, it significantly impacts driving safety.

Poor visibility during driving, particularly in low-light conditions, increases the risk of accidents, many of which could be preventable with better headlight performance.

“headlights are not safe. forward visibility is very poor. this vehicle should not be driven at night especially in poor weather conditions.” – NHTSA.gov

  • The 2017 GLS has a total of 30 based on NHTSA.gov data.

Other common problems:

  • Electrical system issues
  • Engine problems
  • Fuel system defects
  • Malfunctioning driver assistance features

2020 and 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS

The 2020 and 2021 GLS model years had their fair share of problems.

The primary concern reported by owners of these model years relates to malfunctions in the 48V battery system. This issue has resulted in sudden power losses, engine stalling, and failure to accelerate during routine driving conditions.

“On numerous occasions, when either slowing down or in a slow turn, the engine dies and will not reengage until I have turned off the vehicle, exited, then reentered and started the vehicle. I have had passengers in the vehicle who will attest to this occurring, in fact, the last time it happened, I was almost broadsided when the vehicle stopped in the middle of a left-hand turn, crossing three lanes of oncoming traffic…” – NHTSA.gov

Another significant issue involves various electrical system malfunctions, encompassing the air conditioning system and the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). Specifically, there have been reports of water intrusion leading to mold growth, resulting in persistent and unpleasant odors that are challenging to eliminate.

“I have noticed a significant issue with the AC vent system of my Mercedes GLS 450. The vents seem to be distributing mold smell already took my vehicle multiple times to park place Mercedes in Dallas and they performed service but the issue is persistent. I have taken the vehicle to my local Mercedes service center, where they attempted to address the issue. However, despite their efforts, the problem has persisted.” – NHTSA.gov

  • The 2020 GLS has a total of 15 based on NHTSA.gov data.
  • The 2021 GLS has a total of 23 based on NHTSA.gov data.

Other common problems:

  • Electrical system problems
  • Engine issues
  • Unreliable transmission
  • Steering difficulty
  • Loss of brake power

2018 and 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS

The 2018 and 2019 GLS has a variety of issues. The most commonly reported problems are:

  • Suspension issues
  • Ventilation system odor
  • Malfunctioning start/stop function
  • Trunk closure problem
  • Blind spot detector malfunction

Apart from these issues, a particularly critical concern is the sudden loss of power accompanied by brake failure.

According to online incident reports, the SUV has been known to unexpectedly lose power while being driven at relatively high speeds. This issue, when coupled with an unreliable brake system, poses a significant risk of catastrophic consequences.

“while driving 70 mph, the vehicle lost power and all the warning indicators on the instrument panel illuminated. also, when the brake pedal was depressed, the vehicle failed to stop. the contact stated that the vehicle finally stopped upon reaching a hill. the vehicle failed to restart and was towed…” – NHTSA.gov

  • The 2018 GLS has a total of 16 based on NHTSA.gov data.
  • The 2019 GLS has a total of 12 based on NHTSA.gov data.

Other common problems:

  • Loss of power
  • Sunroof damage
  • Steering issues
  • Active brake system malfunction
  • Premature tire wear
  • Unreliable suspension

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

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearProblems(NHTSA.gov)Recalls(NHTSA.gov)
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS
2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS23
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS58
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS2310
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS1522
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS122
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS164
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS3010

What Problems Do Mercedes-Benz GLS Have?

  • Weak halogen headlights
  • Keyless entry issues
  • Key fob problems
  • Odor from HVAC
  • Vibration at high speeds
  • Excessive premature tire wear
  • Battery issues

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Buick Encore?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Lincoln Navigator8.8$77,635 – $109,120City: NA /Highway: NA
Cadillac Escalade8.6$81,895 – $116,695City: 14 – 21 /Highway: 18 – 27
BMW X78.4$81,900 – $149,400City: 16 – 21 /Highway: 20 – 25
Land Rover Range Rover8.4$107,400 – $234,000City: 16 – 18 /Highway: 21 – 26
Jeep Grand Wagoneer8.2$87,995 – $110,995City: 13 – 14 /Highway: 18 – 20
Mercedes-Benz GLS8.2$81,800 – $170,000City: 14 – 18 /Highway: 19 – 23
Lexus TX7.8NACity: NA /Highway: NA
Mercedes-Benz G-Class7.6$139,900City: 13 /Highway: 16
Lexus LX7.2$87,815 – $127,905City: 17 /Highway: 22
Infiniti QX806.7$72,700 – $87,450City: 13 – 14 /Highway: 19 – 20

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

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












  • 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...