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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
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The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is the company’s flagship SUV, challenging the Land Rover Ranger Rover, Lexus LX570, and the Cadillac Escalade. But it's also old, and despite a name change in 2016, that's beginning to show.

What's New for 2018

Apart from a new wheel design on the GLS 450, there is no change to GLS-Class for 2018.

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

Formerly called the GL-Class, the GLS-Class comes into 2018 with three trim levels, separated largely by powertrain.

The base GLS450 gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic gearbox, along with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system and the popular air suspension (called "Airmatic") is standard. Despite weighing over 5000 pounds, the GLS 450 goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in a decent 6.5 seconds. Mileage is 17 miles per gallon in city, 22 highway and 19 mpg combined.

Slotting above the GLS450 is the GLS550, with its 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine that pushes out 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. As with its lesser sibling, all-wheel drive, an air suspension, and a nine-speed automatic transmission come standard. The GLS550 completes the sprint to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, while returning an economy of 14 miles per gallon in city, 18 highway and 16 mpg combined.


The GLS 450 starts at $70,545 (including $995 destination charges). Apart from a formidable powertrain, it offers features like LED headlights and running lights, 19-inch wheels, heated front seats, a sunroof, faux leather upholstery, ambient lighting, and an eight-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. Safety features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, an attention alert system, and Mercedes’ Pre-Safe system, which can detect an impending crash or rollover and take strides to protect passengers.

Individual options items include ventilated front seats ($570), heated rear seats ($620), three zone climate control ($1,450), panoramic sunroof ($1,090), Harmon Kardon sound system ($850), and an active parking assistant ($910).

Apart from the standalone items, customers should consider the Premium 1 Package ($3,830), the Driver Assistance Package ($2,250) and the Lighting Package ($1,390). The Premium 1 pack adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, passive entry with push-button engine start, multi-color ambient lighting, lane keeping assist, navigation, and voice control. The Driver Assistance Package adds blind-spot monitoring, speed-limit data, an Pre-Safe system that can protect passengers in a rear-end collision, adaptive cruise control, and an enhanced front-collision prevention system with the cross-traffic function. Meanwhile, Lighting Package gives you automatic high-beam and adaptive headlights.


At $95,945, the GLS550 is priced at $25,000 more than the GLS 450. The main reason for that is the upgraded powertrain, but you'll also get 21-inch wheels, real leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harmon Kardon audio system, automatic parking, and everything from the Premium 1 and Lighting packages.

Moreover, while the Driver Assistance Package remains an optional extra, its price drops to $1,375.Considering all this, the price tag on the GLS 550 doesn’t seem unreasonable.

As with the GLS450, there are plenty of standalone features. We recommend the $2,900 Active Curve System, which uses electrohydraulic sway bars to mitigate body roll while corner, effectively mitigating some of the GLS' heft. The $2,850 Off-Road Package is a good choice if you're venturing off the beaten path, too, adding a pair of off-road driving modes that optimize the GLS's ride height, suspension, and two-speed transfer case (although if you really want to hit the trails, a Range Rover is always a more capable, comprehensively equipped choice).


The AMG-tuned GLS63 will set you back a whooping $126,295. For that sum, customers get all the components of the lower trims plus a cabin with ample, supportive seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof. The exterior wears the hallmarks of AMG's work – massive wheels, flared wheel arches, aggressive front and rear fascias, and quad-tipped exhausts.

These improvements are in addition to the more powerful engine, uprated suspension, brawnier brakes, and a less-restrictive (louder) exhaust system that are expected on an AMG-tuned Mercedes.

CarsDirect Tip

No one needs the Mercedes-Benz GLS63 AMG. In fact, you probably don't need the GLS550. We recommend saving some coin and grabbing the perfectly adequate GLS450 with a few optional extras, such as the Premium 1 and Driver Assistance packages.

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Best Mercedes-Benz Deals & Lease Offers: July 2019

Special offers in July from Mercedes-Benz feature cheaper leases on a wide range of models. For example, the C300 Sedan is now $30/month cheaper than it was before, while... View All Mercedes-Benz Lease Deals »

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