Mercedes GL-Class X164: cute faults or the rich people also cry

17 May

Since the United States was to become the main market for the Mercedes GL, the car was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2006. The project was based on a less-sized Mercedes M-Class W164 SUV. They also started assembling a car. Without exception, GL produced in the United States.

Three years after the premiere, Mercedes made an easy restyling of the model. The changes mainly affected appearance. A new grille was installed, the front bumper and fog lamps were revised. Also, there are new nozzles on the exhaust pipes. Inside, a set of indicators was changed, and the standard equipment was supplemented with a multifunctional steering wheel and leather upholstery. In addition, Mercedes conducted an audit of the line of power units. In 2012 the Mercedes GL of new generation was replaced by X166.



4.7 V8 (340 hp) GL450

5.5 V8 (388 hp) GL500 / GL550


3.0 V6 (211, 224-265 hp) GL350 CDI BlueTEC, GL320 CDI, GL350 CDI BlueEfficiency

4.0 V8 (306 hp) GL420 CDI


Petrol engines easily handle a huge SUV weighing more than 2 tons. The 340 hp 4.7 l accelerates the “mastodon” to 100 km / h in 7.2 seconds, and the 5.5 liter unit accelerates in 6.6 seconds.


Despite the fact that Mercedes GL was primarily intended for the American market, diesel engines dominate the list of available power units. Diesel engines are not as energetic. The 265-strong turbo diesel accelerates the SUV to 100 km / h in 9 seconds. Perhaps for a middle-class sedan this is a good result, but for a premium SUV it is very slow. The top diesel unit allows you to reach 100 km / h in 7 seconds.

However, not all dynamic characteristics are crucial. Most potential buyers pay attention to other advantages of this model, such as capacity and four-wheel drive.

And what about fuel consumption? In this regard, small diesel engines are most favorable. The weakest of them allow you to keep within the city of 14 l / 100 km (according to the on-board computer). The 265-strong and 306-strong turbodiesels will require about 16 l / 100 km. Lot? We must understand that the Mercedes GL is not a small and not easy car. Depending on driving style, petrol versions are burned in the city from 16 to 20 l / 100 km. People who can afford such a huge and prestigious car, as a rule, do not think about fuel consumption.


The situation is much worse with reliability. Buying a car for the money, of course, expect to have no problems. But in the case of the Mercedes GL, they are found. In gasoline engines, the timing chain often stretches after 200,000 km. In addition, the gear wheel of the balancing shaft prematurely wears out. It also disappoints the fuel pump.

Mercedes diesel engines are no different from competitors’ engines, including durability. As a rule, problems arise because of failed accessory equipment. The most vulnerable are the Common Rail injection system and turbocharger. Intercooler pipes can burst without having served and 100,000 km. It’s a shame that this happens in a car with a star on the hood.

Design features

SUVs prepared for the US market, in addition to AWD AWD had rear wheel drive RWD. Paired with the engine running a 7-speed automatic transmission. Comfort while driving provides air suspension. The car did not participate in EuroNCAP crash tests, but taking into account the results of the younger M-Class, you can be sure that Mercedes GL guarantees a high level of safety.


Typical faults


The most serious and frequent problems faced by the owners of Mercedes GL are air suspension malfunctions. Air bags, valves and compressor fail. These defects can immobilize the car somewhere on the road, and will have to call a tow truck.

Due to the large weight of the vehicle, the silent blocks of levers are relatively quick. From time to time there are leaks from the shock absorbers and cases of premature wear of wheel bearings.


The 7-speed automatic has problems with the gear selector and torque converter. Before buying, check the condition of the steering rack and power steering – first of all for leaks. On separate copies, it would seem, an insignificant illness, ended with the failure of the power steering pump.


Some owners face bugs in engine ECU software. Sometimes engine sensors, such as a crankshaft position sensor, fail prematurely.

In addition, sometimes, begins to naughty tailgate lock. There are problems with xenon headlights, which as a result of corrosion cease to function or do not illuminate the road properly.


Mercedes GL – has everything you need for a large SUV: rich equipment, powerful engines under the hood, good suspension, comfortable seats and an unsurpassed level of comfort. He has his own elegant style. It can comfortably accommodate up to 7 people.

But, unfortunately, the design of the Mercedes GL was not as perfect as we would like. He is worried about various shortcomings, and the quality of individual components and elements is not good enough. The dynamics of basic diesel versions are not impressive. In the appendage of the GL requires terribly high maintenance costs.