The all-new GLS is Mercedes-Benz's largest and most luxurious SUV and, above all, offers more space and comfort that its predecessor. The commanding road presence stems from its huge dimensions, which are even larger than those of its predecessor (length +77mm, width +22mm). One of the benefits of the 60mm longer wheelbase is interior room, especially in the second row. However, there is a lot more to the new GLS than improved cabin space. Here we take a look at all the new bits through official images.
On the outside, you get an upright grille, the prominent, chrome-plated under guard in the front apron with the bone-shaped air inlet grille, and the bonnet with two power domes. This striking appearance is emphasised by the headlamp design by day and night. The GLS has multibeam LED headlamps as standard, with a total of 112 LEDs per headlamp.
The GLS cuts an imposing figure from the rear, too. This is particularly ensured by the shoulder muscle extending from the rear doors to the tail lights. The two-piece tail lamps are based on LED technology. The rear is rounded off with the chrome-plated under guard.
The new GLS achieves cd figures as low as 0.32 - a clear improvement compared with its predecessor (cd 0.35). Special attention was paid to the underbody and the air flowing through the engine compartment. Not least because the hallmark SUV shape, with its upright front end and high ground clearance, makes these areas susceptible to low-frequency airflow noise.
The cabin is all about luxurious aesthetics, as evidenced straight away by the leather and silver trim pieces that are available as standard. The central element in the dashboard's design is a big screen unit embedded in a distinctive dashboard support. The large touchscreen of the MBUX infotainment system allows all the GLS features to be controlled from the driver's seat.
The new GLS has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (3135mm, an increase of 60mm). This creates more space, especially in the second row. Legroom here is increased by 87mm when the seats are in their rearmost position, which also makes it easier to get into the vehicle. As standard for the European market, the second row has a 60:40-split folding rear bench seat with adjustable 40:20:40-split backrests. As for the rest of the features, you get a wireless charging pad, an electronic tablet for rear seat displays, lumbar support and massage function for the seats, 360-degree view camera, a head-up display and lots more.
The two diesel-engined GLS models are powered by the OM 656, the six-cylinder in-line engine from the current engine family. It is available with two ratings, depending on the particular market: GLS 400 d 4MATIC with 330hp and 700 Nm torque. In both versions, the powerful engine already complies with the Euro 6d- standard which does not come into force until January 1 2020 for new models and one year later for all vehicles, even in demanding driving conditions.
At present, Mercedes-Benz offers seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS, G-Class). These SUVs, as we know, greatly contribute to the growth of the brand. To date, more than five million SUVs have been sold across the world. The new GLS is currently being showcased at the New York Motor Show. It will be in the dealerships in July 2019 (USA) or the third quarter of 2019 (Western Europe).