The ‘S-Class of SUVs’ will form the halo of the GL series, consisting of the GLC and GLE
Mercedes-Benz has lately been on a roll. After recently launching the sporty C 63 Coupe and the monster GT R, it has now piqued our curiosity with news of the launch of the all-new GLS, aptly called the ‘S-Class of SUVs’ on June 17. This new offering is Mercedes-Benz’s largest and most luxurious SUV yet, and will slot above the GLE in Mercedes-Benz's SUV range. So what is new? Read on to find out.
SUVs are, by definition, supposed to give off the “get outta the way” vibe, but with this new generation of the GLS, it’s less the grunt of a wannabe gangster and more the hushed bass of a kingpin softly yet firmly nudging your arm. Or at least that’s how it would seem when first setting eyes on this mountain of a vehicle.
At first glance, you get an inkling that this all-new GLS is larger than its predecessor, at 77mm longer and 22mm wider. A direct consequence of this is a 60mm increase in wheelbase. Viewed from the front, and it’s a pleasing combination of toughness and class, with the nearly upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation and the prominent, chromed skid plate in the front apron with the bone-shaped air inlet grille.
The GLS cuts an imposing figure from the rear, too, ensured by the shoulder lines extending from the rear doors to the two-piece LED taillamps. A chromed skid plate gives the finishing touch at the bottom on the rear end, framed by the two chromed tailpipes exiting from the bumper on either side.
Under the hood
The GLS could get two diesel engines and one petrol. The first diesel engine would be the 3-litre inline-six in a tune similar to that of the G 350d (282bhp and 600Nm), while the other could be the 3-litre inline-six with the state of tune from the GLE 400d (326bhp and 700Nm). Moving now to the petrol and that is where a new feature comes in, that of the 48V mild-hybrid system working in conjunction with the 3-litre inline-six petrol making 362bhp and 500Nm, with the EQ-Boost system adding in a further 22bhp and 250Nm. Additionally, Mercedes had also showcased the GLS 580 4Matic with a 4-litre V8 petrol making 482bhp and 700Nm, with the 48V EQ-Boost system latched on, of course.
Moving to the inside, and another benefits of the 60 mm longer wheelbase is the increased interior space, especially in the second row. The Easy-Entry function is now standard for the electrically-adjustable seats. This feature makes it easy to get into and out of the third seat row, as it folds down all rear seats at the push of a button. This increases the boot space (up to 2400 litres).
The second row can be had in either a three-seater bench or two luxury individual seats with armrests. And speaking of the third row, on offer are two fully fledged seats. There is an option for five-zone automatic climate control as well as heated seats and separate USB charging ports for the third row, too.
The new SUV gets the E-Active Body Control active suspension from the GLE. Another function carried over is latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver.
The GLS is equipped with the latest generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. The new system includes two large 12.3-inch screens, integrated with the instrument cluster and media display. Also on offer is the optional MBUX Interior Assistant also allows intuitive operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition.
The new GLS also gets the MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System. This system is available on other Mercedes-Benz models as well. However, the GLS gets two 11.6-inch touchscreens for movie, music and internet enjoyment. It also has a separate tablet for controlling all of the MBUX comfort and entertainment functions from the rear seats
As of now we’re not sure of the price the new GLS will command. However, going by the price of its predecessor which started at around Rs 87 lakh (ex-showroom), we’d expect the price to be in the region of Rs 90-95 lakh. Once here, we expect it to go toe-to-toe with the Range Rover, BMW X7, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90.