The NamasteCar review:
Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 4Matic
The GLS promises to be the S-Class of the SUVs but can it live up to that? Here’s our review.
OVERALL POINTS: 88/100
WE LOVE: ⇑ The new GLS is a massive SUV and has lots of presence while the comfort along with the luxury is class best. It is also much better to drive now and is filled with technology
WE DON’T LOVE: ⇓ The GLS is too big for our cities and is not as sporty as the BMW X7 while the interior design is similar to the smaller GLE
Mercedes-Benz is known for making great luxury cars but it also makes great SUVs. We have seen the G-Class being a great luxury SUV and something which has a loyal fan following but its other SUVs also have been successful. Case in point the GLS. The GLS is a full size luxury SUV that is supposed to be the S-Class of SUVs and ever since its launch, the GLS has been a good seller for Mercedes. The previous generation model has sold very well and it has been a favourite of the elite all over India. In-fact after the start of local production of the GLS, the model raked in big numbers. The GLS has always been a massive SUV and looked great with plenty of road presence but it was getting a bit old with being around a long time. Plus with the BMW X7, Range Rover Sport and other SUVs coming in, the GLS was getting a bit old. Enter the new generation model and here Mercedes have made the GLS a lot better along with having plenty of technology and luxury. The GLS does have a stronger claim of being the S-Class of SUVs now.
2. Looks from outside
There is no getting away from the fact that the GLS is huge and has plenty of road presence. The previous version was massive but this time Mercedes has applied a new design language plus made it even bigger. The new GLS looks luxurious and also premium with the new design. The SUV is also less boxy than the earlier GLS. In terms of length the GLS is a massive 5207mm and that is huge plus when compared to the previous version, the new GLS is 60mm longer. The new GLS is also wide with a width of 1956mm. Then you can gauge how big the SUV is via the massive 21 inch wheels plus the rear tyres are wider than the front with the same width as a super car!
In terms of the design the GLS has lots of chrome with the chrome outline for the window line plus a chrome rich grille. The three pointed star is as big as they get. The detailing below is also nice with a silver skid plate and cladding. The bonnet of the GLS has two strong lines while the SUV has some different surfacing all over to break the monotony of the design. The headlamps are well shaped and they are multibeam LEDs with around 112 LEDs in each headlamp! The side is where you can see the change when compared to the previous GLS. The roof line is less boxy and the lines flows in well. The rear tail-lamps are LEDs and also looks great. It is a slabby kind of rear but the long roofline and the quarter glass are there for the third row of which we will talk about later. Build quality and paint quality is spectacular, as you would expect.
3. Driving feel
You can get the GLS with two engines and the range has a 400d 4MATIC diesel and also a 450 4MATIC petrol. These are proper big six cylinder engines and these engines match the big size of the GLS. The diesel has more torque with a massive 3.0 engine which makes 330bhp and 700Nm. More interesting is the petrol engine as it is a 3.0 straight six engine which makes 367bhp and 500Nm but you get power thanks to a 48V mild hybrid system which adds another 22bhp and 250Nm thanks to the electric power. This comes when you are really pushing the SUV and adds in to get more performance.
We drove the petrol and we were very impressed. First of all the refinement is just stunning and there is simply no noise at all. You cannot realize that the engine is already on. On the move the petrol engine is refined too with barely any sound while the 9-speed automatically calmly shifts gears. You do not know which gear or what speed you are doing as the engine is so quiet. Only past a certain rpm when you are flooring it is when you hear some noise but it is also a pleasant one. In the city it is relaxing and easy to drive plus you forget how big this SUV really is!
Thanks to the electric boost the petrol GLS is faster to 100km/h with a time of just 6.2 seconds. It is a smooth engine no doubt and cruises very well. In-fact you will not miss the diesel like torque as this SUV has enough punch even with a petrol engine. The response when you want that quick overtake is fantastic thanks to the electric boost.
In terms of ride quality the GLS is sublime and along with the refinement, the SUV is just the right car to take on the traffic and the stress because the GLS removes it completely. The steering is very light hence taking a u-turn is not difficult plus you also enjoy it driving. Despite the size the GLS can be driven quickly and yes while there is body roll, the roll is contained and you can go fast with control. It does not feel big or loose. The GLS also gets air suspension and you can raise the SUV which is useful when going over bad roads. While the GLS is not an SUV for hardcore off roading, it is good enough for long journeys where the tarmac ends.
4. Interior features and feel
The interior of the previous GLS had the old architecture along with things like traditional dials plus the old Mercedes switchgear. The new GLS changes all that with more technology plus luxury. The interior of the new GLS is a brilliant place to be with a lot of high quality materials. There are twin massive screens which are joined together and the central one is a touch screen. Else the steering wheel is a sporty three spoke unit and has a scroller and haptic touch buttons on either side. The centre console is multiple air con vents plus has a nice row of knurled switches. Then below that is a touchpad for using the menu along with shortcut buttons on the side of it. A feature on Mercedes SUVs is the grab handle on both sides which are connected to the main cabin design and it looks rugged. There is leather covered everywhere and every switch has a nice metal feel to it plus it has special wood trim of course.
Space is very important and in the GLS the second row is even bigger when compared to the previous GLS. Due to the larger length the second row now has an additional 87mm of legroom now plus the wheelbase has around 60mm more added to it. The sense of space then is massive so headroom or legroom is not a problem at all even for really tall people. There is ample width for three persons as well. There are also electric reclining seats and that gives a further 100mm of space inside plus the central armrest gets a tablet holder and a wireless charging pad along with cup holders of course. You can use the tablet for all the usual Android based features but you can also control it for the ambient lighting, media and radio too. There are also rear entertainment screens.
In talking of the third row the GLS has a surprising amount of space inside. The 2nd row gets ahead automatically and access is easy. While legroom is obviously a bit small, the overall space means it is enough for adults to accompany for short journeys while it is ok for children. The third row also gets its own climate control, USB charging point and cup holders. So you are sorted even when you are seated here!
In terms of features the GLS gets you a lot and that is what you expect when paying a crore of rupees for one of these. It starts with leather include Nappa leather upholstery, powered seats with memory function, 5-zone climate control, rear comfort package, electric sun bilnds for the rear doors, you can also move the front passenger seat from the rear, electric folding backrests in second and third row with one touch operation, air suspension, auto tail-gate. In terms of luxury features you get a Burmester audio system with two 12.3 inch screens, latest MBUX multimiedia with Hey Mercedes voice assistant, connected tech, wireless charging at front and rear, an MBUX rear tablet, Type C USB ports and more including a massive panoramic sunroof.
In terms of safety you get a 360 degree surround sound camera with park assist, a blind spot assist, 9 airbags, off-road ABS and more.
The touch screen is brilliant in its display and functionality with excellent quality and detailing. The audio system also sounds brilliant with many modifications which you can do to the sound. Then there is the 64 colour ambient lighting which makes the cabin look amazing at night with various colour options. Lastly there is the Mercedes Me connect which gets connected technology. Here you get an App which lets you access many remote functions and geo fencing plus a vehicle finder and more including emergency services.
The petrol GLS comes with an integrated starter-generator (ISG) and that is there for the hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recuperation. This makes for more fuel savings. In terms of maintenance there are service packages for the new GLS 450 4MATIC which start at INR 82,100/- and INR 98,800/- for the GLS 450 4MATIC for 2 years/unlimited kilometers. In terms of mileage the GLS petrol delivers 8-9 kmpl which is more than decent for its size.
6. Our opinion
Overall for a price of Rs. 1 crore, the GLS seems like a more practical alternative to an S-Class
The Mercedes GLS is a big improvement over the previous gen model and adds in more refinement plus luxury. The design is classy and it is bigger now while the interior is top-notch with excellent quality. There is all of the latest technology too while it excels in comfort as well. The petrol engine is brilliant for its refinement plus performance while the diesel is also good. Overall for a price of Rs. 1 crore, the GLS seems like a more practical alternative to an S-Class with being an SUV plus for its price, there is no better luxury SUV on sale now!
- Total displacement / No./arrangement of cylinders: 2999 cc/ L6
- Rated output in KW (hp) @ rpm: 270 /5500-6100
- Rated torque (Nm @ rpm): 500 /1600 – 4500
- Transmission: 9G-TRONIC automatic
- Acceleration from 0 – 100 km/ h(s): 6.2 secs
- Top speed (Km / h): 246 km/h
- L X W (ORVM) X H (mm): 5207 X 2157 X 1823
- On-board Electrical system: 48V
- Kerb Weight: 2460 kg
- Gross Weight: 3230 kg
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