Merc’s big boy re­turns

The new Mercedes-Benz GLS is a tank with mega tech and even more com­fort


THE BIG DADDY IS BACK. MERCEDESBe­nz has fi­nally given the GLS the up­date it needed and what an up­date it is – the GLS is now big­ger, more com­fort­able, lots of tech­nol­ogy and new pow­er­trains. The new GLS is di­men­sion­ally a larger SUV – it is 77mm longer and a lot of that is cour­tesy the 60mm longer wheel­base. It is also 22mm wider and all this works to free up a lot more room on the in­side. Lux­ury has been given pri­or­ity and the GLS now comes with the option of a two-seat sec­ond row in­stead of a bench. Sec­ond row pas­sen­gers also get two 11.6-inch en­ter­tain­ment screens, a tablet to con­trol the car's com­fort and en­ter­tain­ment

fea­tures, elec­tri­cally ad­justable rear seats that fold at the push of a but­ton and five zone cli­mate con­trol. The dash has been given a com­pre­hen­sive up­date too and is now in line with Merc's con­tem­po­rary styling.

There are a bunch of new pow­er­trains as well: there's two mildly elec­tri­fied petrol engines: a V8 that makes 489hp and 700Nm (GLS 580), an in-line six-cylin­der that makes 362bhp and 500Nm (GLS 450). Both driv­e­trains are cou­pled with a 48-volt ar­chi­tec­ture, and gets starter generators and the EQ Boost func­tion that in­creases power and torque for a short du­ra­tion. There's also a diesel en­gine GLS with two out­puts and we're likely to get the GLS 350d that makes 286hp and 600Nm. All engines get a nine-speed au­to­matic and all­wheel drive with a 0-100 per cent torque split be­tween axles. In terms of sus­pen­sion, the GLS gets air springs with adap­tive damp­ing and E-Ac­tive Body Con­trol. The lat­ter is an op­tional ex­tra and al­lows in­di­vid­ual con­trol of damp­ing and spring forces at each wheel. It can en­hance the GLS' ef­fec­tive­ness in off-road sit­u­a­tions and also makes it more dy­namic on the road.

Mercedes-Benz is call­ing the GLS the ‘S-Class of SUVs' and it takes one look at the up­dates, to say they're not far off the mark. Its ri­vals are the Audi Q7, and the BMW X7 that has been fea­tured on pg 100.

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