Mercedes GLS review

Category: Luxury SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, petrol
Available colours:
Mercedes GLS 2021 instruments detail
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  • Mercedes GLS 2021 front tracking
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 rear tracking
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS dashboard
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS third row seats
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 instruments detail
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS infotainment screen
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS infotainment touchpad
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS front seats
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS second-row seats
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS boot
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 left panning
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 left panning
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 front tracking
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 rear tracking
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS dashboard
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS third row seats
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 instruments detail
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS infotainment screen
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS infotainment touchpad
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS front seats
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS second-row seats
  • 2021 Mercedes GLS boot
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 left panning
  • Mercedes GLS 2021 left panning
RRP £79,480What Car? Target Price from£75,641
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Mercedes GLS is expensive even by luxury SUV standards (a Land Rover Discovery will seat seven in comfort for less money, and if you only need five seats then the Audi Q7 is cheaper still and a much better all-rounder). And although it’s no more pricey than the BMW X7 xDrive40d and big discounts are available, the X7 is a better buy, being more enjoyable to drive, more comfortable and just as spacious.

You do get a lot of equipment for your money in the GLS, though. Even entry-level AMG Line Premium trim features keyless entry and start, heated front and second-row seats, 22in alloy wheels and a head-up display that projects key information onto the windscreen to reduce the need to take your eyes off the road (and isn’t available as standard on the X7).

That said, you may be tempted to step up to AMG Line Premium Plus trim because this brings massaging seats, heated armrests and semi-autonomous driving tech that’s designed to take the strain out of motoring when it comes to adjusting your speed, steering, changing lanes, braking, or moving off in traffic jams. Premium Plus Executive gets a few more luxuries, such as a heated steering wheel, a dashboard wrapped in Nappa leather and heated third-row seats, but we don’t think it’s worth the extra outlay. 

Unsurprisingly, the GLS is in the top BIK company-car tax group. Meanwhile, it’s not as economical as equivalent Q7 or X7 diesels.

The GLS is too new to have proven its dependability but in our 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey Mercedes finished 26th out of 31 manufacturers – behind BMW (9th), Volvo (16th) and Audi (22nd), but ahead of Land Rover (last).

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Mercedes GLS 2021 instruments detail

Overview

The Mercedes GLS has an impressively punchy and smooth diesel engine, and it certainly looks flash inside, but the build quality, ride comfort and handling all disappoint for a luxury SUV of this price.

  • Effortless performance
  • Impressive refinement
  • Interior looks special
  • Poorly controlled ride
  • BMW X7 better all-round
  • Expensive

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