The Mercedes-Benz GLS is the final model in the company’s range to adopt the company’s new naming structure, and the SUV formerly known as the GL also gets a visual refresh at the same time. The new SUV will go on sale in the UK in March.
What is it?
Despite the new name, the GLS is not a massively different car to the outgoing GL SUV; it gets a few visual and specification upgrades rather than a major overhaul.
Most prominent among the exterior styling changes is the new grille treatment, which features a larger three-pointed star and two horizontal blades to give the GLS a bolder look. There’s also a new front bumper, new headlight graphics, subtly altered tail-lights, a revised rear bumper and newly styled wheels.
The mild styling tweaks continue inside, where the GLS adopts an upgraded dashboard featuring a free-standing infotainment screen, a touch pad controller between the front seats, altered instrument graphics and a new three-spoke leather bound multi-function steering wheel.
What engines does it come with?
As with the outgoing GL, there are just the two engines in the GLS range in the UK, with the 3.0-litre diesel expected to be the best seller.
This 187bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel is unchanged from the outgoing model. Although official fuel economy and performance figures have not yet been confirmed, they are expected to be slightly better than the GL’s. The outgoing car has an official claimed average fuel economy figure of 36.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 205g/km. Top speed is 135mph while 0-62mph takes 7.9sec. The improvements are down to a new nine-speed auto gearbox, which replaces the older seven-speed unit.
The high-performance GLS 63 AMG S version will also be offered in the UK, and will come with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine. It delivers an added 27bhp at 577bhp along with the same 560lb ft as before. The AMG doesn’t get the new nine-speed 'box, however, and still comes with a seven-speed unit.
Although it has not yet been confirmed, a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid could also be added to the range later.
How much equipment does it get?
The GLS now comes with seating for seven as standard, with a nominal 680 litres of luggage space, rising to 2300 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Buyers can choose an upgraded Dynamic Select system with up to six driving programs, which are: comfort, slippery, sport, individual, off-road and, in models equipped with the off-road package, off-road plus. The off-road plus mode activates low range gearing and centre differential as well raising the nominal ride height to provide 306mm of ground clearance along with a fording depth of 600mm.
Further changes are centred around the GLS’s standard Airmatic air suspension system, including improved self-levelling properties for a more comfortable ride. As with the older GL, buyers can also spec the new GLS with an Active Curve System, which uses hydraulically operated anti-roll bars to reduce body roll during cornering and provide more stability.
How much does it cost?
Pricing for the GLS starts at £69,100 for the 350d AMG Line model, rising to £78,025 for the designo Line edition. The range-topping GLS 63 AMG costs £102,330.
Can I get a discount?
There are decent savings, of just under £6000, available on the two GL models, and it is possible that similar discounts will be available on the GLS, if not immediately.