What is it? 

When they rebranded the former gen ‘X166’ GL-class to be named the GLS midway through its existence cycle, the idea was to cement its area in the vary as the ‘S-class of SUVs’. Even so, as it was just a facelift dependent on more mature architecture, it was not very up to the undertaking. Even so, with the new ‘X167’ GLS’s, there’s a higher possibility of the big SUV achieving the limousine’s significant bar. Which is for the reason that this 1 was developed from the get-go to be a lot more of a luxury merchandise and a closer relation to its sedan counterpart. Just how does it obtain that, however? Study on.

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The GLS isn’t just big, it is a mountain of an SUV. It’s a comprehensive 77mm for a longer period than the previous auto, 60mm of which has gone into the wheelbase, and it’s 22mm wider as properly. At comprehensive off-street top on its air suspension, the best of the bonnet strains up with my chest. 21-inch wheels glimpse just the ideal dimensions, not comically large as they may possibly have a handful of generations ago, and their attractive 5-spoke design and style is a marked advancement on Merc’s ordinarily meek wheel selections. In addition, there are the tyres – the 275-area established at the front are huge, but at the rear you will find a pair of 315/forty R21s, which are the form of quantities you’d have beforehand only read on a Lamborghini’s tyres. It provides greatly to the street presence.

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Massive 21-inch, 315-area rear tyres only increase to its tank-like presence.


The GLS isn’t just big, it is a mountain of an SUV. It’s a comprehensive 77mm for a longer period than the previous auto, 60mm of which has gone into the wheelbase, and it’s 22mm wider as properly. At comprehensive off-street top on its air suspension, the best of the bonnet strains up with my chest. 21-inch wheels glimpse just the ideal dimensions, not comically large as they may possibly have a handful of generations ago, and their attractive 5-spoke design and style is a marked advancement on Merc’s ordinarily meek wheel selections. In addition, there are the tyres – the 275-area established at the front are huge, but at the rear you will find a pair of 315/forty R21s, which are the form of quantities you’d have beforehand only read on a Lamborghini’s tyres. It provides greatly to the street presence.

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Its girth on your own would make it very easily identifiable as a GLS, but this is an altogether softer and rounder consider on the components. No a lot more sharp creases defining the flanks, this 1 is all curves. The headlamps are a lot scaled-down, the tail-lamps slimmer – every single with Mercedes’ new LED signature. Incidentally, these adaptive LED headlamps are equipped with some thing named ‘Ultra Range Substantial Beam’, which we’re advised, is capable of lights up the street 650 metres forward. A further Merc SUV signature is the impractical, but incredibly blingy chrome skid plates at the front and rear, and there’s a lot a lot more of the shiny stuff – on the tailgate, the bumpers and the window surrounds. 

What is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS interior like? 

There are a lot of seven-seat SUVs on the current market, but the GLS has often been 1 of a important handful of in which an grownup would willingly enterprise into the 3rd row for a long journey. The center row energy folds (alternatively gradually) to permit you through, and thereafter, it’s a very uncomplicated clamber into the 3rd row. But, as the seat in front of me whirrs back again into area, it begins to foul with my knees, which is strange, as I distinctly bear in mind the former version’s 3rd row being a lot more spacious, with its individual devoted glass roof, which is now lacking. But, which is not to say you are not properly catered to back again below, for the reason that you are – with devoted cupholders, two of this car’s 11 USB charging ports (Type-C, having said that, so have your adapter) and even its individual weather zone. The seats by themselves are actually properly cushioned and positioned so that you’re not folded up like a deck chair in storage.

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Dash resembles a significant-conclusion household leisure unit with its big screens and Burmester speakers. Quality is tough to fault.


The motive for this deficiency of place is, in its bid to be a lot more like an S-class, the new GLS has sacrificed 3rd row area to supply even a lot more in the center row, like 100mm of driven fore-and-aft sliding, and ideal now, it’s established all the way back again to comprehensive limousine method. To accommodate seven, you will have to give up some legroom in the 2nd row, but significantly from the level of being awkward. It’s a compromise that would make sense, as most consumers will only almost never use their GLS as a 7-seater, and for most of the time, a limo-like center row for 1 passenger is what is a lot more vital. The seat back again also reclines by 30 degrees, but at comprehensive tilt, it’s not very the lounge-like experience you will find in an S-class. The seats by themselves, also, are a touch firmer than you will find in the limo, and you do sit a minimal knees-up for the reason that of the way the seat foundation is reclined. 

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Seat slides by 100mm for wonderful legroom eats into 3rd row however.


Nevertheless, as soon as you’re snugly in area, you will have minimal motive to complain. The pillows on the headrests return, and if you require a actually absurd total of legroom, the front passenger seat can be despatched ahead from powering. Indeed, the center row is a bench so you could get a 3rd passenger in below, but they’ll have to set their toes astride the extended centre console among the front seats. In comprehensive limo method, you will want to flip down the centre armrest, which reveals cupholders, a wi-fi charging pad and a removable tablet controller. You could use this as a common Android tablet, but it’s also a controller for points like the 64-color ambient lights, weather manage, media and radio. But, as I fiddle around with it, I realise which is about it – it will not permit you watch or run the navigation, modify the seats or open up the sunshine blinds or panoramic sunroof. You will almost certainly get a little bit a lot more stuff to engage in with if you increase on the optional rear leisure screens. 

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Not as spacious as in advance of and center row wants to be moved forward.


If you are travelling with seven aboard, there’s a possibility you will require area for their baggage, and with 355 litres of area with all seats up, a weekend’s well worth of bags is no issue at all. There’s 1 button in the boot that lowers the air suspension for easier loading, and an additional that can energy-fold the 3rd and 2nd rows to liberate an remarkable 2,400 litres!

What devices and characteristics will you find in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

So, the center row plainly is the spotlight of this SUV, but I’m advised the new GLS has a lot of really like for these sat up front also, and which is in advance of you even change a wheel. The lounge seats may be in the back again, but the household leisure system is up front – I stage in to be greeted by a tall, huge dashboard with a seamless glass panel housing two significant-resolution 12.3-inch screens docked into it. These are, of program, the touchscreen infotainment system and the instrumentation screen, but the way it’s all set together actually does glimpse like the stylish but significant-tech unit that properties the 4K flatscreen in your den. It’s obtained the hello-fi to match, also, with a 13-speaker Burmester seem system, creating alone identified with its signature chrome speaker grilles peppered around the cabin. 

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Pano sunroof is welcome as ever, but no 3rd-row glass like the previous GLS.


All of this is wrapped together in what we’ve now appear to assume from Mercedes – high priced-feeling Artico fake leather-based, significant-gloss wooden grain and amazing brushed steel switchgear. You really don’t have to have this cream colored upholstery if you imagine it’ll get also soiled also promptly – black and espresso brown are also accessible. The four circular AC vents in the centre of the dash have morphed into rectangular designs for this rugged SUV, just as in the scaled-down GLE. In reality, aside from the use of polished alternatively than matte wooden trim, the complete front cabin is similar to the GLE. 

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Electronic instrument panel is wildly customisable Touchscreen appears to be like incredible and features brilliantly.


The record of devices and gizmos is complete, and it all revolves around MBUX – the brand’s latest infotainment system, which is alternatively superb. The touchscreen is lovely to behold, crisp and fluid to use, and in case you really don’t want to be distracted by employing it on the go, there’s a touchpad among the seats and very intuitive controls on the steering wheel. It’s no shock in this day and age that the GLS is a related auto with an onboard e-Sim, and that it has a associate application that lets you continue to keep tabs on the auto, begin and pre-amazing it, and even run the windows and sunroof remotely. But the connectivity goes a little bit more, with the AI-guided voice assistant that responds to ‘Hey Mercedes’, and then taps into the cloud to supply a significantly wider vary of responses and benefits than you assume. There are even amazing characteristics like seats that can guess your driving situation dependent on just your top, and cabin lights that activate by way of movement sensors. After all this, the 360-diploma cameras, 9 airbags and auto parking assistant really feel a little bit normal. But once again, all of this is accessible in the GLE also, and most likely heated and ventilated seats – front and rear – would have established the GLS aside as the a lot more high-class 1.

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Rear tablet controller amazing but surprisingly standard.


What is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS like to travel?

As opposed to the GLE, you will not find a four-cylinder motor beneath the hood of the big GLS, but the two 6-cylinder selections are common to the two versions. The 450 is a 3.-litre straight-6 turbo-petrol which would make 367hp and 500Nm, which is paired to a 48v mild-hybrid system that provides an additional 22hp and 250Nm of electric powered boost beneath tough acceleration, although the 400d employs a 3.-litre straight-6 turbo-diesel with 330hp and 700Nm.  

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The 48V hybrid system on the petrol GLS 450 provides 22hp and 250Nm of e-boost beneath tough acceleration.


As I prod the starter button in the 400d, the diesel motor fires up with a light-weight murmur and then… it’s all but gone. I have to verify the tachometer to make positive it’s truly turning about. The refinement is just remarkable! It’s the new-era OM656 diesel motor that we’ve also seen in the S 350d and G 350d, but as the title suggests, this 400d is a lot more strong, so at the initially signal of an open up street, my initially instinct is to floor it. The explosive acceleration I envisioned doesn’t appear. In its place what you get is, initially a little bit of hesitation as the 9-velocity computerized shifts down to the ideal equipment, and then a nice long-legged surge of torque with no permit-up, and a muted straight-6 growl to boot. Which is just as properly for this high-class, 2.5-tonne diesel behemoth. A swift glance down to the speedo reveals we’ve quietly slipped properly into the triple digits, and a tough slam on the brakes tells me that most likely they can really feel a little bit confused by all that velocity and pounds put together. 

Even though it disguises it properly, the tempo is all there, with -100kph coming up in a scant 7.forty eight seconds in accordance to our tests equipment – remarkable considering the mass at perform! The twenty-80kph and forty-100kph times of 4.75sec and six.22sec respectively are also impressive, but I really feel they could’ve been better nevertheless if the gearbox was a minimal more rapidly to respond.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS acceleration figures
GLS 450 GLS 400d
-20kph .93s one.03s
-40kph one.96s 2.06s
-60kph 3.27s 3.43s
-80kph 4.90s 5.17s
-100kph 7.15s 7.48s
-120kph 9.76s 10.41s
-140kph 13.35s 13.91s
-160kph seventeen.68s eighteen.27s
-180kph 23.68s 24.12s
-200kph 31.62s 32.92s
twenty-80kph (in kickdown) 4.35s 4.75s
forty-100kph (in kickdown) 5.33s six.22s

If the diesel variation is refined, the 450 petrol is silent as a tomb. Pressing the begin button and leaving it at idle doesn’t make a seem, and even on the go you can scarcely tell it’s switched on, till you extend it earlier about 3,000rpm, and what you get then is a seem which is a lot more satisfying than the 1 in the diesel. And if you considered the diesel was swift – this one’s even more rapidly. The e-boost from the mild hybrid system is actually properly calibrated, engaging and disengaging imperceptibly, masking any semblance of turbo lag and letting you to launch the big SUV to 100kph in just 7.15sec. There’s no interruption in the flow of energy, and it will pull very strongly till it’s time for the next equipment. Intellect you, this variation of the 9-velocity auto can also get caught out very easily by a sudden kick-down on the accelerator. You will not skip the deficiency of a Sport method in the 400d, but in this petrol variation you just may possibly. It is absolutely the sprightlier and a lot more enjoyable powertrain of the two.

On a big motorway, the GLS excels, being unassumingly swift, quiet, peaceful and rather secure. It doesn’t really feel totally tied down and the legislation of physics make me acutely conscious of this car’s top and pounds. As I change off towards scaled-down, rural roadways, very carefully plotting it through my initially toll booth, I’m a minimal anxious. At initially, I’m constantly conscious of its dimensions, but the uncomplicated steering before long provides me the self-assurance to steer the big SUV through visitors. If you live in a metropolis like Mumbai in which area of any kind is at a top quality, having said that, you will have to be prepared for how big the GLS is. You’ll require a even larger than common parking location which is uncomplicated to travel into, not enterprise on to streets that are also narrow, and continue to keep an eye out for other motor vehicles that are all now scaled-down than yours. And even however U-turns really don’t really feel also challenging many thanks to the light-weight steering, they will demand a lot of area for the reason that of the 12.52m turning circle diameter.  

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It rides flat and accurate on a easy freeway, but can get unsettled about bumps.


As the monsoon’s finest potholes get even larger and sharper, these big wheels and tyres do make by themselves felt, and the auto does rock around very a little bit on its delicate air suspension. As points smoothen out and the roadways improve, so does the ride, with that ordinarily plush feeling you get from air springs forming a large cushion beneath the auto.

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It’s no shock that this 2.5-tonne, 5.2m-long SUV is not 1 for rapid cornering.


Difficult cornering? In such a big SUV, why bother? As you’d assume, it rolls a lot and there’s just also significantly mass to go around at velocity it’s significantly a lot more enjoyable at a significantly less frantic tempo. Interestingly, like in the GLE, they’ve eliminated the ‘Sport’ method altogether, so although the suspension can be raised for off-roading, it doesn’t lessen or firm up when you want to travel promptly. Overseas, you do get active anti-roll bars as element of the e-Energetic Overall body Management offer, which considerably improves points, but which is not on supply in India. The steering truly surprises with a very good total of opinions and pounds at velocity, but it’s greatest to take pleasure in that at a slower tempo. 

Must you invest in a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

All right so most likely the GLS isn’t very as high-class as an S-class limousine, but then how could it be? The simple reality is the sheer dimensions and practicality necessities of an SUV – substantial mass, big wheels, tall ride top, folding seats – make it tougher to excel as a luxury auto. But then, and at Rs ninety nine.ninety lakh (ex-showroom), it also prices about Rs 38 lakh significantly less than the S-class. Perhaps then it’s greatest to simply call it what it is – the flagship Mercedes-Benz SUV, as this is a function it performs to the T. It’s obtained the glimpse and the street presence, which is half the fight won below in India, and there is a amazing total of place to stretch out best for the chauffeur driven. It’s equipped with a pair of powerful engines and an all-conquering, go-anyplace potential, and with appropriate, relaxed place for seven, your family members will want to make excursions to the farmhouse every single weekend. If you want 1 Mercedes that can do it all, the GLS is it.

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Also see:

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS video overview