Buying used Mercedes GLS from Big Boy Toyz: My experience in 10 points

They promise to deliver the car in showroom condition but that's only half the truth.

BHPian neo007 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I was thinking of getting a family car for highway runs next year, but…

When a friend wanted to get a used or new performance car I tagged along with him to test drive a M340i as it was available again. Needless to say, was blown by the performance of the car.

Got super tempted to get one but it was too small for my immediate requirement, didn't feel 3 people could fit at the back. So had to give up the thought of getting a 340i, but decided it was time to buy a new car.

The cars that we use for highway runs are now more than 10 years old (2012 Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI & 2013 BMW X1 20D). We are a family of 5. 3 adults & 2 kids (both are 10). We travel a lot between Surat & Mumbai & mostly we take a driver along. Also once a year we do take a road trip, many times with a lot of luggage & it's a big struggle to fit all the luggage in the boot of the Superb.

So space constraints & cars getting old meant it was time to look for a large car. A more practical one with comfort for 5/6 & boot space. Since boot space was a big factor I travelled with 2 medium & 2 small size suitcases, to understand boot space.

My test drive impressions/observations

Hyundai Tucson

  • Test drove the Tuscon as I had thought maybe I could buy a 340i as well but it was not a practical thought.
  • Good engine and suspension. Decent driving position, very light steering
  • Busy styling, but looks better in real life than in the pics.
  • Very light interior will get dirty easily.
  • Decent interior & boot space but it may not seem to take more than 3 medium & 3 small suitcases. (did not have suitcases on hand to check)
  • Could not figure out how useful the ADAS features will be in our erratic traffic conditions.
  • Great parking camera. Video-assisted turn indicators seem like a useful feature
  • Seat ventilation is quite average.
  • Didn't try the connected features.
  • Headlights are quite low set. Guess it will be difficult to keep them clean and might get damaged often.

Toyota Fortuner

  • High commanding driving position. Gives you an all is well feeling.
  • A few dents & scratches might add to the appeal
  • Quite a torquey engine, but noisy, Think it will be quite noisy on the highway compared to German cars.
  • Acceptable comfort in the 3rd row for people less than 5'.5", taller passengers might feel ok for short distances. For kids, it seems quite adequate.
  • The media player is quite basic with no wireless Apple or Android connection & no 360 parking camera
  • Could not figure out if the 4x4 will help during spirited driving on ghats or twisty roads.
  • The AC seems decent.
  • The seat ventilation was quite average.
  • Love the big ORVMs
  • Boot dimensions H=56 cm, width = 85/110 depth 115
  • The boot can fit 4 cabin bags even with all 3 rows up.
  • When the 3rd row is folded it eats into the boot space, also there's a weird niche behind the 2nd row but one can easily fit 3 medium & 4 checking bags + more

Skoda Kodiaq

  • Was very difficult to get a test drive, as no dealer in Surat or Mumbai had a test drive vehicle, so got a test drive from a friend's friend.
  • Very car-like to drive.
  • The ride is on the comfier side and the steering is a bit too light, compared to the Fortuner
  • Good features. (parking camera, google & Apple car play, ride control etc)
  • The third-row seats are much tighter on space & are good only for the kids, not sure even if teenagers will be happy. The Fortuner is better in this regard.
  • The second row is quite comfortable, although the lumbar is average.
  • It also does not have as much legroom as a Fortuner but you have space for your feet below the front seats. Also not as wide as the Superb or the Fortuner.
  • Boot dimensions H=40 cm, d=105, w=100/120
  • With all rows up the boot can hold 4 cabin sized bags just like the Fortuner
  • The 3rd row folds flat which is an advantage, although the Fortuner boot seems a bit large. It can take 3 medium & 4 small bags

Kia Carnival

  • Jittery ride
  • Not a very smooth engine
  • Average braking
  • Size is a challenge especially while reversing & parking. The width can be a challenge as well, especially on narrow roads.
  • Not having a second-row bench makes it a compromise for us when we need to fold the 3rd row & you need more luggage space.
  • When you fold the 3rd row it eats into the luggage space as it folds into the niche

Audi Q7

Took a test drive as I was not really very happy with either the Fortuner & the Kodiaq.

  • Large & comfortable cruiser
  • Size & feel wise seems like It sits between a Kodiaq and Fortuner
  • Soft floaty suspension, dull steering
  • The second row has decent leg room, comfortable seats with ample width for 3, although the middle seat passenger might find the central tunnel a bit too high
  • The 3rd row seats are a bit low but usable.
  • Why 360 camera is not as std in the base variant is beyond me.
  • The auto parking does not seem easy to use.
  • Has superb large sun visor covers that completely cover the side window and has another for the front windscreen, it should be std in all cars.
  • Not a fan of touch controls for the ac but when it turns into a keypad for typing it is a neat touch.
  • Not sure if Android auto & Apple are std.
  • Decent B&O music system, although very average mids
  • Boot dimensionsW= 106, D= 104, h= 46/75 ( till seat/ roof)
  • The boot seems slightly larger than a Kodiaq, as it seems I could take a few more stuff than the 3+4 bags
  • Loading luggage is easier as one can lower the suspension and auto-fold the seats.

Looked at the used car options as well.

Used Audi 2018 Q7 45 TDI technology 52 + on the odo

  • Quite a choppy suspension, even more lateral movement than the current Q7
  • Not as smooth as the petrol & takes a while to gather speed.
  • The brakes were spongy too.
  • The mmi screen is quite small, the scroll & writing pad might take some time to get used to.
  • The virtual cockpit shows only their stock maps & not Android auto or Apple maps.
  • The wireless car charger is quite small and could not fit in my Note 10+
  • The split front central armrest is a good touch as both can be adjusted individually.
  • The stories of maintenance issues after 5 or 6 years are scary

Used 2017 GLS350d 28 on odo

  • Quite large almost as large as the Kia Carnival at least in length but does not seem as wide
  • Good smooth engine. Takes its time to get up to speed. Unless you plant your foot
  • Steering has a decent feel
  • Excellent ride & high-speed manners. not as much lateral movement as the Audi. I feel It has a slower bounce compared to the Audi Q7
  • In sport mode the lateral movement & acceleration is quite acceptable.
  • Superb Ac and a very quiet cabin.
  • The mmi is average although the screen size is decent
  • Great cabin space The second-row seats are very comfortable, and have ample legroom.
  • Great 3rd row too. Seems wider & leg room also seems slightly more than the Fortuner (although the second row in the GLS doesn't move forward & back)
  • Did not bother measuring the boot. Has quite a large boot space and can easily take in 4 medium, 4 small bags & still have space left for more
  • Can take 4 small suitcases with all rows up

Did not test drive the MG Gloster as the second row had captain seats & also the Hycross as the version with 6 airbags has no bench seats in the second row, the Innova was not considered as there was no automatic available.

After all things considered it was a choice between the Fortuner or a used GLS.

I could not digest giving close to 50L for a Fortuner for its lack of refinement, comfort etc, plus waiting for close to 3 months. Although I guess it's the smarter choice of the lot esp if you consider its reliability, running cost & resale. Also, my Dad has always wanted a large Mercedes & so it was the GLS that got finalised.

Buying from Big Boy Toyz, Mumbai

This will be our first used car purchase (through a dealer)

  1. They take a deposit for test driving the car. Which was told to us just a night before we were going to take the test drive.
  2. After you finalise the car, they give you about a week to make a down payment & another 15 days or so to complete the balance payment.
  3. They do have a tie-up with IDFC for car loans & they gave us a reasonable quote. But we got a better deal from Yes Bank. Although it was a mistake & a lot of heartburn, Never ever again will we consider Yes Bank.
  4. They also let you send the car for a thorough check-up to an authorised workshop & do say that they will complete the work suggested by the authorised workshop.
  5. But it's not completely true, the work suggested by the workshop has to then be approved by their technical head sitting in Delhi & the local technician.
  6. Fortunately for me, I could verify their explanation with my friend who owns a multi-brand workshop else it could be heartburn as the bill of repairs can run into lakhs.
  7. Since the car had worn-out tyres they did give us a new set of tyres but they were manufactured in 2021 (Hate the Bridgestones that they gave)
  8. BBT gives you a warranty for the car's engine & transmission. It's valid for 6 months & 15k kms for diesel & 5k for petrol.
  9. They promise to deliver the car in showroom condition but that's only half the truth. We got the car with a decent new coat of paint but it was not even washed properly when delivered, leave alone the detailing bit they had promised. Highly disappointed by that bit.
  10. I wish buying from them would have been a bit more reassuring. Your only point of contact is the sales guy who has helped you finalise the car, talking to anyone higher up is a challenge, especially if that person is in Delhi. It kept me a bit anxious about all their promises. Took a lot of time to sort each & every matter.

Not sure how it works with other used car dealers.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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