Mercedes GLS Problems, Common Complaints and Best GLS to Buy

Author: Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When you’re considering a Mercedes-Benz GLS, it’s important to be aware of common problems owners have reported.

Although it’s a luxurious and well-engineered vehicle, some GLS owners have experienced issues that you should keep in mind.

In this article, we’ll discuss common Mercedes-Benz GLS problems, so you can make a more informed decision when purchasing this luxury SUV.

This information can help you be better prepared for potential issues and ensure you enjoy your ride to the fullest.

Mercedes GLS issues

Common Problems

Engine Issues

You may experience some engine-related problems in your Mercedes GLS. For instance, there have been reports of rough idling or difficulties starting the engine.

To ensure that your vehicle performs optimally, it’s important to address these issues with a qualified mechanic. Regular maintenance, such as changing the engine oil and filters, can also help prevent engine problems.

Steering Problems

Another concern with the Mercedes GLS is steering issues. Some owners have reported problems with their vehicle’s steering, such as noisy steering, a feeling of looseness, or excessive effort required to turn the wheel.

If you encounter any of these issues, it’s essential to consult a professional to get these steering problems resolved. Regularly inspecting your vehicle’s tires, suspension components, and steering gearbox can help prevent such issues.

Electrical Gremlins

Lastly, electrical problems are not uncommon in the Mercedes GLS. Instances of weak halogen headlights, for example, have been reported in 2017 to 2019 models.

In addition, some owners have experienced issues with the vehicle’s infotainment system and other electronic components.

To avoid serious complications, it’s a good idea to address these electrical gremlins as soon as they appear. A certified technician can help diagnose and repair any electrical system issues with your Mercedes GLS.

The GLS Years to Avoid

Below you’ll find information on the years that could potentially give you trouble while keeping a friendly tone in mind. Remember, this information is to help guide you in making an informed decision.

2021 GLS

First, let’s start with the 2021 GLS. It’s best to avoid this model due to reports of reliability issues and overall customer dissatisfaction. You’ll thank yourself for steering clear of this one.

2017-2019 GLS

Next, although the 2017-2019 models feature many improvements, the halogen headlights that come standard on these GLS models may not be to your liking.

LED headlights were only available as an option during that time. So, if you’re a fan of LED lights, you might want to reconsider these years.

In conclusion, the years to avoid when considering a Mercedes-Benz GLS would be the 2021 model and potentially the 2017-2019 models if you prefer LED headlights.

By keeping this information in mind, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect GLS for your needs. Happy car hunting!

Safety and Recall Issues

Recalls Information

In April 2022, some Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLS SUVs (2020-2022) were recalled due to fire risk caused by an electrical problem.

Always read recall notices carefully and don’t ignore them.

NHTSA Complaints

As of now, there haven’t been any safety recalls issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

Keep an eye on NHTSA updates and stay informed about your car’s safety.

Reliability Concerns

Mercedes GLS models have faced some reliability issues in the past. For example, the 2023 GLS is predicted to be less reliable than other new cars, based on the brand’s history and its similarities with the GLE.

One common problem with first-generation GLS models is weak halogen headlights from 2017 to 2019. The low beams might not provide enough brightness for nighttime driving.

When considering a GLS, pay attention to the car’s warranty and its value in the long term. Be aware of reliability concerns and factor them into your decision-making process.

Technology and Performance Problems

Adaptive Cruise Control

It seems that some Mercedes GLS owners have occasionally faced issues with the adaptive cruise control system.

For example, sometimes it may become unresponsive, or it may not recognize the vehicle in front. This could be caused by a misaligned sensor or a software glitch.

Navigation System

As for the navigation system, a few users reported slow response times, inaccuracies, or even complete system freezes.

To tackle this, you should consider updating the software or visiting a dealership to diagnose the problem accurately.

Remember to always use genuine Mercedes updates and seek professional assistance to address any technology or performance-related issues in your GLS.

Comfort and Build Quality Issues

Seating Problems

Mercedes GLS is known for its luxury and comfort, but some owners have reported issues with seats.

You may occasionally experience uneven cushioning, which could affect the ride quality. To ensure maximum comfort, check the seats thoroughly before making a purchase.

Temperature Control

While the GLS comes with a powerful 3.0L 6-cyl turbo gas/electric mild hybrid 9A engine, some drivers have reported issues with temperature control.

It’s essential to test the system during your test drive to make sure you’ll be able to maintain a comfortable climate in your vehicle.

Consumer Reviews and Owner Experiences

Edmunds Reviews

According to Edmunds, the 2023 GLS-Class has limited reviews available. However, one owner mentioned electrical gremlins as a recurring issue.

Owner Testimonials

Among the reviews for the GLS 450 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD, the common themes revolve around its performance and comfort. As for the GLS 580, some owners mentioned problems, but specific details were not provided.

Remember to stay informed and consider user feedback when making your decision about purchasing a Mercedes GLS.

Mercedes GLS Reliability – Best Used Models

When looking for a reliable Mercedes GLS, it’s important to consider the year and model.

Here are some of the best years in listed order, and a brief explanation of their reliability and features.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS:

According to Consumer Reports, this year’s model offers a freshened interior and exterior styling. The seven-passenger SUV comes with numerous luxury features and boasts a smooth, comfortable ride.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS:

This SUV is highly rated for its reliability and performance. The Consumer Reports review highlights its posh three-row seating and competitive retail price.

The 2020 GLS offers safety and modern tech features, making it a great choice for families or those looking for a luxury ride.

When selecting your pre-owned Mercedes GLS, be mindful of common problems reported for certain models.

For example, the first generation GLS from 2017 to 2019 may have issues with weak halogen headlights. But remember that no car is perfect, and most issues can be resolved with proper maintenance and care.

Mercedes GLS Competitors

Let’s explore some alternatives to the Mercedes GLS. These options include the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, BMW X7, and Audi Q7.

In this section, we will briefly compare the differences and similarities while mentioning two key issues for each competitor.

Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade is a luxurious and stylish alternative to the GLS. However, its large size and powerful engine can make fuel efficiency suffer.

You may find its infotainment system, the Cadillac User Experience (CUE), to be not as intuitive as you would hope. For more info, read the best and worst Cadillac Escalade to avoid and reasons!

Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator also offers luxury and sophistication. It has a roomy interior and a strong engine.

One of the worst Lincoln Navigator problems or downside, its ride quality might not be as smooth as you would expect from a luxury SUV, and it may be more difficult to park due to its large size.


You might find the BMW X7’s balance of luxury and performance appealing. It comes with a spacious interior and an easy-to-use infotainment system.

However, some drivers report that its handling is not as dynamic as they would like, and it can have a high starting price compared to other competitors. Learn more about the best and worst BMW X7 years and models to avoid.

Audi Q7

Lastly, the most reliable Audi Q7 is well-rounded with a refined interior and advanced technology features. It has agile handling, but you might find its third-row seating to be cramped, and its touch-sensitive controls can be distracting while driving.

In summary, each of these vehicles offers unique characteristics, so take your time to explore and test drive each one to find the perfect fit for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some known problems with GLS 550?

The GLS 550, like all cars, is subject to a few issues. Some owners have reported problems with the keyless entry and key fob, including not being able to lock or unlock the car and the kick-to-open tailgate functionality not working.

How reliable is the GLS series overall?

Mercedes-Benz vehicles are generally known for their reliability. However, every model may have its own issues. You should always research common issues for the specific year and model of the vehicle you’re interested in before purchasing.

What is the maintenance cost for a Mercedes GLS?

Maintenance costs for Mercedes vehicles can be higher than for other brands, due to the premium nature of the cars. It’s important to consider this when deciding to purchase a GLS.

To get a better idea, you can search maintenance costs for your specific model online or ask your local dealership for a quote.

Do GLS 63 models experience any specific issues?

It is difficult to pinpoint any specific problem unique to GLS 63 models alone. Your best bet is to research your desired model’s known issues and consult with a trusted mechanic or local dealership for advice.

How is the 2023 GLS model different from its predecessors?

As new models are released, Mercedes-Benz makes various updates and improvements to their vehicles. For the 2023 GLS, it’s essential to research the differences between it and previous models.

Your local dealership will also be a great source of information regarding the latest features and changes in this year’s model.


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