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2016 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL is one of the top vehicles in the luxury large SUV segment. It has an upscale interior and plenty of space in all three rows. It also has a selection of powerful engines, composed handling, and excellent gas mileage in the base model.

Pros & Cons

  • Adult-friendly seating in all three rows
  • Poised handling for its size
  • Great gas mileage with GL350
  • Potent engine lineup
  • Poor rearward visibility




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 6.6
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
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2016 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Overview

Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL is a very good luxury large SUV with few faults. It has a powerful base engine, and even stronger engines are available. Handling is carlike, and it's one of the few SUVs with roomy seats in all three rows. Its one flaw is its total cost of ownership, which is higher than that of most competitors due to high depreciation rates.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed 24 Mercedes-Benz GL reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2016 GL. U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL?

Based on roughly 125 listings on our site for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL, you can expect to pay between $40,000 and $82,700. The average list price is $56,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Cost to Own?

There are more costs associated with owning an SUV than the sticker price. Estimated five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 GL are about $39,300, which is high for a 2016 luxury compact SUV. In comparison, the 2016 Lexus LX will cost you an estimated $33,500 over five years, the 2016 Lincoln Navigator will cost around $26,800, and the 2016 Cadillac Escalade will cost roughly $30,200.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GL?

The 2016 GL was renamed the GLS in 2017. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS starts at $69,550 – more than $13,500 over the cost of a used 2016 GL. That’s a substantial price difference, but the GLS is a substantially improved model. The GLS’ interior is refreshed, the exterior has a sleeker look, and all trim levels now get Dynamic Select. This system – which allows the driver to customize the GLS to suit different terrains and driving styles – was only offered in higher trims of the 2016 GL. All that said, the 2016 GL is still a very good SUV, and you’ll sacrifice little by way of driving and comfort by choosing it over the new model. Plus, you’ll save a lot of money.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz GLS »

You’ll have to drop down to the luxury midsize SUV segment to find a 2018 SUV competitive in price to the 2016 GL. The base 2018 BMW X5 is a 2-row SUV that starts at about $1,200 above the average-priced used GL. The X5 is markedly smaller. It has less rear legroom and a smaller cargo area than the GL, and it seats only five. Also, the X5 comes standard with rear-wheel drive; the GL has standard all-wheel drive. If a smaller SUV works for you, the X5 is a good choice. Just note that the GL offers more of pretty much everything for less money.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL?

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL has a reliability rating of four out of five, which is above-average for the industry as a whole. Only the 2016 Lexus LX has a higher rating in the segment, at 4.5.

Read more about GL reliability »

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Recalls

As of this writing, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL has five recalls. The issues include a possible loss of electric power steering assist, air bag problems, and some loose and improperly assembled bolts.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz GL safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz GL Is Best?

The Mercedes-Benz GL's second generation began with the 2013 model year and continued through 2016. The GL remained mostly unchanged between these model years, so you may want to purchase a nearly identical older model to save money. If you’d like to buy the new 2018 GLS but find the cost too high, you may want to consider the 2017 model. It’s not much less expensive than the 2018, but it’s nearly identical to it.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 GL »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz GL Model Is Right for Me?

The base GL350 model comes with a number of features, including all-wheel drive, heated front seats, an infotainment system, and forward collision alert. It also comes with a powerful V6 turbodiesel engine. Unless you want more tech and safety features, the base model should suffice. The GL450 adds a more powerful twin-turbo V6. The GL550 comes with a twin-turbocharged V8 and several standard safety features, including a surround-view camera and automatic parallel park assist. The top-of-the-line AMG GL63 is the performance model. It comes with a stronger twin-turbo V8, a sport-tuned suspension, and a sporty design.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL trims and specs »

What Does Mercedes-Benz's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mercedes-Benz offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. This warranty can be renewed for a fee. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll receive the one-year warranty with unlimited mileage. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 165-point inspection.

If you’re unsatisfied with your CPO vehicle, Mercedes’ Exchange Privilege program allows you to exchange it for another CPO vehicle of equal or lesser value within seven days or 500 miles. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz’s CPO program is about average. It’s better than BMW’s but not as robust as Jaguar’s or Lexus’, according to our analysis.

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How Safe Is the GL?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rarely conduct crash testing on luxury large SUVs. As such, neither organization evaluated the 2016 GL.

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL comes with a rearview camera, a driver drowsiness monitor, and forward collision alert. Available safety features include a surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parallel park assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist.

See GL safety scores »

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL or 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser?

Looking to explore the off-road lifestyle with your luxury large SUV? If so, the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is the better choice of these two. It has the standard tools for rock climbing, including a locking center differential, an adjustable suspension, and reinforced skid plates. For on-road driving, however, the Mercedes is the better choice. The GL’s third row has substantially more legroom, better fuel economy, and a smoother ride over broken pavement.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL or 2016 Infiniti QX80?

The 2016 Infiniti QX80 is worth considering, as it has some of the same advantages as the GL, including agile handling. The QX80's potent V8 engine has 160 more horsepower than the GL's base V6. However, you'll pay for that extra power at the gas pump; the QX80 has some of the worst fuel economy numbers in the class. The QX80 has a larger cargo area than the GL, but its third row is cramped. Choosing between these SUVs comes down to your individual needs for fuel efficiency, cargo space, and passenger room.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL or 2016 Cadillac Escalade?

The 2016 Cadillac Escalade has an upscale interior, a potent V8 engine, and an available long-wheelbase version for those who need maximum cargo and passenger space. However, the Escalade has more cons than the GL. Its ride is harsh, and the standard model's third row doesn’t offer enough space for adults. Stick with the GL.

Compare the GL, QX80, and Escalade »

2016 GL Performance

How Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Drive?

A 240-horsepower, turbodiesel V6 engine powers the base 2016 GL350 BlueTEC. The GL450 has a 362-horsepower twin-turbo V6, and the GL550 has a twin-turbo, 492-horsepower V8 engine. The high-performance AMG GL63 has a twin-turbocharged 550-horsepower V8. All models have a seven-speed automatic transmission. Every engine in the GL's lineup provides satisfying power and zippy acceleration. Though upper trims have more robust engines, the base GL350's combination of good horsepower and class-leading fuel economy may make it the most practical option for daily driving.

Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base GL earns 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is better than most rivals’ fuel economy estimates. The GL450 gets 17/21 mpg city/highway, the GL550 gets 13/18 mpg, and the GL63 AMG gets 13/17 mpg.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Towing Capacity

All 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL models have the same towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.

Read more about GL performance »

2016 GL Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 GL Seat?

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL seats seven in three rows. Leatherette upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front seats are standard. Leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, and a range of other seating features are available. The Mercedes-Benz GL's standard seats provide all-day comfort, and there’s plenty of room for seven adults.

The GL’s lone seating issue is that rear visibility for the driver is poor. Fortunately, a rearview camera is standard.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL?

The GL has two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the second- and third-row outboard seats. There's an additional upper tether anchor on the second-row middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the GL’s LATCH system the top rating of Good for ease of use.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Features

Standard features in the 2016 GL350 include dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a five-year subscription to mbrace smartphone app integration services, a USB port, and Mercedes' COMAND system with a 7-inch screen. Available features include a rear-seat entertainment system, navigation, satellite radio, a panoramic sunroof, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo or a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and tri-zone automatic climate control.

The COMAND system works well, but it may take some time to get used to. It controls most cabin adjustments, including audio and phone functions, through a knob mounted on the center console. As a result, the dashboard isn’t cluttered with buttons.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL specs »

Read more about GL interior »

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Dimensions

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Cargo Space

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL has 16 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row, 49.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and 93.8 cubic feet behind the front row. While the GL's cargo capacity is great for the class when the second and third rows are folded, cargo room with the third row upright is a bit below the class norm.

2016 GL Length and Weight

The GL is 16.8 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 5,371 pounds for the GL450 up to 5,757 pounds for the GL63 AMG. The GL has a gross vehicle weight of 7,165 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL Built?

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL was made in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, alongside the M-Class and R-Class.

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Infiniti QX80 2016 2016 Infiniti QX80

#5 in 2016 Luxury Large SUVs

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