Previously known as the GL-Class, the Mercedes Benz GLS takes a hefty dose of inspiration not from another SUV at all – despite the German Marques extensive line-up in this category – but instead from the iconic S-Class, which has long been one of the world’s best-selling luxury sedans.
However what the GLS has gained in upgrades to bring it more in line with the S-Class, it has by no means lost in sheer size; it’s the largest 4×4 that Mercedes makes, with seven full-sized seats and enough cargo space to make taking it out on the road for weeks seem quite plausible. It ticks all the boxes for a utilitarian family vehicle and assumes – quite rightly – that it’s a family that enjoys travelling in style: ventilated seats with a massage function in front, heating in the foldable second row seats and a power-folding third row for additional luggage space are just some of the features you can expect.
But the comfort is not just in the cabin. Air suspension is standard across the four models in this range: the GLS450 with its 3-litre biturbo V-6; the GLS550 powered by a 4.7-litre biturbo V-8; the diesel-powered GLS350d with its turbocharged 3-litre V-6 and the top-of-the-line AMG GLS63, which is brought to like by AMG’s 5.5-litre biturbo V-8 engine. It’s this air suspension that makes it feel as if you are gliding over the road, handling bumps with grace and really driving home that feeling that you’re ensconced in a vehicle built for luxury, not a rugged 4×4. The optional Active Curve System sees to corners with ease and while it may be the most luxe way to tackle any terrain, the GLS steers and brakes with ease, but without diluting the driver experience.
The Mercedes Benz GLS is immense in every way: in size, of course, but also in comfort, safety, beautiful good looks and – most importantly – in the simple thrill of taking it out on the road.