The ‘S-class’ of SUV’s: Mercedes GLS
Intro: G and S are two fundamental nomenclatures attributed to the Mercedes lineup of cars. If you go on and add a L in between it does indicate to be a very big vehicle, precisely speaking it is the GLS. G is for gelandewagen and the S is for S – class. In question is the all new S – class of SUV’s (a.k.a) GLS. The new GLS is developed in a very new platform and it’s got a very new design identity, which is the Mercedes new design philosophy for SUV. What we have today is the real S-class of SUV’s, compared to the phased out model and on account of its vast improvements this truly justifies the tag of being the S-class of SUV’s. It has been a market leader in this segment. It offers so much space and comfort, which is a true essence of a luxury SUV. It has that proper powerful feel which is essential of a top spec SUV.
Exterior: The huge front grille upfront gives a massive road presence to the car. On both sides the car gets 112 LED lights which illuminate the intelligent light system and it has a range of 650 metres on high beam. The bumper is having a wide air intake and the chrome strip looks more premium. The front skid plate with chrome finish gives a massive presence that a luxury SUV must carry. On the hood you will find two power humps which again reflects the powerful persona of the car. The dimensions of the car has outgrown the phased out model, it is now 77mm longer, 22 mm wider, and 16 mm in wheelbase. In India the new GLS comes with 21 inch alloys with a five spoke design. It looks attractive and the size is optimal for Indian roads. The side profile is very clean with a simple line on the shoulder which runs from the front to the end. The wheel arches are sculpted very well and gives a massive and powerful feel. The rear is got a profound hipline which again gives a massive presence. The roof rail and the foot step add’s onto give that proper SUV character. The new GLS comes with a new rear end which has been reworked. We have seen this design treatment coming from the GLC but it has now evolved giving a distinct character to the GLS. The new tail light looks very attractive especially the graphic and cluster look gives out a 3d appearance and is very attractive. There is a chrome strip running across and the rest of the things look very similar and minimalistic. On the bumper you can see a chrome element which again is an attractive element.
Cargo: Coming onto the boot, even when the third row is up you can have so much of space which can be increased by folding down the second row and third row of seats with a touch of a button. So this surely indicates that the new GLS is grown which is reflected in the increase in boot space. With a 7 seat configuration it has a boot space of 470 liters. Once you fold down the third row seats you get a boot space of 840 liters. And if you fold down the second row you get a massive boot space of 2400 liters. Frankly speaking, the photos don’t do justice of as to how good the new GLS looks.
Interior: When you call GLS as S-class of SUV’s it should definitely reflect on the interiors. The interior is a familiar design from the GLE, but the materials, fit and finish and crafting look and feel more attractive and more luxurious which validates its status of being the S-class of SUV’s. The main attraction is the 12.3 inch touch screen which has got the latest MBUX platform and the MBUX with geo fencing and other features which are a new addition to the MBUX. Moreover there is gesture control when you move your hands, you can see the icons popping up, you can accordingly select the other controls over there. The touch control is also quite familiar with high quality graphics. The infotainment system is very easily usable; the MBUX is one of the best in the segment. Other notable features are the steering wheel with the touch control on both the screens. These are very familiar features from other Mercedes. The space and luxury in the interior is another talking point about this car. There is a lot of storage facility, you can find double cup holder, wireless charging for mobile phone, Lacquer finish wood can be seen. Through touch operations you can choose the driving modes and other such selections can be done. You can raise the car with a touch of a button. There is another small glove box which is another storage facility. The seat too is much better in comparison to how it was earlier on the GLS, it is more plushy, it tends to feel very much like an S-class. Three color operations are available with the leather – brown, black and beige. There is a huge panoramic roof also along with this new GLS which is said to be the largest panoramic roof in any SUV available in the market. Speaking about the S-class of SUV’s , the rear seat really matters because in an S-class one of the most important places is the rear seat and considering it an SUV, means that the seats tend to be driver focused, but you won’t find any compromise on the rear seats either. It is much better than what you find on the previous generation and there is a lot of space and the additional length gone on to the wheel base means that it shows in the length inside. There is a lot of room for your knee; there is good thigh support and headroom and shoulder room. To add onto the comfort there is a recline able arm rest where there is an Android tablet which can be used to control all the MBUX from the front and you can also control it from the rear. To add onto the comfort the seat can also be reclined, and with the correct angling you can get the feel of a sedan. Lift the armrest up and three people can comfortably be seated abreast. In the third row, you find dedicated AC vents and two fully grown adults can be accommodated. There are two charging points at the rear, so with a total of 11 charging points it can be considered as a moving power bank.
Drive – Refinement is key here and once you shut the door, there is no cabin noise. Driving it on the road it does feel very refined, cabin is well insulated from external disturbances. Once you are hard at the throttle, you get that powerful growl. Refinement had to be top notch and it is. The suspension also gives a very plushy ride reminding of that magic carpet ride. The steering is very responsive and is a significant improvement over the outgoing model. Being the same length of an S-class meant that the turning radius had to be good and it is, you shouldn’t find it difficult to go about U-turns. In India, you will find this Merc equipped with two kinds of powertrain, the GLS 400d (diesel) and the other is the GLS 450. The petrol is a 3.0 liter V6 churning out 367 Ps of power and 500 Nm of torque. It comes mated to a 9 speed automatic, and the 48 V EQ boost system gives out an additional 21 HP and 250 Nm of torque. The diesel on the GLS comes with a new engine; it is an inline six cylinder 3.0 liter turbo diesel. It has a new technology, so the output is amazing as it churns out 330 HP and 700 Nm of torque. The performance figures are better than rivals like the X7. This Merc also comes with all time four wheel drive system (4 matic). It’s got three driving modes – Comfort, Eco and Off-road. The off-road mode raises the suspension to 6 cm, and that off-road mode can comfortably get you around any terrain because it has that G DNA, the all terrain DNA of the G-class. The safety features include – Distronic plus, which warns us if there is an obstacle in front. Other safety features include – blind spot assist, lane keeping assist, and cameras which show how close you are to any obstacle.