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2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Review

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS ranks near the top of the luxury large SUV class. It offers comfortable seating (even for adults in the third row) and a potent engine lineup. The GLS also hits most of the right notes for a large SUV when it comes to performance, refinement, and practicality.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious third row
  • Smooth, refined ride
  • Powerful engine lineup
  • High ownership costs
  • Fewer standard features than some rivals




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 5.8
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Overview

Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2017 GLS is a good 3-row SUV. It offers a range of powerful engines and a spacious interior teeming with first-rate materials. It maneuvers surprisingly well for a luxury large SUV, and it offers a cushioned ride even over rough roads. However, the GLS has higher ownership costs than many rivals, many of which also offer more standard features.

Why You Can Trust Us

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect and analyze information like safety and reliability ratings, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. To create our comprehensive Mercedes-Benz GLS review, we analyzed professional evaluations from 31 sources.

Our Best Cars team boasts more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and we also give awards for the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from

How Much Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

Based on around 170 listings on our site, you can expect to pay between $51,000 and $79,900 for a used 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS. The average list price is $62,900.

The high-performance AMG models go for a little more, ranging in price from $88,400 to $99,800. Their average list price is around $96,100. Keep in mind that your price will vary depending on mileage, condition, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Cost to Own?

Estimated costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs on the Mercedes GLS amount to around $35,900 over five years. That’s higher than the same five-year costs for many rivals. For example, the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser will cost around $31,500, while the Lexus LX sits at around $35,200.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GLS?

Outside of adding a new Grand Edition package, Mercedes made no major changes to the 2018 GLS. Considering the new SUV has a starting price of $69,550, you can likely save thousands of dollars and get more features by sticking with a model from 2017 or before.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz GLS »

No new luxury large SUVs can match the 2017 GLS’ average list price. However, there are a number of luxury midsize SUVs that can. The 2018 BMW X5 ($57,200) may not carry as much cargo as the GLS, but its lineup of powerful engines and easy-to-use infotainment system help it stand out in its class.

Alternatively, you might want to consider a nonluxury large SUV. The 2018 Ford Expedition ($51,790) can carry even more passengers and cargo than the GLS. It has room for adults in its third row – a rarity among three-row SUVs. In higher trims, the Expedition’s interior quality is on par with some luxury vehicles.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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

Mercedes released the GLS as a new SUV for the 2017 model year, replacing the GL. Compared to the GLS, the GLS received updated exterior styling, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and a larger touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay compatibility. Most of its engines got a little more horsepower as well. That said, the outgoing GL scores similarly to the GLS. If the new features don’t matter to you, you should consider saving thousands of dollars by shopping for a 2016 or 2015 GL. 

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 GLS »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

The 2017 GLS has an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about GLS reliability »

2017 Mercedes GLS Recalls

At the time of this writing, six recalls have been issued for the 2017 GLS. These include oil leaks, doors not locking, the passenger front air bag failing to deploy in a crash, a loss of electric power-steering assist, and the center console opening during a crash. Make sure a Mercedes-Benz dealer has addressed these issues before buying this SUV.

See more information on Mercedes GLS safety recalls »

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

The 2017 GLS comes in three trim levels: 450, 550, and the high-performance AMG GLS 63. We recommend the GLS 450 for most shoppers. It comes standard with alloy wheels, LED taillights, a sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an 8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a rearview camera. A driver drowsiness monitoring system, crosswind assist, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking also come standard.

Shoppers seeking even more luxury should be satisfied with the GLS 550. It adds a V8 engine, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, multicolor ambient lighting, a navigation system, satellite radio, a Harmon Kardon sound system, tri-zone automatic climate control, and push-button start. You’ll also get even more safety features, including blind-spot assist, lane-keep assist, a surround-view camera system, and parking sensors.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS 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.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the GLS?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have crash tested the 2017 Mercedes GLS. This is common among luxury large SUVs.

The 2017 GLS offers a wide array of advanced safety features. A rearview camera, a driver drowsiness monitor, crosswind assist, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking are all standard. Available tech includes a surround-view camera, parking sensors, an automated parallel parking system, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, speed limit assist, and night-vision LED intelligent lights.

See GLS safety scores »

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS or 2017 Audi Q7?

The 2017 Audi Q7 has outstanding safety scores, potent engine options, and one of the highest-quality interiors in its class. Unlike the GLS, the Q7 has standard leather upholstery. The Audi costs almost $10,000 less on average, and it has slightly better fuel economy estimates. Conversely, the Mercedes has extra third-row legroom, a lot more cargo space, and a much better predicted reliability rating. Unless you want the extra space or the Mercedes badge, the Q7 is a better choice.

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS or 2017 Cadillac Escalade?

The 2017 Cadillac Escalade seats up to eight people, and it has a robust V8 engine that effortlessly propels this heavy SUV around town. It has more standard features than the GLS, including tri-zone automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. In its standard configuration, the Escalade has less room in its third row than the GLS by nearly a foot, though the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV offers more space. The GLS also has a much higher predicted reliability rating, and the Escalade has underwhelming safety scores compared to others in the class. The 2017 GLS’ average price is around $4,200 lower than the Escalade’s. Stick with the GLS.

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS or 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a super luxury car, and it lives up to the category’s name. Even most luxury SUVs can’t match its top-notch interior, with rich cabin materials and a long list of convenience and tech features, including two 12.3-inch displays and heated, cooled, and massaging front and rear seats. The S-Class can’t match the GLS’ seating capacity, but the GLS’s price is much more attractive. On average, you’ll save more than $42,000 by opting for the GLS over the S-Class.

Compare the GLS, Q7, and Escalade»

2017 GLS Performance

How Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Drive?

The 2017 Mercedes GLS 450 comes standard with a 362-horsepower V6 engine. The GLS 550 gains a 449-horsepower V8. Both of these engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive. The high-performance AMG GLS 63 features the most powerful engine in the lineup, a 577-horsepower twin-turbo V8. It comes with a seven-speed automatic and can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, rivaling some sports cars.

For a luxury large SUV, the GLS maneuvers surprisingly well. Nobody would mistake it for a sports sedan, but this SUV still offers sharp steering and composed handling around corners. Its standard Dynamic Select system allows you to handle various road conditions with a range of driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Slippery, Off-Road, and Individual. Mercedes-Benz’s Airmatic air suspension enhances ride quality, giving the GLS a smooth and cushioned ride.

Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Get Good Gas Mileage?

The GLS gets 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway with its V6 engine. Those numbers are among the highest in the class. With the V8 engine, estimates drop to 14/18 mpg city/highway (13/17 mpg for the AMG model). Those estimates are slightly below average for the class.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Towing Capacity

The 2017 GLS can tow up to 7,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about GLS performance »

2017 GLS Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 GLS Seat?

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS seats seven on standard MB-Tex leatherette upholstery. Heated front seats and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat are also standard. Leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, heated and ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

As you might expect with a Mercedes-Benz, the GLS’ interior is first class. Unlike many 3-row SUVs, its third row can even accommodate adults in moderate comfort. The split-folding second row makes accessing the third much easier. Visibility is excellent due to the SUV’s large windows, and the cabin is quiet.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

Each of the GLS’ second and third rows has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the outboard seats. There is also an upper tether anchor in the second-row middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the GLS’ LATCH system the highest resting of Good for its ease of use. All the second-row LATCH connectors earned a Good rating, and the third-row connectors received the second-lowest rating of Marginal.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Features

While it may not offer as many standard features as rivals, the GLS isn’t bare-bones either. The base model comes with a sunroof, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, two USB ports, Bluetooth, HD radio, an 8-inch infotainment screen, a rearview camera, a driver drowsiness monitor, crosswind assist, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Many features are available to further enhance this SUV’s luxury, including push-button start, tri-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Harmon Kardon sound system, a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, heated and cooled front cup holders, an air purification system, second-row window sunshades, a rear-seat entertainment system, and several advanced safety features.

The COMAND system features both a touchpad and a central knob. The interface is responsive, and its accessible menu layout makes it easy to use.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS specs »

Read more about GLS interior »

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz GLS Cargo Space

The 2017 GLS has 16 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, expanding to 49.4 cubic feet when you fold down the back row. Cargo space increases to 93.8 cubic feet after you fold down the second-row seats as well, which is above average for the class.

2017 GLS Length and Weight

The 2017 GLS is approximately 16.8 feet long. The GLS’ curb weight ranges from 5,335 pounds in the GLS 450 up to 5,754 pounds for the AMG model.

Where Was the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Built?

Mercedes-Benz manufactured the 2017 GLS in Alabama.

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