The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS Was Held Back by a Confusing Feature

Mercedes-Benz makes some of the most luxurious and comfortable cars on the market, and they’re usually well worth their price tags. However, that might not be the case with the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Here’s a look at how a certain confusing feature may be holding the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS back from greatness. 

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS is a great SUV to drive

In many ways, the GLS is a great three-row crossover, Consumer Reports said in its review. Unlike some other three-row SUVs, the GLS boasts a cabin that’s spacious enough for adults to sit comfortably in the back if necessary. And because the GLS is a Mercedes, its $76,000 starting price means its interior boasts a ton of luxurious features. 

The standard seats are pretty good, but they can be made even better. Mercedes-Benz offers seats that can provide massages, as well as a bunch of optional heating features for the front and second rows. The GLS also comes standard with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, quad-zone automatic climate control, a parking damage detector, and a sunroof, among other high-end features, U.S. News reported.

Luxurious interior aside, the GLS is also a great vehicle on the road. It provides a comfortable ride, and its standard 3.0-liter V6 provides more than enough power for a full-size crossover. Thanks to all of these great features, Consumer Reports gave the GLS an 86 out of 100 on its road test. However, all of these positive traits weren’t enough to garner the GLS a good overall grade.

Confusing controls and poor reliability

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Overall, Consumer Reports gave the Mercedes-Benz GLS an abysmal overall score of 46 out of 100. CR explained the huge discrepancy between the GLS’s scores came down to two issues: confusing its controls and poor reliability. Consumer Reports gave the GLS a 1 out of 5 for its expected reliability. This made it the least reliable SUV in its class.

Additionally, the GLS’s controls were so bad that Consumer Reports actually said they could be a “deal-breaker.” These controls are used for many of the GLS’s features, but they’re needlessly complicated, CR reported. For example, doing something as simple such as adjusting a seat’s lumbar support could take several steps. 

Consumer Reports took issue with the GLS’s controls. Overall, the consumer site found them frustrating, confusing, and distracting. As a result, someone would have to master all of those controls before they could fall in love with the GLS, CR reported.

Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS worth it?

To be fair to the GLS, it’s not exactly rare for a luxury car to be unreliable. Though there are definitely reliable luxury SUVs, most people who can afford one can also afford to take care of it or even replace it if it became undependable. So the GLS’s poor reliability score isn’t necessarily a big deal for many luxury SUV consumers.

But the GLS’s controls are another matter. Some drivers might not mind complicated controls, while others might despise them. If they’re a deal-breaker for you, avoid the GLS. But if they aren’t, this Mercedes might be one of the best three-row SUVs on the road today.