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.