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$18,925 - $23,954
$61,570 - $85,300

Pros & Cons

  • Poised handling
  • Soft ride
  • Diesel GL350's good fuel economy
  • Luxurious interior
  • Limited cargo space for class





Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.9
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Overview

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is available in three trims that designate which engine it has. The GL350 has a turbodiesel V6 that test drivers said is a bit slow from a stop, but has plenty of power otherwise. The GL450 and GL550 trims both come with V8 engines, and critics reported that both have ample power, especially the more powerful GL550. All trims come with a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The 2012 GL350 returns an EPA-estimated 17/21 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. The GL450 gets 13/18 mpg, which is on par for the class, and the GL550 gets a slightly lower 12/17 mpg. All GL-Class trims come standard with a height-adjustable air suspension, and test drivers said the GL-Class drives comfortably over rough roads. Most wrote that it has precise steering and controlled body lean through sharp turns.

Automotive journalists reported that the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class has a gorgeous interior that is appointed with luxurious materials. The GL-Class seats seven in three rows. Reviewers said the first two rows of seats are very comfortable, but some found the third row to be cramped for adults, which is a common complaint for a three-row SUV. The Mercedes GL-Class has up to 83.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is a bit low for a three-row SUV. Critics the GL-Class' flat-folding rear seats make it easy to expand the cargo area and load items. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class comes standard with front seats that are heated and power-adjustable, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system with a 7-inch display screen. Available features include leather upholstery, a rearview camera, navigation, a rear-seat entertainment system, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system and blind spot monitoring.

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers said the 2012 Lexus GX has impressive interior build quality. The GX also has more cargo space than the GL-Class, and gets pretty good fuel economy for a V8-powered large SUV.

The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid gets excellent fuel economy for the class. Reviewers liked the Escalade Hybrid's comfortable ride and modern, upscale interior, as well as its large cargo area.

Compare the GL-Class, GX and Escalade Hybrid »

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