High-end luxury and sumptuous design abound in the 2016 Mercedes Benz GL550. With stylish lines, cutting edge technology and an abundance of power, this offering is a must-consider in the upscale SUV market.

Pricing and Equipment

Pricing for the Mercedes Benz GL550 starts at $91,300, which is just under the top-of-the-line offering in the series. Buyers on a bit of a budget might lean toward the GL350 with an MSRP of $64,550, but the GL550 prices nearly $30,000 under the top-spec AMG GL63 without losing much in the area of features. Standard GL550 features include:

  • LOGIC7 Surround 14-speaker system
  • 7500-pound towing capacity
  • Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Suite
  • Adaptable 360-degree camera for parking assist
  • 20-inch wheels

Performance Pros

  • The 4.7 twin-turbo direct-injected V8 gives a big jump in horsepower from GL450. The 429-horsepower output gives the GL550 a 0 to 60 mph run time of just 5.5 seconds.
  • An independent suspension with air shocks gives the Gl550's ride a satin-like quality.

Performance Cons

  • The power steering is neither too tight nor too loose, but doesn’t give a lot of positive feedback, either.
  • While the bump in power from the GL450 to the GL550 is certainly nice, the increase in power and engine size obviously causes fuel economy to suffer. We know it’s not a drastic hit to most buyers' wallets, but the cost/benefit ratio over time causes the GL550 to be left wanting.

Interior Pros

Mercedes-Benz GL550 Interior
  • Seats in the Mercedes-Benz GL550 are exceptionally big and comfortable, and we're fans of the ventilation and massage features.
  • We like the interior overall because the wood trim and leather upholstery give the SUV a warm and rich feel that adds to the ambiance. The tech-heavy dash and controls give the driver and passengers lots of special control options for entertainment and comfort on long trips.

Interior Cons

  • The manufacturer has a COMAND "infotainment" system set in the center console that is controlled by one central knob. While this is a nice feature, it is seemingly less intuitive than similar options offered by competitors.
  • Compared to some of its larger competitors, the GL550 does lack slightly in the cargo capacity area.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The GL550 has some excellent technology offerings and the overall appearance and power make for an excellent combination.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

While there’s not a lot to complain about with the Mercedes Benz GL550, its handling -- while adequate -- is still something that Mercedes-Benz might want to spend a little more time dialing in.

The Bottom Line

The Mercedes-Benz GL500 is a strong offering in the class. Yes, it's one of the pricier luxury SUVs on the market, but it compares well in its class.