The luxurious and spacious GLS-class is atop the SUV class hierarchy at Mercedes-Benz. In comparison to the striking and compact G-class, which shares a showroom and the GLS is much more refined and features design cues comparable to the GLE-class’s smaller. The interior is adorned with fine materials and loaded with technology. There’s even an array of screens which serve as the gauge cluster as well as an information display. The two available powertrains are hybrids–unfortunately, neither delivers particularly impressive fuel economy–and all-wheel drive is standard with both. While the GLS-class may have homes for wealthy suburban families that won’t take on more than a few miles of rough road Mercedes created its most powerful SUV to have off-road capabilities, which includes an air suspension that can be adjusted for additional ground clearance.
What’s New for 2020?
The 2020 model is all new and it’s got large shoes to fill. We’ve added the GLS-class that we had left to our Top 10 trucks and SUVs for three consecutive years.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The turbocharged engine in the GLS450’s inline-six delivers plenty of power, and is as smooth as the GLS580’s V-8 which is why we’d suggest sticking with it instead of spending more money on options that are worth it. This Executive Rear Seat Plus package transforms the second row into an extra-luxurious area with heated and ventilated seats , massage as well as a wireless smartphone charging pad, tablet-controlled infotainment system with a headrest that is plusher, as well as side-impact airbags. When you purchase this package, you’ll need to add leather upholstery. (Believe that or not, it’s true leather upholstery isn’t an option at these costs.) Its Convenience Package is worth it for its features, including four-zone climate control with automatic temperature control and ventilated front seats and power-operated sunshades for the rear window. The standard 19-inch wheels on the GLS450 seem a bit small in comparison to its massive body, so we’d recommend that you choose one with a larger 21-inch or 20-inch models.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Two models are available: the six-cylinder GLS450 as well as the eight-cylinder GLS580–both of which have electric-assist hybrid engines. Its turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six is smooth and silky and is capable of 362 horsepower when coupled with an electric motor. the GLS580 is more powerful, with 483 horsepower with its twin turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 as well as an electric drive. Although it’s a bit big, the GLS class is easy to maneuver through a narrow road, but its ride isn’t too athletic or harsh when bumps are encountered. All GLS models are equipped with air suspension. However, Mercedes also comes with a new system known as E-Active Body Control. It makes use of a forward-facing camera to look for bumps, and then adjustments the suspension in order to lessen the road’s imperfections. It’s cool but costly, and we believe that most buyers will find the regular setup to be smooth enough.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA’s estimates for fuel economy for the GLS-class do not paint an appealing picture. The GLS450 scores 19 mpg in city, 23 mpg highway and 21 mpg when combined, while the GLS580 scored 16 mpg, 21 mpg and 18 mpg, respectively. In real life the results are slightly better than we expected in the case of the GLS450 which was able to achieve 24 mpg on our 200 mile highway fuel economy test. The GLS580 produced a pathetic 18 mpg on this same test. In terms of fuel efficiency , however it is the competition BMW X7 SUV is simply more efficient. A six-cylinder X7 model xDrive40i rolled an impressive 28 mpg during our highway test, while an eight-cylinder xDrive50i produced 24 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Its design of the cockpit and dashboard similar to the GLE-class SUV. The new GLS-Class has a more modern design than the model that it replaces. The GLS-class’s cabin is equipped with seats for seven, or six with the second row of captain’s chairs. Passenger space is generous in the first and second rows; the third row, while not as spacious as the second, can accommodate an adult without too much complaining–something that can’t be said of the third row in the X7.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Two massive 12.3-inch digital screens take up the most of the dashboard. One is an adjustable gauge display for the driver. The other handles infotainment functions and is powered by Mercedes-Benz’s latest MBUX software that features an Apple-like digital assistant. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto as well as in-dash navigation and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot are available as standard. Every GLS models come with 13 speakers Burmester Surround Stereo system. However, if this isn’t enough for you, the Burmester 3D stereo that has the most impressive 26 speakers is available as an option.