Very few carmakers can mix luxury and vigor better than the boys at Mercedes-Benz. The German auto firm has made a name for itself as one of the go-to car companies for customers looking for the finer things in life, as well as a driver-oriented experience behind the wheel. That reputation is as evident as ever in the new GLS premium SUV. Because whether you're on the road with your family or venturing off the beaten path, this ride will make sure you're doing it in style.
More comfort, more power, more looks--these have got to be what Merc engineers and designers had in mind while building the new GLS. The GLS350d, the GLS400, the GLS500 and the AMG GLS63 have all received updates and refinements to both their aesthetics and performance.
Exterior-wise, the first thing to strike you will be the redesigned front end, and the updated rear bumper and tail-lights. The vehicle's modernized exterior is accentuated by chrome highlights and accessories such as the chrome roof rails, underguard, trim strips, handles and side skirts. Overall, this ride looks curvier than its GL predecessors, but manages to retain its sporty lines and appearance. This just might be the sharpest-looking premium seven-seater out there.
Those willing to stretch their budget a little further can even go for the sportier AMG Line, which features custom front and rear aprons, side running boards, side flaps, and an oh-so-magnificent-looking set of 21-inch AMG light alloy wheels. Other treatments available for the exterior include two special paint finishes in Diamond White or Hyacinth Red.
Inside, drivers will be greeted by an all-new three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, a brand-new instrument panel design, and a modified center console. It's obvious that Mercedes spared no luxury when making this vehicle. The cabin is highlighted with fine Nappa leather and a variety of premium quality trims and treatments. But what could be the most impressive facet of the interior is the versatility of its seating and luggage compartment. A number of seating configurations allow this Benz to carry up to 2,300L of cargo within a maximum load compartment length of 2,124mm.
The interior also comes in an exclusive package that includes ambient lighting, a Black Piano lacquer trim and Nappa upholstered leather seats with heating function. An AMG Line interior is likewise available for customers leaning toward a sportier cabin look. It features Nappa leather sports seats, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel in a black Nappa leather finish, graduated instrument dials with a checkered-flag theme, and stainless-steel sports pedals.
If you're thinking Mercedes spent most of its time focusing on appearance, you're wrong. One peek under the hood and you'll know engineers took their sweet time sprucing the engines up. The GLS500's V8 BiTurbo engine can deliver up to 455hp and 700Nm--15hp more than the previous model. Even more impressive is the new powerplant of the AMG GLS63: With 585hp and 760Nm, its 5.5-liter V8 BiTurbo powerplant delivers up to 28hp more than its predecessor while maintaining the same level of fuel consumption. The GLS350d's V6 diesel and the GLS400's V6 BiTurbo can generate up to 258hp and 333hp, respectively.
All four variants come with a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, save for the AMG GLS that features the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic. Other standard features include an extended range of Dynamic Select transmission modes, as well as the latest Airmatic suspension system, ADS enhanced damping system and AMG Performance all-wheel drive. For safety, the SUV comes with Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Attention Assist, among others.
All four GLS variants are already available for order in Europe. We expect local distributor Auto Nation Group to now be looking at bringing this SUV in as soon as it possibly can.