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Home > 2018 Vehicles > Everyman Driver: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS450 3-Row Luxury SUV (VIDEO)

Everyman Driver: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS450 3-Row Luxury SUV (VIDEO)

Since the launch of the Mercedes-Benz GL in 2006, Mercedes-Benz has offered the only full-fledged seven-seater in the European premium SUV segment. Now known as the GLS, the model has continued to set standards in the world of SUVs with its ample spaciousness, luxury, effortless performance and best-in-class safety. Whether put to everyday use or venturing off the beaten track, the GLS meets all requirements in a refined and comfortable manor.


The GLS reflects harmony and modern luxury to impressive effect throughout its interior and exterior design. Chrome details such as the roof rails, underguard, shoulder line trim strips, luggage compartment handle and side skirt trim create attractive highlights. The optional Sport exterior, available on the GLS550, provides a muscular appearance and consists of unique bumpers, running boards, side flaps painted in the vehicle color and 21-inch AMG light-alloy wheels. The optional Night Package creates a sinister appearance by replacing numerous chrome componentry with black accents.

Accompanying the high-end exterior design quality is refined interior which underscores the first-class standards of the GLS. Up to seven passengers are able to enjoy an outstanding level of spaciousness. The GLS boasts ample elbow and headroom in all three seat rows. With its diverse adjustment options, the center seat row enables a high degree of flexibility in the interior, including a cargo position for optimum use of the luggage compartment.

Maximum personalization across model lineup

The GLS can be personalized to any taste, with 11 exterior paint options, 14 interior upholstery and seven trim options available across the GLS model range. For the luxury-minded customer, two designo Exclusive Nappa Leather interior upholstery options, featuring a diamond-quilting pattern, are available on the GLS450 and GLS550. Performance-minded customers will be able to combine one of three AMG-branded Exclusive Nappa Leather upholsteries with AMG Carbon-Fiber / Black Piano Lacquer trim, exclusively available on the AMG GLS63, for the ultimate sporty interior appearance.

Maximum safety for seven passengers

The equipment level of the GLS in the area of active safety underscores Mercedes-Benz’s high standards when it comes to taking the strain off the driver. Standard driver assistance systems include Active Brake Assist, Crosswind Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST®. Other systems available as standard on the GLS include: PRE-SAFE® system, Brake Assist (BAS®), electronic all-wheel drive traction system 4ETS, ESP® and cruise control.

The optional Driver Assistance Package further reduces the driver’s workload while enhancing safety, with systems including Distance Pilot DISTRONIC® and Steering Pilot, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Speed Limit Assist.

Efficient performance: the engine line-up in the GLS

All of the engines across the GLS model line provide impressive power and torque. The 3.0L V6 biturbo engine used in the GLS450 4MATIC produces an impressive 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the powerful GLS550 4MATIC features a 5.5L V8 biturbo engine that generates 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Both models feature an impressive 7,200 lb. towing capacity and, combined with the standard-fitment 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission, offer consistent power across all ranges of speed. An optional low-range gearbox and center differential lock help to ensure off-road agility.

At the top of the GLS model lineup, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 produces 577 hp and 561 lb-ft, available from just 1,750 rpm. The sprint from 0-60 mph takes just 4.5 seconds thanks to the quick-shifting AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission.

Comprehensive stability: DYNAMIC SELECT, AIRMATIC with enhanced ADS and ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM

With DYNAMIC SELECT, the GLS provides up to six transmission modes. In addition to the settings COMFORT, SLIPPERY and SPORT, with the DYNAMIC SELECT Controller in the center console, the driver can additionally choose INDIVIDUAL or an OFF-ROAD mode. If the GLS model is equipped with the optional Off-Road Engineering package, OFF-ROAD+ mode is also available. With this, the low-range gearbox and center differential lock intervene if necessary to ensure a high degree of drivability in demanding off-road terrain. This is further boosted by the extended functions of the AIRMATIC air suspension with raised ride heights for a ground clearance of up to 12.5 inches and a fording depth of up to 23.6 inches.

On the GLS63, the DYNAMIC SELECT system receives the AMG treatment with the inclusion of SPORT+ mode in place of the OFF-ROAD mode seen on other models.

The optional active roll stabilization ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM uses active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axle and reduces the roll angle of the body during cornering. Better driving comfort when cornering and driving off-road are also part of the advantages of the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM.


The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS450 won the Large SUV segment of the Car and Driver “10Best Trucks and SUVs.” The list recognizes the best new or refreshed trucks, SUVs and crossover vehicles of 2017 starting under $80,000.

“The GLS, the S-Class of our SUV lineup, continues to set new standards in the premium SUV segment,” said Bernie Glaser, General Manager of Product Management, MBUSA. “We are excited that the GLS450 won the Best Large SUV category in the first ever Car and Driver“10Best Trucks and SUVs” competition.”

“Are there other large SUVs that can tow more or carry more stuff or that cast bigger shadows? Of course, but none can match the GLS450’s ride, handling, or refinement, even though more than a few can brush up against its MSRP when comparably equipped. Roll in the model’s family-friendly functionality and its garage-friendly size, and it’s easy to see why the GLS450 nabs our 10Best award for large SUV,” Car and Driver had to say about the GLS450.

From a dynamic, new exterior to a revised, luxurious interior, the 2017 GLS has been extensively refreshed from its previous iteration as the “GL.” On the exterior, focus has been placed on a redesign of the front end, while the rear has been modernized around the bumper and with full LED taillamps. Eye-catching highlights in the interior include a newly designed instrument panel with media display, new 3- spoke multifunction steering wheel, modified center console with touchpad and new trim options.

Featuring a compelling lineup of powerful-yet-efficient engines, the GLS sees increased performance across the model lineup, from the GLS450, equipped with a 362 hp, 3.0L V6 biturbo engine to the GLS550, powered by a 4.7L V8 biturbo engine which churns out 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. At the top of the GLS lineup sits the AMG GLS63, which boasts 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque from its 5.5L V8 biturbo engine. With the launch of the new GLS in spring 2016, all versions now feature a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard (except the AMG GLS63).

All GLS models come equipped with standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive with a 50:50 torque split between front and rear wheels. Standard AIRMATIC air suspension can raise the GLS to provide up to 12.5 inches of ground clearance for the toughest off- road obstacles, while retaining the ability to lower the GLS at high speeds for a reduced Cd and improved driving dynamics. On the GLS450 and GLS550 an “Offroad Package” is optionally available and includes a low-range gearbox and center differential lock.

The Mercedes-Benz GLS is assembled at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, INC (MBUSI) in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.

About Car and Driver

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