Test Drive Review: The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL450 – Part 1 (Exterior)

Review Index:
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL450 – Part 1 (Exterior)
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL450 – Part 2 (Interior)
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL450 – Part 3 (Chassis and Suspension)
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL450 – Part 4 (Powertrain)

Test Car Information:

2014 Mercedes-Benz GL450
4.6L turbocharged V8, 362 hp @ 5000-6000 RPM, 406 lb-ft @ 1,500-4,000 rpm
7-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive
Options: Premium 1 Package
MSRP as tested: $69,155 (including $925 S&H charge)

For those who have the needs to carry more than 5 persons, but do not want to drive a minivan, they will typically buy a CUV/SUV with 3 rows of seats. If he/she has enough budget and want a luxury brand 3-row-seat CUV/SUV, there is not many choices at this moment.

Among the luxury brands available in the US market, Acura, Infiniti, Lexus, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Land Rover, Lincoln and Volvo currently provides 3-row-seat models.

The Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, Lexus GX460, Audi Q7, Land Rover LR4 and Volvo XC90 are considered to be mid-size, and with somewhat limited legroom for the third row seat. This means if you want comparable spaces like a minivan, you should go for a full size SUV, like the Lexus LX570, Infiniti QX80, Mercedes GL-class, Lincoln Navigator and the Cadillac Escalade.


Today let us take a look at one of the popular choice, the Mercedes-Benz GL class. Our test car is a 2014 model year GL450, equipped with the Premium 1 Package. In this section, I will provide some comments about the exterior styling.

Here is the side profile of the GL450, we can see because of its RWD layout, the nose of the GL is longer than many FWD based SUVs, and it takes up a larger proportion of the vehicle’s total length.


Because of the Mercedes-Benz family face, from the front the GL looks very similar to the 2-row-seat M-Class.


The GL450 comes with LED daytime running lights as standard.


A look from behind, the exhaust tips are hiding underneath the car body.


All GL-class trims have 4Matic AWD as standard, and the rear brake light is not using LED, just normal light bulbs.


The front light – sorry, unless you opt for the Lighting Package (MSRP $1,390), you only get the normal Halogen headlamps. This sounds to be odd for a car with a base MSRP more than $60k, that does not provide Xenon headlamps. Not to mention the Xenon light bulbs, even the Corolla LE now has LED headlamp as standard! I am not sure why Mercedes is not so generous on vehicle lighting.


Generally speaking, the exterior styling of the GL class is attractive and convey a “luxury car” feeling.


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