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2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Overview

Brandon Turkus
Automotive Editor - July 20, 2017

Mercedes-Benz’s biggest SUV, the GLS-Class, is the high-riding equivalent to its flagship S-Class sedan, boasting the most lavish interior and technology, but in a far more versatile seven-seat format. Prices are lofty, but if you want the biggest, most passenger-friendly Mercedes, the GLS-Class is the only way to fly.

What's New for 2017

Formerly called the GL-Class, Mercedes-Benz revamped its largest SUV and rechristened it the GLS-Class for 2017, introducing a new exterior, a nine-speed automatic transmission for non-AMG models, and a range of style and trim additions.

Mercedes-Benz GLS450

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

The GLS-Class challenges a wide range of luxury competitors, from the Land Rover Range Rover to the Cadillac Escalade to the upcoming Lincoln Navigator. That means it needs ample luxury fittings. Mercedes’ beautiful Designo treatments arrive as paint colors and leather upholstery.

That said, the GLS-Class is technically a facelift of the old GL-Class, which debuted way back in 2012. Its interior hasn’t received the same loving care as Mercedes’ more recent full redesigns, so don’t count on absurd levels of screen real estate or the same kind of material quality as an S-Class.

It’s also lacking some advanced active safety features, including the latest in Mercedes’ push for autonomous driving. While it has lane keeping assist, it isn’t the company’s most advanced version, simply warning the driver rather than taking actual action. It’s also missing Mercedes’ trick Active Lane Change Assist, which relies on the semi-autonomous systems to execute driver-commanded lane changes. Keep the absence of these advanced safety systems in mind when cross-shopping the GLS with its rivals.

GLS450

Like so many mid-range Mercedes models, the GLS450 uses a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6. It delivers 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque through a nine-speed automatic and a standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. That arrangement scoots this 5,335-pound SUV to 60 miles per hour in a relaxed 6.5 seconds.

The base GLS returns modest fuel economy – 17 miles per gallon city, 22 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined. The most affordable GLS is still pricey, starting at $70,545.

GLS550

Armed with a 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and 4Matic all-wheel drive, the GLS550 is potent for a non-AMG model. Drivers have access to 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to move this big SUV to 60 in just 5.2 seconds or tow 7,500 pounds of whatever.

But it suffers at the fuel pump (shocking, we know). Look for an EPA-estimated 13 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway for a 15-mpg combined rating. Prices start at $95,945.

GLS63 AMG

The AMG-modified GLS is just the ticket for the owner that looks at the thirsty, powerful GLS550 and says, “Eh, that’s not really enough.” Blessed with a thunderous, 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, the GLS63 can hit 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds thanks to 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque.

With prices starting at $126,295, owners should be able to afford the GLS63’s extravagant fueling costs – this brute returns just 13 mpg city, 17 mpg highway, and 14 mpg combined.

Get your price on a Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class »

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