Those revisions can be seen on the outside, with revised styling front and rear. However the real changes have been made underneath the skin. The seven-passenger interior features a new three-spoke steering wheel, instrument panel with media display, center console with touchpad control, ambient lighting, and even an available air ionization system. The interior trim has been redone as well, with available Designo Exclusive and AMG Line packages to individualize it further.
The new GLS will be offered Stateside in four engine specs. The base model is the GLS450, with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Step up to the GLS550 and you get 455 hp (20 more than before) and 516 lb-ft of torque. There's a six-cylinder diesel option in the GLS350d, good for 255 hp and 455 lb-ft. And the performance flagship, of course, is the new Mercedes-AMG GLS63, with 577 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque.
The standard versions come with 4Matic all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission with additional settings. The AMG version gets a rearward-biased traction system and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox instead. The standard models ride on an improved air suspension with enhanced damping, but the GLS63 adds a Sport+ instead of Off-Road setting on the Dynamic Select controller. There's a low-range gearbox and locking center diff available as well for those who plan to go off-road.
Mercedes has fitted the GLS with all its latest electronic systems, including Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Crosswind Assist with Attention Assist, Brake Assist BAS, Pre-Safe braking, and more. The optional Driver Assistance package adds Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, pedestrian detection, cross-traffic assist, active blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and more. There's an optional intelligent LED lighting system and heated adaptive windshield wipers as well.
The bottom line is that the new GLS brings a more refined, efficient, and safer package to the top of the Mercedes crossover range. The order books open at US dealers in December, with deliveries to commence late next March.
GL meets S - first-class performance on and off road
Atlanta, GA. Like the GL before it, the new GLS is setting standards in the world of the SUV as it confirms its position as the "S-Class among SUVs." The only full-fledged seven-seater in the European premium SUV segment boasts ample spaciousness and combines luxury with impressive levels of comfort, agile dynamics and best-in-class safety. Whether put to everyday use or venturing off the beaten track, the GLS meets all requirements effortlessly and comfortably. Compared with its predecessor, the new generation features improved efficiency, additional DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, improved air suspension system (AIRMATIC) with enhanced damping system (ADS), nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, state-of-the-art assistance systems and the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz telematics which includes internet access and remote-start capability. More power, more dynamism and more equipment are also offered by the new Mercedes- AMG GLS63 4MATIC. With a peak output of 577 hp, independent suspension and the revised AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission, it represents the pinnacle of the GLS model line. Standard features on the GLS63 include AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes which provide optimum flexibility and a rear-biased AMG Performance all-wheel drive system. The GLS63 also shows strength of character with its updated AMG design elements and high-quality interior.
A new, dynamic exterior and revised, luxurious interior clearly underscore the impressive character of the GLS. With the 2017-model-year facelift, designers have adapted the full-size luxury SUV to the current Mercedes-Benz design idiom. 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 tail lamps. 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.
Once again the dimensions of the GLS bear witness to its full-size format, and form the best possible basis for providing its seven passengers with a generous amount of space:
Length 202 in. (GLS63 203.2 in)
Width 80.9 in. w/ mirrors
Height 72.8 in.
Wheelbase 121 in.
New exterior design and equipment lines
The new GLS reflects harmony and modern luxury to impressive effect. Chrome details such as the roof rails, underguard, shoulderline trim strips, luggage compartment handle and side skirt trim create attractive highlights.
The Sport exterior, available on the GLS550, provides a muscular appearance and consists of unique front and rear aprons, side running boards, side flaps painted in the vehicle color and 21-inch AMG light-alloy wheels. Even more exclusivity is created with the Night package which is available in conjunction with this model's equipment line.
Additional individualization options come courtesy of various standard and metallic paint finishes, including two special editions in designo Diamond White and, new for the GLS, designo Cardinal Red. On top of this there is a comprehensive range of new light-alloy wheels featuring a variety of designs.
Luxury liner with outstanding inner values
Accompanying the high-end exterior design quality is a revised interior which underscores the first-class standards of the GLS. Furthermore, up to seven passengers are able to enjoy an outstanding level of spaciousness. Like its predecessor, the new 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.
Other interior highlights include a new 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather and a newly designed instrument panel with color Media Display. Options available for the new GLS also include an air ionization system for even better interior air quality.
Individual highlights can be created in the GLS interior with the help of the wood/leather multifunction steering wheel, ambient lighting featuring three color shades or the wide range of generously proportioned trim elements on the instrument panel and door panels with coordinated retractable cup holder covers.
State-of-the-art connectivity and infotainment are optionally provided by the latest generation of COMAND Online, including an 8-inch color Media Display as well as an intuitive touchpad. An extensive package of free Standard Services and Remote Online Services is available for the GLS as part of the "Mercedes connect me" service. Standard Services include automatic emergency call, Accident Recovery and breakdown assistance and after-sales service. The Remote Online services (standard with COMAND online and usable free of charge for the first five years) allow access to vehicle information from anywhere at all times, including the status of windows and doors, mileage, tire pressures and other diagnostic data.
Exclusive interior lines meet the most discerning of standards
In addition to ambient lighting and trim elements in black piano lacquer or a variety of woods, five attractive interior color concepts are also available exclusively in genuine leather: black, ginger beige / espresso brown, saddle brown / black, crystal grey / black or ginger beige / black.
In the case of the designo Exclusive nappa leather package, the overall impression of refinement is further heightened by heated comfort seats in the front with upholstery in designo nappa leather as well as characteristic diamond quilting. A distinctively sporty note comes courtesy of the AMG Line interior. It is comprised of, for the first time for the GLS, sports seats in Exclusive nappa leather, a 3-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel in a black Exclusive nappa leather finish, graduated instrument dials in a Checkered flag look and brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.
Maximum safety for seven passengers
The equipment level of the new 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 COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, Crosswind Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST. Other systems available as standard on the GLS include: PRE-SAFE® system, Brake Assist BAS, electronic allwheel drive traction system 4ETS, ESP®, and cruise control.
The optional Driver Assistance Package further reduces the driver's workload while enhancing safety for the passengers, with systems including DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, PRE-SAFE Page 4 ® Brake with pedestrian detection, BAS PLUS with Cross- Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Speed Limit Assist.
Optimum protection potential is provided by passive occupant protection systems together with "electronic crumple zones" of the assistance systems and intelligent body design. Adaptive, two-stage airbags for driver and front passenger, knee airbag for the driver and front passenger (combined thorax/pelvis airbags) and window airbags above all three seat rows are available.
Night-time vision is improved by the optionally available LED Intelligent Light System, new to the GLS, while adverse weather conditions resulting in impaired visibility are defused by MAGIC VISION CONTROL, the heated adaptive windscreen wiper system which provides optimum water distribution.
Efficient performance: the engine line-up in the GLS
All of the engines available on the new GLS provide better performance across the model line. The powerful GLS500 4MATIC with V8 biturbo engine featuring direct injection now generates 455 hp, some 20 hp more than the preceding model, and at a maximum torque of 516 lb-ft combines outstanding performance with the high level of motoring comfort of these engines. The 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine, also featuring direct injection, is used in the GLS450 4MATIC. This engine produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 rpm, and like all GLS models has an ECO start/stop function.
As the effortlessly superior top-of-the-range model in the series, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 now has 577 horsepower, over 27 horsepower more than its predecessor. The peak torque of 561 lb-ft is now available from just 1,750 rpm.
Alongside the gas engine offerings, in the GLS350d 4MATIC offers a proven V6 diesel engine rated at 255 hp and with ample torque of 455 lb-ft.
At the launch of the new GLS generation, all versions will feature the nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission as standard (except the Mercedes-AMG GLS63), optionally in combination with low-range gearbox and center differential lock.
Comprehensive stability: DYNAMIC SELECT, AIRMATIC with enhanced ADS and ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM
With DYNAMIC SELECT, the new 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 in order 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 (306 mm) and a fording depth of up to 23.6 inches (600 mm).
On the GLS63, the DYNAMIC SELECT system receives the AMG treatment with the inclusion of a SPORT+ mode in place of the OFF-ROAD mode available on other models.
In addition to several ground-breaking powertrain configurations, the retuned AIRMATIC air suspension with enhanced ADS damping characteristics guarantees extremely stable driving, altering dampening depending on the current DYNAMIC SELECT mode. SPORT focuses on the greatest possible lateral dynamics with the best possible ride quality. Conversely, COMFORT mode enables maximum ride quality with the best possible dynamics.
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.
Completely modernized SUV family from Mercedes-Benz
With the new GLS, Mercedes-Benz is now offering the latest and most comprehensive premium SUV range ever. The portfolio now ranges from the compact GLA, to the new GLC, the successful GLE family, the GLE Coupe and GLS, right through to the mainstay of all Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the G-Class. With its wide range of engine options, the GLS is an impressive prospect for North American buyers in particular: it has been a market leader in its segment for many years. The GLS will be available to order from December 2015, with deliveries in in the US market from late-March 2016.