Mercedes-Benz GLS barges into the premium SUV class

Mercedes' biggest SUV gets a comprehensive facelift and healthy specification list

Mercedes-Benz has released UK pricing and specification data for the new GLS, a seven-seat luxury SUV updated to replace the outgoing GL model.

The company is pitching the GLS as the ‘S-class among SUVs’, a market position also denoted by the ‘S’ in the SUV’s moniker. As such, it sits atop the firm’s SUV tree, with the GLE, GLC and GLA denoting progressively smaller vehicles.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

The UK range will be limited to three models, starting with the GLS 350d 4MATIC AMG Line, an identically-engined designo Line and a range-topping GLS 63 4MATIC.

GLS 350 models are powered by Mercedes’ 3-litre, V6 diesel. A power output of 254bhp and torque of 457lb ft should be enough to haul the seven-seat SUV along with gusto, and make light work of the 815kg payload capacity – not far short of a basic Ford Transit.

Advertisement - Article continues below

At the same time, CO2 emissions have dropped to 199g/km, with a corresponding decrease in fuel consumption. A nine-speed automatic gearbox helps see to that, while all-wheel drive is standard.

Optional is an off-road driving package to give the GLS broader capabilities on the rough stuff, with a centre differential lock, low-range gearbox, dedicated off-road modes for the standard Dynamic Select driving mode system, and three additional height settings for the Airmatic air suspension.

Thus equipped, the GLS can increase ground clearance to 306mm and wade in water up to 600mm deep. The package also includes underbody protection panels and an off-road function for the headlights.

Less likely to go off-road but undoubtedly more potent on it is the third GLS model, the GLS 63 AMG. As we’ve come to expect from AMG, a mighty power output is standard – 577bhp, to be specific – with a torque peak of 561lb ft. The AMG’s gearbox has seven speeds and the all-wheel drive system features a rear bias.

Styling is only mildly altered from the old GL, with Mercedes’ new corporate visage the main difference. The bonnet is also slightly altered with new ‘power domes’, and at the rear the tailpipes are more prominent than before. Interior changes amount to an all-new instrument panel, three-spoke steering wheel and improved centre console.

A suite of safety and driver assistance systems are standard, as are Mercedes’ COMAND infotainement system, LED adaptive headlights, leather upholstery, Harmon Kardon surround-sound audio, a panoramic sunroof and keyless go – among other features.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The GLS 350d AMG Line starts at £69,100, while the GLS 350 designo begins with a price tag of £78,095. Topping the range, the GLS 63 AMG will set you back £102,330. All are available to order now, with deliveries starting in March 2016. evo will be driving the GLS soon, so keep your eyes peeled for a full review.



Bentley Mulsanne

Bentley Mulsanne 6.75 Edition launched to mark end of production

14 Jan 2020
Range Rover SUV

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography review

3 Jan 2020
Land Rover

Land Rover purchases Bowler

18 Dec 2019
Porsche Macan GTS SUV

2020 Porsche Macan GTS unveiled to rival Audi SQ5

17 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Toyota Yaris

Toyota GR Yaris revealed in full – return of the homologation special

One of most sought after hot hatchbacks of 2020 has finally been revealed: the Toyota GR Yaris
10 Jan 2020
Honda Civic Type-R

New 2020 Honda Civic Type R makes debut at Tokyo Auto Salon

Honda has released the first images of the revised Civic Type R that’s being shown for the first time in Tokyo
10 Jan 2020
Subaru Levorg

2020 Subaru Levorg STI prototype revealed at Tokyo Auto Salon

Proving there’s still life in Subaru’s STI performance sub-brand, the Levorg has benefited from some tweaks
13 Jan 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019