Mercedes-Benz has been launching SUVs globally with a new nomenclature. In India, we already have the GLA crossover SUV and the recently launched GLE that replaces the ML-Class. Mercedes has now unveiled a GL replacement, the new GLS and as the name suggests, it will sit above the GLE to be their largest SUV to be sold in the country. The GLS is an update to the current generation GL rather than an entirely new car.
The GLS gets a beefier front grille with a pronounced front fascia thanks to the redesigned bumper. The new skid plate flanked by vertical air vents gives it a sportier look. The LED headlamp design has been revised with the new setup and now resembles the S-Class.
The side profile of the GLS remains largely unchanged. It is the same boxy shape of the GL with slightly flared wheel arches housing the new 18-inch alloy wheels. The tail-gate has been carried forward from the GL with little changes to the tail lamps and the rear bumper. The GLS will be available in white, silver, grey, black and maroon hues like the GL and will also get more colour options to choose from.
COMAND – Mercedes’ multimedia infotainment system – now gets a tablet display with a touch-pad controller like we have seen in the latest Mercedes-Benz C-class in India. Subtle changes have been made to the leather interiors with minor tweaks to the instrument cluster and air-con vents. The GLS, like the GL, will be a true-blue seven-seater SUV with rather comfortable third row seating.
As for features, it will get three-zone climate control with a separate zone and control unit for the rear passengers. It will also get the 360-degree parking assist camera like the current GL. While four-wheel-drive and ride height adjustment will be standard on the GLS, you could opt for a low-ratio gearbox for some serious off-roading.
The GLS will certainly retain the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine that develops about 260bhp of power and over 600Nm of torque for the GLS 350d variant. While we hope Mercedes gets the full range of engine options like the GLS 550 with a petrol V8, GLS450 petrol V6 to India; we are sure about the GLS 63 AMG making it to the Indian shores. The AMG will feature the tweaked 7G-Tronic gearbox while the standard variants will get the 9-speed automatic.
The Mercedes GLS competes with the BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and the Land Rover Discovery with only the Volvo and the Land Rover being proper seven-seaters. The GLS is slated to be launched by mid next year in India and we expect it to be priced between Rs 80 lakh to 85 lakh.