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$16,199 - $20,210
$60,950 - $84,450

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious seats
  • Smooth ride and good handling
  • Efficient diesel engine is strong off the line
  • Less interior space than many rivals
  • Few standard features




Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.1
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Overview

When it was new, reviewers loved the GL’s powerful engines, smooth ride and sumptuous interior. The GL is also available with a diesel engine, which gets some of the best fuel economy ratings in the class. The 2011 GL changed little since its 2007 introduction, so you may be able to save some money by opting for an older model.

Along with the base diesel V6 that gets an EPA-estimated 17/21 mpg city/highway, two gasoline-powered V8s are available as well, but their gas mileage tops out at 13/18 mpg city highway. Reviewers said the diesel model, known as the GL350 BlueTec, is adequate for most buyers, though reviewers preferred the performance from the V8-equipped GL450 and GL550. The GL comes standard with all-wheel drive, but it isn’t as capable an off-roader as a truck-based competitor, like the 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser. The GL can tow up to 7,500 pounds and carry up to 83.3 cubic feet of cargo.

Inside, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL consistently earned reviewer praise for its high-quality fit and finish. The GL comes standard with leatherette seating, so if you’re looking for true luxury, make sure you’re looking at a model equipped with the available leather seats. Other standard features include a sunroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, Bluetooth and COMAND infotainment system. Option packages up the ante with interior features that include navigation, a rearview camera, parking sensors, ventilated and massaging front seats, tri-zone climate control and a Harman/Kardon stereo.

See the full 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking at the GL, you should also consider the 2011 Lexus LX, which was our 2011 Best Luxury Large SUV for Families. Like the GL, the Lexus LX was a critic favorite for its luxurious, well-made interior. It is also much more adept off-road than the GL, so if you plan to take excursions beyond the pavement, the LX is a better choice.

Another model you should consider is the 2011 Cadillac Escalade. Critics praised the Escalade for its ample engine power and comfortable ride. They also generally liked its interior, saying it offers plenty of comfort and a fairly good fit and finish. If you need lots of cargo space, go for the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV.

Compare the GL to the LX and Escalade »

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