By Alexi Falson, 18 Oct, 2021
Review - Mercedes-Benz GLS
May 18, 2021
While a number of companies are focussing their attention on small and compact SUVs, Mercedes hasn’t turned its back on consumers that are looking for a massive, luxurious SUV that spares no effort in making the driver and all its occupants feel special.
Perhaps the best part of the GLS lineup is that it can accommodate up to seven people in comfort and style, meaning that there’s only a select few situations that it can’t handle.
There is a healthy amount of competition in this segment of the market, though, with the likes of BMW, Audi, Lexus and even Tesla entering the ring with their take on what constitutes the best large, comfort and luxury-centered family cruiser - so what sets the GLS apart from its competitors?
Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $146,135
OnlineAuto Savings: $9,497
How Much Does It Cost?
The Mercedes-Benz GLS lineup starts at $146,135 for the base model 450 4Matic variant, which is powered by a turbo-charged 3.0-litre six-cylinder hybrid engine. The base model is also offered with a diesel engine, which is slightly down on power, but offers vastly more torque and improved economy.
The king of the GLS lineup is the GLS 63 AMG variant, which is a performance-focused fire-breather that is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 unit pushing out 450kW and 850Nm of torque.
How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?
Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save an average $9,497 by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you.
What Features Does the Mercedes-Benz GLS Have?
Thanks to a healthy amount of competition in the market, Mercedes is throwing in a huge amount of equipment as standard on the entry-level GLS 450 and 400d models. Standard features include 21-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with adaptive high beam assist, adaptive air suspension, roof rails, AMG body kit, automatic tailgate, AMG body kit, a powered panoramic sunroof, cruise control, automatic closing doors, a set of two 12.3-inch displays - one for the driver, one for the passengers - as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, five-zone climate control, adjustable leather seats, ambient lighting, wood trim with metal contrasts, leather interior finish and a 13-speaker Burmester sound system. These are just a select few of the features on the list available as standard on the GLS 450 and 400d models.
Opting for the range-topping AMG variant adds a number of design features and interior trim tweaks that are unique to the GLS 63 AMG, as well as a significantly more powerful engine.
- 2 x 12.3-inch displays
- Panoramic sunroof
- Automatic tailgate and doors
- Adaptive air suspension system
- 21-inch alloys
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The Mercedes GLS lineup drives to the exceptionally high standard we’ve come to expect from a brand like Mercedes Benz. While its proportions are no doubt massive, the GLS retains a user-friendly steering feel that is light around town, but offers feedback through the bends, and does well in disguising its huge size. The 4Matic all-wheel drive system is capable of switching power between the front and rear wheels as the driving situation demands, which means it will keep up with whatever the road throws at you.
In either the base petrol or diesel model, there is more than enough power to rocket you up to speed while offering gear shifts that are barely noticeable thanks to the nine-speed automatic transmission. These base model cars are fitted with Airmatic suspension that not only handles the GLS’ sheer weight, it irons out bumps on the road and helps the car glide over speed bumps around town as if it were a hatchback.
Mercedes is also offering an optional new air suspension system known as E-Active body control. This package makes the GLS perhaps the most adaptable offerings in its market, but it is also a costly option at $13,000.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
The GLS is a massive piece of metal, and stepping inside the car, you’re welcomed into a cabin that feels even larger than the outside might suggest. There’s a huge amount of room all the way from the driver and front passenger to the third-row of seats up the back, and the sense of space continues to expand thanks to that panoramic sunroof that comes as standard.
It’s worth noting that the GLS can be optioned as either a six-seater - with a gap in the second row of seats - or a traditional seven seat configuration with a full bench seat in the second row. Whichever one you opt for, there’s more than enough room for a full-sized family. In the rear of the GLS, there is 355L of cargo storage space on offer, which expands to a massive 2400L with the third and second row of seats folded down. All up, the GLS is extremely spacious, and perfectly capable when it comes to the practical needs of a family setting off for a cross-country road trip or weekend of sports games and shopping.
Is it Safe?
The GLS is yet to receive an official ANCAP Safety Rating, but both the G-Class and GLE both have verified five-star ratings from ANCAP, so we can expect much the same from the GLS. It also comes packaged with a host of safety equipment like active blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep, adaptive brake system, evasive steering assist, parking assist with 360-degree camera, tyre pressure monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert and sign recognition, as well as nine airbags.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
Mercedes says its GLS 400 consumes 9.2L per 100km on a combined cycle, while the 400d drinks significantly less, at 7.7L per 100km. Around town, and in real-world driving conditions, these figures are likely to rise to around 11-12L per 100km for the petrol and 9L per 100km for the diesel variant. The range-topping performance-focussed GLS 63 AMG has a combined cycle rating of 13L per 100km.
Our Verdict: Is the Mercedes Benz GLS Worth it?
If you’re in the market for a large, luxurious and exceptionally spacious car capable of swallowing up a family and all their belongings, the GLS is no doubt an attractive offering if you’re looking in this particular price bracket. It truly is a vehicle that hits every important box and leaves nothing essential unaddressed, meaning it is very much worth booking in a test drive if you’re in the market for a car like this.
Speaking of which, you can get a free quote on a Mercedes GLS and see first-hand how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
- 2 x 12.3-inch digital displays
- 9.2L per 100km for petrol, 7.7L per 100km for diesel
- Adaptive LED headlights
- Massive panoramic sunroof
- 21-inch alloy wheels as standard
- Uber-luxurious cabin aesthetic
- Slick exterior styling package
- Filled with safety and entertainment tech as standard
- Expensive ownership and servicing costs
- Entry point is more expensive than some rivals
- Mild hybrid offers few economy incentives