Mercedes-Benz GLS gets a luxurious facelift with new features and technology

In the world of SUVs, bigger is always better and this manufacturer is making sure that it maintains its position at the top of the game
The new GLS
The new GLS

The GLS has always been a strong seller for Mercedes-Benz, being one of the largest SUVs on sale in it’s segment. Very luxuriously appointed save its’s bigger brother the Maybach, it was getting a little long in the tooth and hence Mercedes decided to give it a middle life facelift by adding new features, technology and even new powerplants. The whole design has been tweaked to make it somewhat more appealing than before and the initial impression is that it has worked.

So what is new from the outside? The front grille for starters. That big oversized star means you cannot mistake it for anything other than a Merc. There are now four large horizontal slats on it finished in a silver satin look and the LED headlights and taillights are in a new design too. There is no doubt that the look is commanding enough for most people to give the big Benz another look.

The new GLS
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Interiors of the new GLS
Interiors of the new GLS

The interiors have been given a tweak as well. The beige and black colour looked very classy though it will be a handful to maintain. You also get an all black and a brown and black leather scheme as well. Of course, these days it’s all manmade leather – the luxury of proper leather is no longer available in most cars. There are nice silver pin stripes on a glossy black panel on the front console and the new Maybach style aircon grills look nice. The other big change is now you get those touch style buttons on the steering wheel, which for some of us can be a bit of a hit and miss, as the tactile feeling is suspect.

The now familiar twin screen layout may look similar to its previous iterations, but has been updated with new software and features, including the ‘transparent’ bonnet app that ‘sees’ below the SUV using the surround cameras to stitch an image. Thankfully, you now get ventilated seats up front as well, to add to the nicely cushioned seats. The middle row seats can be reclined electrically, and they can be made to lie flat in case you need more space at the back, through buttons present in the boot. The third row of seats can also be pulled up or put down electrically, thereby giving priority to either seating or luggage space as per requirements. Unfortunately, the option of captain seats in the second row is absent, something we feel would have been a hit in this segment. There are two screens for the second row of people, and this can be controlled via a dedicated tab in the middle armrest, which also has a wireless phone charger.

We drove the 450, which has a petrol 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbo engine. Power is slightly up at 381hp and there is 500Nm of torque available, assisted by a mild hybrid system that gives another 20hp and 200Nm of torque on demand. The result? A 0-100 kph time in a shade over 6 seconds and a top speed restricted to 250 kph, just enough to keep your marbles in place. All this while you waft in the comfort of an electronically controlled suspension that just irons out rough roads for you in isolated silence.

The price of all this indulgence may seem a bit high, but there is no doubting the fact that this is one of the best SUVs you can get for your money.

Pricing starts at INR 1.32 crores, ex-showroom

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