Mercedes GLS review - Reliability and Safety
A brilliant safety rating is all but guaranteed, but Mercedes ownership prospects are below average
Euro NCAP hasn’t tested the Mercedes GLS but it has tested the closely related GLE; given that the pair share so much mechanically, it’s reasonable to speculate that the two will perform similarly.
And that’s a good thing: the GLE achieved the maximum five star rating when it was assessed in 2019. It achieved a 91 percent 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 percent is excellent; indeed the only car to achieve a higher score in 2019 was Mercedes’s own CLA (it scored 91 percent). The GLE scored 78 percent 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.
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Meanwhile, smaller bumps can be avoided thanks to the standard 360-degree parking camera and the optional automatic parking function.
It’s too early to judge how the GLS will fare in terms of reliability, but as an ownership prospect, Mercedes disappointed in our 2019 Driver Power Manufacturer survey. This covered more than just reliability – the likes of owners’ perceptions of the driving experience, running costs and practicality play a part too – but of the 30 manufacturers surveyed, only MG, DS, Vauxhall and Dacia achieved lower ratings.
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
- 1Mercedes GLS reviewVast SUV delivers unbeatable practicality and wonderful refinement, but lacks the S-Class’s sense of occasion
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe single engine option is strong and refined, while comfort is exceptional – with the right options selected
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThis 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