Juggernaut Mercedes-Benz GLS arrives in SA
The largest and most luxurious member of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family has made its debut on local soil. Previously badged GL, the seven-seater off-roader now wears the GLS badge as part of the German auto maker’s revised model range nomenclature.
Mercedes-Benz refers to the newcomer as the S-Class of the SUV world, and given the interior space, luxury and technology on offer, it’s an apt description.
Improvements over the previous model include enhanced economy, an updated air suspension, a nine-speed automatic gearbox, state-of-the-art telematics and on-line connectivity, and a raft of advanced driver assistance systems.
While it’s not an all-new model, the GLS does feature an updated design to reflect the marque’s current design language, including loads of tasteful brightwork. New tail lights and a reprofiled bumper are the key changes at the rear.
The cabin boasts a redesigned dashboard with semi-integrated infotainment display, a redesigned multifunction steering wheel, a different centre console with a touchpad controller, and smarter trim and materials.
Given the generous dimensions of the GLS, the abundance of interior space doesn’t come as a surprise. All three seating rows offer generous legroom, while a variety of seating configurations allow an almost infinite combination of cargo and seating.
True to the Mercedes-Benz ethos, there’s a full house of advanced active and passive safety systems, including two-stage adaptive airbags, LED intelligent lighting, collision prevention assistance, stability control, and steering assistance.
The model line-up includes the 190 kW/6t20 NmGLS 350d, the 335 kW/700 Nm GLS 500 and the mighty Mercedes-AMG GLS 63, the latter with 430 kW and 760 Nm on tap. Pricing starts at R1,283-milllion for the GLS 350d, R1 444 400 for the GLS 500, and R2 469 900 for the ultra-sophisticated Mercedes-AMG GLS 63.