Refreshed for 2017 and with a small name change is the Mercedes-Benz GLS, the new full-size SUV that replaces the outgoing GL-Class. It doesn’t look drastically different on the outside, but the seven-passenger SUV has been reinvented as the S-Class of SUVs with an updated design, more technology, and a swanky cabin.
If one were to glance at the engine choices, differences between the GL and GLS would be hard to spot. But there is a significant change for the 2017 GLS in the form a 9-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the 7-speed gearbox that comes with the GL-Class. U.S. customers will get four variants of the GLS that will go on sale in April, all with Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.
The GLS 400 4MATIC is powered by a 333 horsepower, 3-liter biturbo V-6. The GLS 500 gets a 455 horsepower, 4.7-liter biturbo V-8. A diesel option, the GLS 350d, uses a turbocharged 3-liter V-6 good for 258 horsepower and a hefty 457 lb-ft of torque. The top-of-the-line AMG GLS 63 uses the high performance brand’s 5.5-liter biturbo V-8, tuned for 585 horsepower and a powerful 561 lb-ft of torque. All GLS models get a new 9-speed automatic transmission except the AMG variant, which stays with a 7-speed gearbox.
The facelifted GLS benefits from a more modern look with bullet-shaped headlights, a sleeker hexagonal grille, and a revised bumper with larger air intakes. The back end features new-look LED tail lamps and a reshaped bumper, while new Designo paint colors and a comprehensive range of alloy wheel designs further differentiate the GLS from the model it’s designed to replace.
Updates to the cabin feature a new three-spoke steering wheel in Nappa leather, an instrument panel with Media Display, and a center console with touchpad control. The ambient lighting comes in three color shades and Mercedes now offers an available air ionization system.
For the first time, the GLS gets an AMG Line interior with sports seats in Exclusive Nappa leather, a sports steering wheel in black Exclusive Nappa leather, instrument dials in a Checkered flag look, and brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.