Mercedes GLS Problems: Should Be Aware Of

Mercedes GLS Problems – Mercedes-Benz, renowned for its luxury and innovation, introduced the GLS as the epitome of opulence within the SUV realm. Often dubbed the S-Class of SUVs, this flagship vehicle seamlessly blends comfort, cutting-edge technology, and robust performance. However, even amidst its grandeur, like any sophisticated machine, the Mercedes GLS isn’t immune to quirks and hiccups.

Originally debuted in 2006 as the GL-Class, this SUV underwent a transformative shift in 2017, adopting the GLS moniker after a significant facelift.

Garnering acclaim for its plush and serene interiors, advanced automotive features, and a lineup of robust yet refined engines, the GLS exudes sophistication and power.

Mercedes GLS Problems

Mercedes GLS Problems

The Mercedes GLS 580, an illustrious representation of sophistication in the SUV universe, bears the hallmark of luxury, innovation, and robust performance. However, even amidst its prestige, certain recurring issues have emerged, necessitating a closer inspection for both prospective and current owners.

Analyzing data from the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) complaints sheds light on patterns and prevalent concerns within this flagship SUV.

Trend Analysis of GLS Problems

While the Mercedes GLS stands as a paragon of luxury and performance, data from NHTSA complaints reveals fluctuations in reported issues.

In 2019, a mere 5 complaints surfaced, followed by 8 in 2020, and 7 recorded complaints in 2021. These grievances span various areas without exhibiting a discernible pattern.

The 2021 model year presents a blend of divergent problems, showcasing the absence of a consistent issue. Notably, forward collision avoidance emerges as the most frequent problem, with 2 reported complaints.

However, this issue doesn’t manifest in prior years, emphasizing the sporadic nature of reported concerns. Additionally, delayed recognition of problems can be observed.

For instance, a considerable number of 2020 model complaints surfaced between March and November 2021, highlighting delayed issue identification.

Drawing insights from broader Mercedes-Benz models, it becomes apparent that certain issues transcend specific models. Notably, a recurrent trend in some Mercedes-Benz vehicles involves critical 48V battery complications.

Insights gleaned from NHTSA complaints regarding the 2021 GLS affirm this trend, indicating that this model is not immune to such concerns.

Mercedes GLS Problems

Common Mercedes GLS Problems and Solutions:

1. Weak Halogen Headlights

Owners of early-generation GLS models, spanning from 2017 to 2019, often lament the inadequate brightness of standard halogen headlights, impeding nighttime visibility.

Solutions range from swapping bulbs to installing HID or retrofit LED systems, albeit the latter options demand intricate modifications due to the headlight assembly’s limitations.

2. Keyless Entry and Key Fob Issues

Malfunctions within the keyless entry system lead to erratic functionalities, including locking/unlocking failures, unresponsive tailgates, and issues with starting the vehicle.

Troubleshooting involves replacing key fobs or addressing sleep mode issues introduced in the updated Keyless-Go system from 2019.

3. Odor from HVAC

GLS owners encounter foul-smelling moldy odors upon activating the AC, a recurring issue attributed to mold growth within the HVAC system.

Remedies range from using disinfectant solutions down air vents to comprehensive HVAC system cleaning.

4. Vibration at High Speed

Certain GLS variants experience vibrations exceeding 60 mph, often linked to wheel-related issues such as alignment, suspension, or tire imbalances.

Solutions involve thorough checks, balancing, and, in some cases, transitioning to different tire brands or smaller wheels for enhanced ride quality.

5. Excessive Tire Wear

Premature tire wear emerges as a prevalent concern, primarily attributed to the GLS’s suspension geometry and weight, leading to quick tire degradation.

Solutions include adjusting wheel alignment, opting for higher tread wear tires, and regular rotations to extend tire longevity.

6. 48-Volt Battery Issues

Second-generation GLS units incorporating the 48-volt mild hybrid system encounter potential battery failures, resulting in vehicle start-up issues.

Remedies span from terminal cleaning to potential dealership interventions for battery replacements, often covered under warranty.

Identifying, addressing, and, where applicable, preempting these issues contribute significantly to preserving the elegance and performance of this flagship SUV.

Read Also: Mercedes Benz GLS Years To Avoid

Mercedes-Benz GLS Pros and Cons

For those contemplating the Mercedes-Benz GLS as their next vehicle, a comprehensive understanding of its strengths and weaknesses is pivotal in making an informed choice.

This flagship SUV, renowned for its opulence and performance, presents a blend of advantages and drawbacks that warrant scrutiny.

Mercedes-Benz GLS Pros and Cons

Pros of the Mercedes-Benz GLS:

  1. Luxurious and Spacious Cabin: The hallmark of the Mercedes-Benz GLS lies in its lavish and expansive interior. Crafted with premium materials and meticulous attention to detail, the cabin exudes luxury and offers ample space for passengers and cargo alike.
  2. Supreme Comfort in Ride Quality: Experience unparalleled comfort courtesy of the GLS’s adeptly engineered suspension, ensuring an exceptionally smooth ride even over challenging terrains. The emphasis on comfort transforms mundane journeys into delightful experiences.
  3. Cutting-Edge Infotainment and Driving Aids: Equipped with state-of-the-art infotainment systems and an array of advanced driving aids, the GLS seamlessly integrates technology to enhance convenience, entertainment, and safety for both drivers and passengers.
  4. Smooth and Potent Engines: Revel in the prowess of the GLS’s engine lineup, delivering seamless power delivery and robust performance. The engines’ refinement ensures a compelling driving experience across diverse terrains.
  5. Remarkable Handling for a Large SUV: Despite its stature as a large SUV, the Mercedes-Benz GLS defies expectations with commendable handling, offering agility and responsiveness that belie its size.
  6. Spacious Third-Row Seating: Often a rarity in the realm of SUVs, the GLS excels in providing ample room in its third-row seats, accommodating passengers comfortably, a coveted feature for families or larger groups.

Cons with the Mercedes-Benz GLS:

  1. Complicated Infotainment Controls: While rich in features, the GLS’s infotainment system might pose a challenge due to its complexity. The interface may require a learning curve, potentially leading to user frustration initially.
  2. Expense of Optional Features: The allure of optional features in the GLS comes at a premium. Buyers should brace themselves for additional costs associated with opting for advanced packages and extras.
  3. High Dealership Rates: Maintenance and servicing at authorized dealerships might incur higher expenses compared to non-dealer service centers, impacting the overall cost of ownership for GLS owners.

Contemplating the Mercedes-Benz GLS involves a careful weighing of its remarkable strengths against its inherent drawbacks.

The GLS offers an unmatched blend of luxury, performance, and technology, making it an appealing choice for discerning buyers seeking sophistication and comfort.

However, its intricate infotainment system, the expense of optional features, and comparatively high dealership rates warrant due consideration.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS - Problems

Is Mercedes GLS expensive to maintain?

Maintenance costs for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including the GLS, tend to rank high compared to other brands. According to, Mercedes-Benz maintenance costs come in as the second most expensive, just trailing behind BMW.

On average, drivers spend approximately $908 per year for maintenance and repairs on their Mercedes vehicles, as reported by

How many miles will a Mercedes GLS last?

Predicting the exact mileage a car can endure is challenging due to numerous factors impacting longevity. However, across various Mercedes-Benz models, the average mileage typically falls within the range of 150,000 to 250,000 miles before notable wear and tear becomes more apparent.

What does GLS stand for in Mercedes?

The nomenclature “GLS” in Mercedes-Benz models carries specific significance. The “G” references “geländewagen,” translating from German as “off-road vehicle,” a nod to the enduring G-Class lineage.

Following the “G,” the letter “L” serves as a linkage with the letter “S,” denoting the GLS as the SUV equivalent to the esteemed S-Class, positioning it as the full-size SUV counterpart to the S-Class luxury sedan.


In exploring the Mercedes-Benz GLS, it becomes evident that this flagship SUV embodies a blend of impressive attributes and inherent considerations. Boasting a luxurious and spacious cabin, supreme ride comfort, advanced technology, and robust engines, the GLS holds its ground as a top-tier SUV choice.

However, navigating its complex infotainment controls, the expense of optional features, and higher dealership rates emerge as discernible drawbacks.

The Mercedes-Benz GLS stands as a formidable contender in the SUV realm, offering a luxurious and technologically advanced driving experience.

However, potential buyers should approach their purchase with awareness of its merits and demerits, ensuring a well-informed decision aligned with individual preferences and needs. Understanding the nuanced aspects of the Mercedes GLS Problems remains pivotal for those considering this sophisticated SUV.