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Mercedes-Benz GLS

GO LARGE (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

For such a big vehicle, the Mercedes GLS carries a surprisingly low profile. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the second generation model.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 86

Some Mercedes models are the epitome of on-road luxury. Others are almost unrivalled for off-road prowess. And then there's one which claims to offer the best of both: the GLS. This is the very few super-luxury SUVs that can seat seven fully-sized adults. And it claims to be able to do so while offering a properly dynamic drive on road as well as extreme capability off it. This second generation version is smarter, plusher, more refined and even more appealing. Got a family? You'd like one.

Backgroundword count: 223

This Mercedes GLS, if you haven't yet come across it, is a vehicle billed as 'the S-Class of SUVs', a luxury conveyance for those whose real - or more likely imagined - commute to the real world is from a craggy mountaintop. We first saw it (badged then as the 'GL-Class') in 2007, built in America for Americans and since then, it's been occupying super-sized shopping mall spaces from New York to New Orleans in ever-increasing numbers. Over there, it was a necessary addition to the brand's luxury SUV line-up, given that for Yanks, the brand's usual large luxury SUV, the five-metre-long GLE, is seen as being pretty compact and the exorbitantly-priced G-Class is too crude for most. So this GLS is the model primarily tasted with taking on the all-conquering Range Rover - and, more specifically, BMW's entrant in this segment, the X7. This Mercedes model line has always featured a third seating row, something that's always set this SUV apart in a luxury 4x4 market that rarely offers this option - or if it does, often restricts practical use of the extra seats to children. Not so here, especially in this MK2 model GLS guise that features a useful wheelbase increase. Plus the sleeker shape clothes a car that's cleverer, more comfortable, quieter and more efficient. Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experienceword count: 215

Not everyone is going to feel comfortable piloting something of this size but provided you do, then GLS motoring is a pretty fabulous way to view your everyday world. AIRMATIC air suspension with the brand's 'ADS Adaptive Damping System Plus' package smoothes your way over poor surfaces and power is transmitted by 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The key engine option for our market is the six cylinder diesel fitted to the main GLS 400d variant, a unit from the brand's latest 'OM 656' powerplant family and the same one as used by the S-Class saloon. It offers 330hp and a massive 700NM of torque. For those who can never have too many Tiger tokens, there's also a wild turbo 4.0-litre petrol V8 in the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 variant. 4MATIC 4WD is standard of course, which works using a transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent between the axles. As an option, buyers can now specify a transfer case specially configured for better off-road driving characteristics which features a reduction gear for off-road driving. Also, when driving on the road, and particularly when cornering, the two fully networked transfer cases improve handling agility by specifically influencing the degree of yaw to induce oversteer or understeer.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

6.5

7.9

Boot capacity min (litres):

300

Boot capacity max (litres):

2300

Combined mpg:

20.8

30.7

CO2 (g/km):

242

317

Extra urban mpg:

26.6

36.2

... and 9 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
80%
Space
90%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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