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Who's driven the 2015 GL450? Driving impressions...

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Who's driven the 2015 GL450? Driving impressions...

 
Old 08-28-2014, 01:37 PM
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'15 GL 450, '13 BMW 328i Touring, '09 BMW 335i
Who's driven the 2015 GL450? Driving impressions...

There seemed to be a lot of discussion building up to the 2015 GL450 release regarding the v6 engine and whether it would be powerful enough for this large SUV. I figured I would start this thread to get opinions of people that have driven it. Here are mine:

Test drove the 2014 GL450 with the V8 in July. Loved the driving experience. Great acceleration off the line and pull throughout the band including excellent passing acceleration at highway speed. Unfortunately, could not locate a vehicle in the US with my combination of desired options and did not want to settle for less on a vehicle that is this expensive.

Test drove the 2014 GL350 in July. Nice vehicle and quieter than I expected for a diesel. My personal opinion was that it did not have the same driving experience as the 450. Slower off the line and did not excite me while I was driving it. It was still smooth and luxurious, just lacked some zip. I know many like the 350, so I am not trying to offend - just one person's opinion.

Test drove the 2015 GL450 V6 last weekend. Had the usual luxurious feel. Seemed to me to be even quieter and smoother shifting than the V8. I found acceleration to be very good with good torque off the line. It was missing the manly v8 sound, but torque was there.

At highway speed, I think it lost some excitement. I expected the same or similar punch when I went to pass as the V8. It was acceptable for an SUV (better than my '04 Tahoe and I think better than the GL350), but definitely less than the V8. It seemed like it downshifted quickly and had to rev higher to accelerate. Granted, the downshift was smooth and it didn't feel as abrupt as the GM power trains, but it was noticeable and the sound from the engine was definitely not deep and throaty.

I did like the auto stop/start feature at stop lights. Very smooth and almost unnoticeable.

Overall summary: 2015 GL450 is still a nice SUV. It is not underpowered by any stretch - only in comparison to the previous v8. I have a 2015 on order and have decided to keep that order in place, since none of the existing inventory has my desired combination of options. I can still get excited about it.

All things being equal, I would have ordered a 2014 v8 with my option list - unfortunately we relocated from overseas at the end of June and missed the window.

I hope this is helpful for some folks currently debating the 450. Please post your test drive experiences.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:58 PM
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Nice review! How was the fuel economy?
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:13 PM
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Nice review!

Same question here... How was the fuel economy in real life?
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:25 PM
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gl 450
Just got GL 450

Hi got 2015 GL 450 yesterday. Will post my experience soon
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:42 PM
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'15 GL 450, '13 BMW 328i Touring, '09 BMW 335i
Hi All. In answer to fuel economy - I am embarrassed to say that I never even looked. I was so busy trying to get a feel for the engine, while trying to tune out the sales guy, that I never checked.

I am curious to hear everyone else's opinion, as you can only gain so much from 10 minute test drives. I plan to drive another one before my order comes in just to double check that it is not underpowered.

I am curious as to the number of 350 owners/researchers that have driven the new 450 and feel it is underpowered. Maybe I got a bad read on the 350 and did not punch it sufficiently to get the engine response? Again, a 10 minute test drive in traffic doesn't tell the whole story.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:53 PM
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I drove both and felt the opposite of the OP. I thought the 350 had a little lag/vibration when I accelerated. The 450 did not. It was smooth. This was on a side road where I had a straight clear path ahead. I wasn't going very fast but this is what I noticed during acceleration. My test drive wasn't very long either.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:49 AM
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Great review.....! I'm very happy with my 13 GL450, and, having had two previous 450's with V8's , I'm sure I would not be totally happy with a V6.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jerome8283 View Post
I drove both and felt the opposite of the OP. I thought the 350 had a little lag/vibration when I accelerated. The 450 did not. It was smooth. This was on a side road where I had a straight clear path ahead. I wasn't going very fast but this is what I noticed during acceleration. My test drive wasn't very long either.
2015 GL 350 is good enough. If I need to pass some one or I need to speed up to speed on the high way I just go down a gear using peddle shifters and the suv feels great. This way I don't have to worry about how much more diesel it will take.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:34 PM
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So, driving impression of the 2015 450? My user name says it all. I've leased three 450s, the 07, the 10, and the 12. My 12's lease is up in December and I've been drooling at the the thought of that 4.7 bi-turbo. Well, drove that 3.0 V6 yesterday. I am now a former GL driver as I refuse to jump up to a 92k MSRP to get a V8.

Impression:

Engine note is thrashy and buzzy.
Torque: do not believe the lie! It is not the same torque. The 2014 had 406 ft/# at 1500 and this has 369 at 1800.
Turbo lag: bad
Passing: the older, normally aspirated V8s are better!
Off the line: see turbo lag.

Sorry, anyone that picks an 80k MSRP, 5400 pound vehicle with this engine is getting taken. I can see the 350 if your main purpose is a luxo-towing vehicle but the 450 is a complete write off. Be ready to see the rear bumper of even Ford Explorer Sports. I'm not sure what vehicle I will end up in but on principle alone I refuse to pay what they want for a 2015. If they had dropped the price in relation to the performance erosion they might have a value proposition, but at 81k MSRP for a nicely optioned 450, they have an albatross.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FormerGLdriver View Post
So, driving impression of the 2015 450? My user name says it all. I've leased three 450s, the 07, the 10, and the 12. My 12's lease is up in December and I've been drooling at the the thought of that 4.7 bi-turbo. Well, drove that 3.0 V6 yesterday. I am now a former GL driver as I refuse to jump up to a 92k MSRP to get a V8.

Impression:

Engine note is thrashy and buzzy.
Torque: do not believe the lie! It is not the same torque. The 2014 had 406 ft/# at 1500 and this has 369 at 1800.
Turbo lag: bad
Passing: the older, normally aspirated V8s are better!
Off the line: see turbo lag.

Sorry, anyone that picks an 80k MSRP, 5400 pound vehicle with this engine is getting taken. I can see the 350 if your main purpose is a luxo-towing vehicle but the 450 is a complete write off. Be ready to see the rear bumper of even Ford Explorer Sports. I'm not sure what vehicle I will end up in but on principle alone I refuse to pay what they want for a 2015. If they had dropped the price in relation to the performance erosion they might have a value proposition, but at 81k MSRP for a nicely optioned 450, they have an albatross.
completely agree with "FormerGLdriver" - i was excited for the V8 bi-turbo and when I started looking and wasn't able to find the combo of color and options i wanted and orders had ceased I waited to drive a 15 before ordering and I am glad I did - I concur with you said above.

I opted for the 350 instead and will adding "race chip" to it and with that i will be very happy.

I too came from a 2012 NA and while it had its issues, I think is a better driving car than the new V6TT

those with the 13-14 model don't let them go - they are powerful beasts and are what an SUV should be - a brute force when you need it -

just my 0.02

Last edited by baldmike73; 09-11-2014 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:58 PM
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Mike, can not agree more about the lucky folks that landed a 13-14 4.7 liter. I am upset my lease is due now as I predict in 2016 MB will see their mistake and fix it. Sadly, I'll be in the middle of a lease and I am sort of done with MB. My dealership, that I've dealt with for nearly a decade, made no effort to let me know about the engine change or else I would have let them take me out of the lease early to get into a 14.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by FormerGLdriver View Post
Mike, can not agree more about the lucky folks that landed a 13-14 4.7 liter. I am upset my lease is due now as I predict in 2016 MB will see their mistake and fix it. Sadly, I'll be in the middle of a lease and I am sort of done with MB. My dealership, that I've dealt with for nearly a decade, made no effort to let me know about the engine change or else I would have let them take me out of the lease early to get into a 14.

FormerGL driver. I have never driven the GL 550. But based on my driving experience on a GL 450 rental with the V8 I made the choice. Unfortunately these 550's dont lease well but Im going to take it on the chin this time.

I really cant wait until the cadillac platinum ESV comes out or more importantly the all new BMW X7.

Hopefully Mercedes Benz will get challenged in this space so the
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FormerGLdriver View Post
Torque: do not believe the lie! It is not the same torque. The 2014 had 406 ft/# at 1500 and this has 369 at 1800.
I agree with all your comments including the one above. It has been noted by Renntech and others that Mercedes has been underrating the output of their V8 Biturbo. If you look at the 0-60 times of the '15 Escalade, either Mercedes is underrating or Cadillac is overrating or maybe a little of both.

Data from Car and Driver:

'15 Escalade 4X4 (not ESV aka suburban length)
HP - 420
TQ - 460
Curb Weight - 5870 lbs
0-60 - 6.1 sec
0-100 -15.8 sec

'13 Mercedes GL 450
HP - 362
TQ - 406
Curb Weight - 5712
0-60 - 5.8 sec
0-100 - 14.9

Thanks to this forum I got a '14 450 ordered just before the cutoff. I don't think there has been enough emphasis placed on how phenomenal the Mercedes V8 Biturbo is. Personally, I think it was a bargain that you could have gotten that engine in a $70,000 SUV. My 450 is a rocket for such a large vehicle. I can't imagine what the 550 is like.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 43221B View Post
I agree with all your comments including the one above. It has been noted by Renntech and others that Mercedes has been underrating the output of their V8 Biturbo. If you look at the 0-60 times of the '15 Escalade, either Mercedes is underrating or Cadillac is overrating or maybe a little of both.
Exactly right. And now to note the 450 goes from being equally priced or cheaper to things like the Caddy and Infiniti, yet far faster and more fun to drive, to being the most expensive and underpowered. A true shame. Glad you got in on the 2014 and wish I had been that lucky.

Medman, if you're going into a GL, I agree the 550 is the way to go. It just irks me MB has the hutzpah to ask a little more for a new 450 lease in a far inferior powerplant. My battle is not over yet. My SA actually just emailed me to say he's heard from a few of his clients that are my friends how upset I am. I might be able to twist his manager into an attractive lease on a 550 but the residual is far inferior to the 450 (53% for the 550 vs. 60 for the 450) and the money factor is better too. It seems MB really wants to move these V6s.
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:01 AM
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Oh yeah, it's all a MB conspiracy... a good # of buyer's looking to, or more importantly needing to, move to luxury 7-passenger do have MPG as a factor ... and for those resistant to diesel - for "them" the direction taken by other Euro manufacturers is V6... sure, the loss of the V8 is a Panamera was a downright shame.. but if MB feels there is more market in the direction others are already headed, that's their call... might not agree, but their call none the less... get a 14 GL450 executive lease return, chip it, and you'll could actually find yourself "happy"..
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by fabbrisd1 View Post
Oh yeah, it's all a MB conspiracy... a good # of buyer's looking to, or more importantly needing to, move to luxury 7-passenger do have MPG as a factor ... and for those resistant to diesel - for "them" the direction taken by other Euro manufacturers is V6... sure, the loss of the V8 is a Panamera was a downright shame.. but if MB feels there is more market in the direction others are already headed, that's their call... might not agree, but their call none the less... get a 14 GL450 executive lease return, chip it, and you'll could actually find yourself "happy"..
I guess you're not too familiar with how much of marketing works. If incenting your customers to funnel into the market you're trying to create is a conspiracy just about every consumer facing product is a conspiracy in one way or another then.

As for MPG concerns...if you're looking at a vehicle with an 80k MSRP and you're worried about three or four miles a gallon I might suggest you should not be driving that vehicle. Let's say there's a 5 mpg delta and you drive 15k a year. We'll use 13 and 18 as the combined MPG for the 2014 vs. the 2015:

15000 / 13 = 1154

15000/ 18 = 835

1154 - 835 = 319

319 x $4 = $1276

If your budget is so tight 1.3k over the course of a year is important to you then you should be driving something much cheaper and cutting out coupons for Kraft Mac&Cheese.

Obviously, many people drive far fewer miles than 15k a year and I tried to create the biggest spread I could for example purposes. Most people are going to see well under a grand in gas savings per year.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:22 AM
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All the talk about power, turbo lag, passing speed is relevant based on what SUV you are coming from. If you're coming from a Mazda Tribute like my wife, a fine 3 row SUV such as the 350 or 450 will be more than enough. It really boils down to options, fuel economy and resale value for us. We are still undecided.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tate16t View Post
All the talk about power, turbo lag, passing speed is relevant based on what SUV you are coming from. If you're coming from a Mazda Tribute like my wife, a fine 3 row SUV such as the 350 or 450 will be more than enough. It really boils down to options, fuel economy and resale value for us. We are still undecided.
I disagree with this. I think for those who aspire to this car and are (responsibly) stretching to buy a 70 to 80K vehicle, they want it to be "perfect." In my view, a V6 is a demerit. What made the GL stand out before was that for just a little more money than cars such as the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX60 and the like, you can have V8 power.

If I were in the market for a 70-80K car, the fact that Mercedes decided to keep prices steady and put an inferior motor in the vehicle would be the final straw that would have me looking elsewhere.
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tate16t View Post
All the talk about power, turbo lag, passing speed is relevant based on what SUV you are coming from. If you're coming from a Mazda Tribute like my wife, a fine 3 row SUV such as the 350 or 450 will be more than enough. It really boils down to options, fuel economy and resale value for us. We are still undecided.
While I understand what you're saying the situation is not totally relative. Objective metrics would be to compare it to other vehicles in the same class and price range, i.e. the big Infiniti, Escalade, the BMW X5 for instance. With the introduction of this inferior engine the GL 450 has gone from being both a performance leader, and the value proposition in its class, to being the performance laggard and overpriced for the performance it delivers. I will also repeat my advice that if a grand worth of gas per year is a financial variable one should respectfully not drive this vehicle. Sticking with a lower priced vehicle would be that person's wisest choice.

Last edited by FormerGLdriver; 09-13-2014 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by FormerGLdriver View Post
While I understand what you're saying the situation is not totally relative. Objective metrics would be to compare it to other vehicles in the same class and price range, i.e. the big Infiniti, Escalade, the BMW X5 for instance. With the introduction of this inferior engine the GL 450 has gone from being both a performance leader, and the value proposition in its class, to being the performance laggard and overpriced for the performance it delivers. I will also repeat my advice that if a grand worth of gas per year is a financial variable one should respectfully not drive this vehicle. Sticking with a lower priced vehicle would be that person's wisest choice.
If your criteria is based only on performance then your point is taken however the 450 has a lot more to offer and looks a lot better than any of the SUV's you mention. Savings is savings no matter what ones financial variable.
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by tate16t View Post
If your criteria is based only on performance then your point is taken however the 450 has a lot more to offer and looks a lot better than any of the SUV's you mention. Savings is savings no matter what ones financial variable.
Yes, savings is savings; the question is should it be a decision variable? As I've repeated, if 1k over a year is a decision variable, one should respectfully not get that vehicle. And again, that 1k savings is against the prior 450 model, so it's not like you can shop this V6 450 against a V8 450, i.e. the comparison is useless.

What "more" does the 450 have to offer vs. its competitive set? Some are bigger, ALL are faster, some handle better...there's nothing the 450 has that other members of its competitive set do not.

Look, you want a GL 450. That's cool. I'm still gutted over that fact I won't be moving into my 4th 450. It's just that this engine changes the whole positioning of the vehicle, both against prior 450s, and against its competitive set.
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:57 AM
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I also forgot to add it's a huge insult to actually increase MSRP for the 2015 vs. the 2014 when you so greatly downgrade the powerplant so drastically. If MB had introduced the new anemic 450 with a 10 or 15k price cut? They would then have a value proposition going I could understand. The current situation is just an insult.
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:09 PM
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.....the debate will go on.....but I am SO glad that I bought a 13 450 with what I believe is a wonderful bi-turbo V8 appropriate to, and for, the vehicle! I haven't kept a car for a 5 or 6 yr run in a long time.....but this one just might be a good bet!
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by blittle View Post
.....the debate will go on.....but I am SO glad that I bought a 13 450 with what I believe is a wonderful bi-turbo V8 appropriate to, and for, the vehicle! I haven't kept a car for a 5 or 6 yr run in a long time.....but this one just might be a good bet!
Stop rubbing it in!

I'm very jealous and hope you enjoy the hell out of that truck!

Believe it or not I just got back in from driving a Ford Explorer Sport. It's a shame I know Ford's service department is complete suckage compared to MB's or it would now be in my driveway. I have to tell you that Sport is a great value proposition. Its performance is materially better than the '15 GL, the Sport package actually looks great, and it has everything the MB has for about $550 a month on a 36/15k lease. I mean, it has ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, power folding mirrors, electronics are equal to or superior, third row seats have a neat power flip and close....

It's a tad smaller and gives about 90% of the ride characteristic as the GL. I'm very impressed at what you get for the money. I just have to think about dealing with the craptastic service at Ford. The money I would save over three years would pay for converting a spare bedroom into a walk in wine cellar like what I want to do. It's tempting given how pissed off at MB I am.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FormerGLdriver View Post
Stop rubbing it in!

I'm very jealous and hope you enjoy the hell out of that truck!

Believe it or not I just got back in from driving a Ford Explorer Sport. It's a shame I know Ford's service department is complete suckage compared to MB's or it would now be in my driveway. I have to tell you that Sport is a great value proposition. Its performance is materially better than the '15 GL, the Sport package actually looks great, and it has everything the MB has for about $550 a month on a 36/15k lease. I mean, it has ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, power folding mirrors, electronics are equal to or superior, third row seats have a neat power flip and close....

It's a tad smaller and gives about 90% of the ride characteristic as the GL. I'm very impressed at what you get for the money. I just have to think about dealing with the craptastic service at Ford. The money I would save over three years would pay for converting a spare bedroom into a walk in wine cellar like what I want to do. It's tempting given how pissed off at MB I am.

Now you're comparing a Ford Explorer to a Mercedes?
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