What is it? 

When they rebranded the prior gen ‘X166’ GL-class to be called the GLS midway as a result of its life cycle, the thought was to cement its area in the vary as the ‘S-class of SUVs’. On the other hand, as it was just a facelift primarily based on older architecture, it wasn’t very up to the job. On the other hand, with the new ‘X167’ GLS’s, there’s a higher likelihood of the big SUV reaching the limousine’s significant bar. That is simply because this a person was designed from the get-go to be extra of a luxury product and a nearer relation to its sedan counterpart. Just how does it accomplish that, however? Study on.

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The GLS isn’t just big, it is a mountain of an SUV. It’s a complete 77mm longer than the old motor vehicle, 60mm of which has gone into the wheelbase, and it is 22mm broader as properly. At complete off-highway top on its air suspension, the best of the bonnet lines up with my upper body. 21-inch wheels glance just the appropriate dimensions, not comically large as they might have a couple generations in the past, and their attractive 5-spoke style is a marked improvement on Merc’s typically meek wheel selections. Furthermore, there are the tyres – the 275-segment set at the front are extensive, but at the rear you will come across a pair of 315/forty R21s, which are the sort of numbers you’d have earlier only go through on a Lamborghini’s tyres. It provides tremendously to the highway existence.

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Substantial 21-inch, 315-segment rear tyres only add to its tank-like existence.


Its girth by itself makes it conveniently identifiable as a GLS, but this is an completely softer and rounder just take on the formula. No extra sharp creases defining the flanks, this a person is all curves. The headlamps are a good deal smaller sized, the tail-lamps slimmer – each and every with Mercedes’ new LED signature. Incidentally, all those adaptive LED headlamps are outfitted with anything called ‘Ultra Selection Large Beam’, which we’re explained to, is able of lighting up the highway 650 metres in advance. A different Merc SUV signature is the impractical, but exceptionally blingy chrome skid plates at the front and rear, and there’s plenty extra of the shiny stuff – on the tailgate, the bumpers and the window surrounds. 


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What is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS inside like? 

There are a good deal of 7-seat SUVs on the market place, but the GLS has constantly been a person of a precious couple in which an grownup would willingly venture into the 3rd row for a prolonged journey. The middle row energy folds (somewhat gradually) to enable you as a result of, and thereafter, it is a pretty quick clamber into the 3rd row. But, as the seat in front of me whirrs back again into area, it starts off to foul with my knees, which is strange, as I distinctly try to remember the prior version’s 3rd row being extra spacious, with its have committed glass roof, which is now lacking. But, that’s not to say you are not properly catered to back again in this article, simply because you are – with committed cupholders, two of this car’s 11 USB charging ports (Style-C, nevertheless, so carry your adapter) and even its have climate zone. The seats them selves are truly 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-stop residence entertainment unit with its big screens and Burmester speakers. High quality is tough to fault.


The explanation for this absence of home is, in its bid to be extra like an S-class, the new GLS has sacrificed 3rd row space to give even extra in the middle row, which includes 100mm of powered fore-and-aft sliding, and appropriate now, it is set all the way back again to complete limousine mode. To accommodate 7, you will have to give up some legroom in the next row, but considerably from the point of being not comfortable. It’s a compromise that makes feeling, as most shoppers will only almost never use their GLS as a seven-seater, and for most of the time, a limo-like middle row for a person passenger is what’s extra crucial. The seat back again also reclines by thirty degrees, but at complete tilt, it is not very the lounge-like knowledge you will come across in an S-class. The seats them selves, as well, are a touch firmer than you will come across in the limo, and you do sit a small knees-up simply because of the way the seat foundation is reclined. 

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


Even now, after you’re snugly in area, you will have small explanation to complain. The pillows on the headrests return, and if you have to have a truly absurd amount of legroom, the front passenger seat can be sent ahead from at the rear of. Indeed, the middle row is a bench so you could get a 3rd passenger in in this article, but they’ll have to put their ft astride the extended centre console in between the front seats. In complete limo mode, you will want to flip down the centre armrest, which reveals cupholders, a wireless charging pad and a detachable tablet controller. You could use this as a frequent Android tablet, but it is also a controller for items like the 64-colour ambient lighting, climate management, media and radio. But, as I fiddle around with it, I realise that’s about it – it won’t enable you check out or function the navigation, regulate the seats or open up the solar blinds or panoramic sunroof. You will likely get a bit extra stuff to enjoy with if you add on the optional rear entertainment screens. 

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Not as spacious as before and middle row wants to be moved in advance.


If you are travelling with 7 aboard, there’s a likelihood you will have to have area for their baggage, and with 355 litres of space with all seats up, a weekend’s value of bags is no trouble at all. There’s a person button in the boot that lowers the air suspension for less complicated loading, and an additional that can energy-fold the 3rd and next rows to liberate an outstanding 2,400 litres!

What gear and functions will you come across in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

So, the middle row obviously is the emphasize of this SUV, but I’m explained to the new GLS has a good deal of love for all those sat up front as well, and that’s before you even transform a wheel. The lounge seats may possibly be in the back again, but the residence entertainment method is up front – I action in to be greeted by a tall, extensive dashboard with a seamless glass panel housing two significant-resolution twelve.3-inch screens docked into it. These are, of system, the touchscreen infotainment method and the instrumentation display screen, but the way it is all put jointly truly does glance like the classy but significant-tech unit that homes the 4K flatscreen in your den. It’s got the hi-fi to match, as well, with a thirteen-speaker Burmester seem method, creating alone recognised with its signature chrome speaker grilles peppered around the cabin. 

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Pano sunroof is welcome as at any time, but no 3rd-row glass like the old GLS.


All of this is wrapped jointly in what we’ve now arrive to hope from Mercedes – high priced-feeling Artico fake leather-based, significant-gloss wood grain and awesome brushed metal switchgear. You never have to have this cream coloured upholstery if you think it’ll get as well filthy as well quickly – black and espresso brown are also obtainable. The 4 circular AC vents in the centre of the sprint have morphed into rectangular designs for this rugged SUV, just as in the smaller sized GLE. In fact, apart from the use of polished somewhat than matte wood trim, the full front cabin is identical to the GLE. 

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Digital instrument panel is wildly customisable Touchscreen looks amazing and features brilliantly.


The listing of devices and gizmos is complete, and it all revolves around MBUX – the brand’s most current infotainment method, which is somewhat great. The touchscreen is beautiful to behold, crisp and fluid to use, and in case you never want to be distracted by applying it on the shift, there’s a touchpad in between the seats and quite intuitive controls on the steering wheel. It’s no surprise in this working day and age that the GLS is a connected motor vehicle with an onboard e-Sim, and that it has a lover application that allows you continue to keep tabs on the motor vehicle, start off and pre-awesome it, and even function the home windows and sunroof remotely. But the connectivity goes a bit even further, with the AI-guided voice assistant that responds to ‘Hey Mercedes’, and then faucets into the cloud to deliver a considerably broader vary of responses and outcomes than you hope. There are even awesome functions like seats that can guess your driving placement primarily based on just your top, and cabin lights that activate via movement sensors. After all this, the 360-degree cameras, 9 airbags and car parking assistant truly feel a bit common. But all over again, all of this is obtainable in the GLE as well, and possibly heated and ventilated seats – front and rear – would have set the GLS apart as the extra high-class a person.

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Rear tablet controller awesome but shockingly standard.


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

Compared with the GLE, you won’t come across a 4-cylinder engine under the hood of the big GLS, but the two 6-cylinder options are typical to the two versions. The 450 is a 3.-litre straight-6 turbo-petrol which makes 367hp and 500Nm, that’s paired to a 48v gentle-hybrid method that provides an additional 22hp and 250Nm of electrical enhance under tough acceleration, when the 400d works by using a 3.-litre straight-6 turbo-diesel with 330hp and 700Nm.  

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The 48V hybrid method on the petrol GLS 450 provides 22hp and 250Nm of e-enhance under tough acceleration.


As I prod the starter button in the 400d, the diesel engine fires up with a light-weight murmur and then… it is all but gone. I have to check the tachometer to make positive it is essentially turning about. The refinement is just outstanding! It’s the new-technology OM656 diesel engine that we’ve also found in the S 350d and G 350d, but as the identify implies, this 400d is extra strong, so at the to start with indicator of an open up highway, my to start with intuition is to ground it. The explosive acceleration I anticipated does not arrive. Rather what you get is, to start with a bit of hesitation as the 9-velocity automated shifts down to the appropriate gear, and then a nice prolonged-legged surge of torque with no enable-up, and a muted straight-6 growl to boot. That 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 possibly they can truly feel a bit confused by all that velocity and body weight put together. 

Though it disguises it properly, the tempo is all there, with -100kph coming up in a scant seven.48 seconds according to our testing gear – outstanding thinking about the mass at perform! The 20-80kph and forty-100kph periods of 4.75sec and 6.22sec respectively are also remarkable, but I truly feel they could’ve been superior continue to if the gearbox was a small more quickly to respond.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS acceleration figures
GLS 450 GLS 400d
-20kph .93s 1.03s
-40kph 1.96s 2.06s
-60kph 3.27s 3.43s
-80kph 4.90s 5.17s
-100kph seven.15s seven.48s
-120kph 9.76s 10.41s
-140kph thirteen.35s thirteen.91s
-160kph 17.68s eighteen.27s
-180kph 23.68s 24.12s
-200kph 31.62s 32.92s
20-80kph (in kickdown) 4.35s 4.75s
forty-100kph (in kickdown) 5.33s 6.22s

If the diesel edition is refined, the 450 petrol is silent as a tomb. Urgent the start off button and leaving it at idle does not make a seem, and even on the shift you can scarcely inform it is switched on, until finally you extend it previous about 3,000rpm, and what you get then is a seem that’s extra satisfying than the a person in the diesel. And if you imagined the diesel was swift – this one’s even more quickly. The e-enhance from the gentle hybrid method is truly properly calibrated, partaking and disengaging imperceptibly, masking any semblance of turbo lag and enabling you to launch the big SUV to 100kph in just seven.15sec. There’s no interruption in the flow of energy, and it will pull very strongly until finally it is time for the following gear. Intellect you, this edition of the 9-velocity car can also get caught out conveniently by a sudden kick-down on the accelerator. You won’t pass up the absence of a Sport mode in the 400d, but in this petrol edition you just might. It is absolutely the sprightlier and extra remarkable powertrain of the two.

On a big motorway, the GLS excels, being unassumingly swift, silent, peaceful and rather steady. It does not truly feel absolutely tied down and the legal guidelines of physics make me acutely mindful of this car’s top and body weight. As I transform off towards smaller sized, rural roadways, meticulously plotting it as a result of my to start with toll booth, I’m a small worried. At to start with, I’m regularly mindful of its dimensions, but the quick steering quickly offers me the self-confidence to steer the big SUV as a result of traffic. If you reside in a town like Mumbai wherever space of any sort is at a top quality, nevertheless, you will have to be ready for how big the GLS is. You’ll have to have a greater than regular parking place that’s quick to generate into, not venture on to streets that are as well slim, and continue to keep an eye out for other automobiles that are all now smaller sized than yours. And even however U-turns never truly feel as well tough thanks to the light-weight steering, they will demand a good deal of space simply because of the twelve.52m turning circle diameter.  

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It rides flat and true on a clean highway, but can get unsettled about bumps.


As the monsoon’s very best potholes get greater and sharper, all those big wheels and tyres do make them selves felt, and the motor vehicle does rock around very a bit on its tender air suspension. As items smoothen out and the roadways enhance, so does the experience, with that typically plush feeling you get from air springs forming a large cushion under the motor vehicle.

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It’s no surprise that this 2.5-tonne, 5.2m-prolonged SUV is not a person for speedy cornering.


Tough cornering? In these types of a big SUV, why bother? As you’d hope, it rolls a good deal and there’s just as well considerably mass to shift around at velocity it is considerably extra fulfilling at a less frantic tempo. Interestingly, like in the GLE, they’ve eradicated the ‘Sport’ mode completely, so when the suspension can be elevated for off-roading, it does not lessen or firm up when you want to generate quickly. Abroad, you do get energetic anti-roll bars as portion of the e-Active Body Management bundle, which greatly enhances items, but that’s not on give in India. The steering essentially surprises with a superior amount of feedback and body weight at velocity, but it is most effective to appreciate that at a slower tempo. 

Ought to you buy a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

All right so possibly the GLS isn’t very as high-class as an S-class limousine, but then how could it be? The basic fact is the sheer dimensions and practicality specifications of an SUV – substantial mass, big wheels, tall experience top, folding seats – make it more challenging to excel as a luxury motor vehicle. But then, and at Rs 99.90 lakh (ex-showroom), it also charges about Rs 38 lakh less than the S-class. Probably then it is most effective to contact it what it is – the flagship Mercedes-Benz SUV, as this is a job it performs to the T. It’s got the glance and the highway existence, which is half the struggle won in this article in India, and there is a amazing amount of home to stretch out best for the chauffeur pushed. It’s outfitted with a pair of powerful engines and an all-conquering, go-anywhere potential, and with appropriate, relaxed home for 7, your relatives will want to make trips to the farmhouse just about every weekend. If you want a person Mercedes that can do it all, the GLS is it.

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Also see:

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS video critique