Mercedes GLS review - Reliability and safety
A brilliant safety rating is all but guaranteed, but Mercedes ownership prospects are below average
And that’s a good thing: the GLE achieved the maximum five star rating when it was assessed in 2019. It achieved a 91% score in the adult occupant protection category; a rating that puts the Merc two percent ahead of the BMW X5 (a car which shares much with the X7). A child occupant protection score of 90% is excellent; indeed the only car to achieve a higher score in 2019 was Mercedes’s own CLA (it scored 91%). The GLE scored 78% in both the vulnerable road users and safety assist categories.
AMG Line Premium Plus and AMG Line Premium Plus Executive models come as standard with what Mercedes calls the Driving Assistance Package Plus. This includes a host of advanced safety tech, including extra sensors to allow for part-autonomous driving functions for motorway driving. It also adds “PRE-SAFE Impulse Side”, which, using the wide range of external sensors, helps to mitigate damage in side impacts caused by other vehicles by using active seat elements to position the occupants in a manner that reduces the risk of injury.
Meanwhile, smaller bumps can be avoided thanks to the standard 360-degree parking camera and the optional automatic parking function.
Mercedes finished 28th out of 30 manufacturers in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, with running costs and overall reliability being key points of concern.
Mercedes offers a three year, unlimited mileage warranty with each of its cars. Some manufacturers offer longer warranties now, but this cover is a match for what BMW offers and superior to Audi’s, which is limited to 60,000 miles. It’s also possible to pay extra for an extended warranty.
Servicing at a franchised Mercedes dealer can come at a cost. However, it can be made more manageable by the brand’s ServiceCare package: this encompasses two services in two years, three services in three years or four in four years, all for a fixed monthly fee. Service intervals are set at every 15,500 miles or once a year, whichever comes first.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe vast GLS delivers unbeatable practicality and wonderful refinement, but lacks the S-Class’s sense of occasion
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe GLS has a strong and refined diesel engine, while Mercedes-AMG models offer ludicrous petrol power
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe GLS is a big, heavy car; even with a capable diesel engine it will cost a pretty penny at the pumps
- 4Interior, design and technologyCabin is well finished and packed with brilliant tech, but it doesn’t quite feel special enough for the price
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe GLS is the most spacious posh seven-seater on the market – but its vast size will cause headaches on the road
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingA brilliant safety rating is all but guaranteed, but Mercedes ownership prospects are below average