Mercedes GLS review

Category: Luxury SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Mercedes GLS 2021 rear tracking
  • 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
What Car?’s GLS deals
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Target Price from £85,800
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From £95,980

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Mercedes GLS is a very heavy car, tipping the scales at almost two and a half tonnes. But thanks to the huge amount of low down grunt generated by that 3.0-litre diesel engine, it builds speed effortlessly; it’ll cover the 0-60mph dash in a swift 6.0sec (recorded at our private test track). However, while you certainly wouldn’t describe that as slow, it’s not as quick as the 5.6sec that the BMW X7 xDrive40d clocked in the same sprint.

As with the X7, there can be a small delay before the GLS’s automatic gearbox responds when you ask for a sudden burst of acceleration. However, this is nowhere near as obvious as it is in some other rivals – we’re looking at you, Audi Q7 – and the GLS’s shifts are suitably smooth most of the time.

What’s more, it doesn’t exactly glide over bumps and potholes. Not only does the rival X7 offer a more controlled and comfortable ride, but it’s also better at disguising its bulk in corners, combining superior body control with more precise steering.

Like most big SUVs, the GLS will more frequently be seen traversing shopping centre car parks than rocky rural landscapes, but it should be able to cope easily with deep snow and cambered icy surfaces, particularly if you specify the optional Off-Road package, which brings low-range gears and tailored off-road driving modes. That said, if you are planning on venturing off the beaten path on a regular basis, make sure to take a look at the utterly fantastic Land Rover Discovery – what it can do off-road is simply staggering.

Mercedes GLS 2021 rear tracking
New car deals
Target Price from £85,800
or from £1,027pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £95,980