25/01/2021

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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS India review, test drive

12 min read

What is it? 

When they rebranded the prior gen ‘X166’ GL-course to be known as the GLS halfway through its lifestyle cycle, the strategy was to cement its place in the selection as the ‘S-course of SUVs’. On the other hand, as it was just a facelift based on more mature architecture, it was not rather up to the process. On the other hand, with the new ‘X167’ GLS’s, there’s a increased opportunity of the big SUV achieving the limousine’s large bar. Which is for the reason that this one was made from the get-go to be far more of a luxurious item and a closer relation to its sedan counterpart. Just how does it obtain that, while? Read through on.

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The GLS is not just big, it is a mountain of an SUV. It’s a comprehensive 77mm extended than the outdated automobile, 60mm of which has long gone into the wheelbase, and it is 22mm wider as properly. At comprehensive off-street peak on its air suspension, the top of the bonnet lines up with my upper body. 21-inch wheels seem just the correct sizing, not comically significant as they may have a number of generations ago, and their eye-catching five-spoke design and style is a marked improvement on Merc’s usually meek wheel decisions. Additionally, there are the tyres – the 275-portion set at the entrance are huge, but at the rear you’ll come across a pair of 315/forty R21s, which are the variety of quantities you’d have previously only study on a Lamborghini’s tyres. It provides greatly to the street presence.

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Substantial 21-inch, 315-portion rear tyres only add to its tank-like presence.

 

Its girth by yourself makes it very easily identifiable as a GLS, but this is an altogether softer and rounder acquire on the formula. No far more sharp creases defining the flanks, this one is all curves. The headlamps are a lot more compact, the tail-lamps slimmer – every single with Mercedes’ new LED signature. Incidentally, individuals adaptive LED headlamps are geared up with anything known as ‘Ultra Range Large Beam’, which we’re advised, is able of lights up the street 650 metres in advance. Yet another Merc SUV signature is the impractical, but amazingly blingy chrome skid plates at the entrance and rear, and there’s lots far more of the shiny stuff – on the tailgate, the bumpers and the window surrounds. 

 

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What is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS interior like? 

There are a lot of 7-seat SUVs on the current market, but the GLS has constantly been one of a valuable number of in which an adult would willingly undertaking into the third row for a lengthy journey. The middle row ability folds (rather slowly and gradually) to enable you through, and thereafter, it is a rather effortless clamber into the third row. But, as the seat in entrance of me whirrs again into place, it begins to foul with my knees, which is unusual, as I distinctly recall the prior version’s third row being far more roomy, with its own dedicated glass roof, which is now lacking. But, that is not to say you aren’t properly catered to again right here, for the reason that you are – with dedicated cupholders, two of this car’s 11 USB charging ports (Sort-C, nevertheless, so carry your adapter) and even its own weather zone. The seats themselves are genuinely properly cushioned and positioned so that you’re not folded up like a deck chair in storage.

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Sprint resembles a large-conclusion home amusement device with its big screens and Burmester speakers. Quality is difficult to fault.

 

The reason for this absence of home is, in its bid to be far more like an S-course, the new GLS has sacrificed third row house to offer even far more in the middle row, including 100mm of run fore-and-aft sliding, and correct now, it is set all the way again to comprehensive limousine mode. To accommodate 7, you will have to give up some legroom in the next row, but far from the issue of being uncomfortable. It’s a compromise that makes feeling, as most customers will only almost never use their GLS as a seven-seater, and for most of the time, a limo-like middle row for one passenger is what’s far more significant. The seat again also reclines by thirty degrees, but at comprehensive tilt, it is not rather the lounge-like knowledge you’ll come across in an S-course. The seats themselves, far too, are a contact firmer than you’ll come across in the limo, and you do sit a little knees-up for the reason that of the way the seat base is reclined. 

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Seat slides by 100mm for wonderful legroom eats into third row while.

 

However, once you’re snugly in place, you’ll have little reason to complain. The pillows on the headrests return, and if you require a truly absurd total of legroom, the entrance passenger seat can be despatched ahead from at the rear of. Of course, the middle row is a bench so you could get a third passenger in right here, but they’ll have to put their feet astride the extended centre console in between the entrance seats. In comprehensive limo mode, you’ll want to flip down the centre armrest, which reveals cupholders, a wi-fi charging pad and a detachable tablet controller. You could use this as a typical Android tablet, but it is also a controller for points like the 64-colour ambient lights, weather handle, media and radio. But, as I fiddle all over with it, I realise that is about it – it will not enable you check out or work the navigation, regulate the seats or open the sun blinds or panoramic sunroof. You will probably get a bit far more stuff to play with if you add on the optional rear amusement screens. 

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Not as roomy as ahead of and middle row needs to be moved in advance.

 

If you are travelling with 7 aboard, there’s a opportunity you’ll require place for their luggage, and with 355 litres of house with all seats up, a weekend’s truly worth of luggage is no challenge at all. There’s one button in the boot that lowers the air suspension for easier loading, and another that can ability-fold the third and next rows to liberate an extraordinary 2,four hundred litres!

What products and attributes will you come across in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

So, the middle row evidently is the highlight of this SUV, but I’m advised the new GLS has a lot of love for individuals sat up entrance far too, and that is ahead of you even change a wheel. The lounge seats might be in the again, but the home amusement process is up entrance – I step in to be greeted by a tall, huge dashboard with a seamless glass panel housing two large-resolution 12.3-inch screens docked into it. These are, of training course, the touchscreen infotainment process and the instrumentation screen, but the way it is all put together genuinely does seem like the stylish but large-tech device that properties the 4K flatscreen in your den. It’s acquired the hello-fi to match, far too, with a thirteen-speaker Burmester audio process, generating itself identified with its signature chrome speaker grilles peppered all over the cabin. 

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Pano sunroof is welcome as at any time, but no third-row glass like the outdated GLS.

 

All of this is wrapped together in what we have now appear to be expecting from Mercedes – pricey-emotion Artico fake leather, large-gloss wooden grain and awesome brushed metallic switchgear. You do not have to have this cream colored upholstery if you assume it’ll get far too filthy far too rapidly – black and coffee brown are also obtainable. The four round AC vents in the centre of the sprint have morphed into rectangular shapes for this rugged SUV, just as in the more compact GLE. In fact, aside from the use of polished rather than matte wooden trim, the total entrance cabin is equivalent to the GLE. 

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Electronic instrument panel is wildly customisable Touchscreen appears to be awesome and functions brilliantly.

 

The checklist of gadgets and gizmos is thorough, and it all revolves all over MBUX – the brand’s most current infotainment process, which is rather superb. The touchscreen is lovely to behold, crisp and fluid to use, and in scenario you do not want to be distracted by applying it on the go, there’s a touchpad in between the seats and pretty intuitive controls on the steering wheel. It’s no surprise in this working day and age that the GLS is a linked automobile with an onboard e-Sim, and that it has a partner app that allows you maintain tabs on the automobile, start and pre-awesome it, and even work the home windows and sunroof remotely. But the connectivity goes a bit additional, with the AI-guided voice assistant that responds to ‘Hey Mercedes’, and then faucets into the cloud to deliver a far wider selection of responses and final results than you be expecting. There are even awesome attributes like seats that can guess your driving posture based on just your peak, and cabin lights that activate by means of motion sensors. Following all this, the 360-degree cameras, nine airbags and auto parking assistant feel a bit ordinary. But yet again, all of this is obtainable in the GLE far too, and potentially heated and ventilated seats – entrance and rear – would have set the GLS aside as the far more deluxe one.

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Rear tablet controller awesome but remarkably fundamental.

 

What is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS like to generate?

As opposed to the GLE, you will not come across a four-cylinder engine underneath the hood of the big GLS, but the two 6-cylinder solutions are widespread to the two types. The 450 is a 3.-litre straight-6 turbo-petrol which makes 367hp and 500Nm, that is paired to a 48v gentle-hybrid process that provides another 22hp and 250Nm of electrical improve underneath difficult acceleration, even though the 400d utilizes a 3.-litre straight-6 turbo-diesel with 330hp and 700Nm.  

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The 48V hybrid process on the petrol GLS 450 provides 22hp and 250Nm of e-improve underneath difficult acceleration.

 

As I prod the starter button in the 400d, the diesel engine fires up with a light-weight murmur and then… it is all but long gone. I have to examine the tachometer to make sure it is essentially turning in excess of. The refinement is just extraordinary! It’s the new-technology OM656 diesel engine that we have also seen in the S 350d and G 350d, but as the title indicates, this 400d is far more highly effective, so at the very first signal of an open street, my very first intuition is to ground it. The explosive acceleration I anticipated doesn’t appear. As a substitute what you get is, very first a bit of hesitation as the nine-velocity automatic shifts down to the correct gear, and then a nice lengthy-legged surge of torque with no enable-up, and a muted straight-6 growl to boot. Which is just as properly for this deluxe, 2.5-tonne diesel behemoth. A fast glance down to the speedo reveals we have quietly slipped properly into the triple digits, and a difficult slam on the brakes tells me that potentially they can feel a bit overcome by all that velocity and weight combined. 

Though it disguises it properly, the tempo is all there, with -100kph coming up in a scant seven.forty eight seconds according to our tests gear – extraordinary considering the mass at work! The 20-80kph and forty-100kph situations of 4.75sec and six.22sec respectively are also extraordinary, but I feel they could’ve been improved nevertheless if the gearbox was a little more rapidly to respond.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS acceleration figures
GLS 450 GLS 400d
-20kph .93s one.03s
-40kph one.96s 2.06s
-60kph 3.27s 3.43s
-80kph 4.90s 5.17s
-100kph seven.15s seven.48s
-120kph nine.76s 10.41s
-140kph thirteen.35s thirteen.91s
-160kph seventeen.68s eighteen.27s
-180kph 23.68s 24.12s
-200kph 31.62s 32.92s
20-80kph (in kickdown) 4.35s 4.75s
forty-100kph (in kickdown) 5.33s six.22s

If the diesel edition is refined, the 450 petrol is silent as a tomb. Pressing the start button and leaving it at idle doesn’t make a audio, and even on the go you can barely inform it is switched on, right up until you extend it earlier about 3,000rpm, and what you get then is a audio that is far more satisfying than the one in the diesel. And if you considered the diesel was fast – this one’s even more rapidly. The e-improve from the gentle hybrid process is genuinely properly calibrated, engaging and disengaging imperceptibly, masking any semblance of turbo lag and allowing for you to launch the big SUV to 100kph in just seven.15sec. There’s no interruption in the flow of ability, and it will pull rather strongly right up until it is time for the future gear. Thoughts you, this edition of the nine-velocity auto can also get caught out very easily by a unexpected kick-down on the accelerator. You will not pass up the absence of a Sport mode in the 400d, but in this petrol edition you just may. It is surely the sprightlier and far more fascinating powertrain of the two.

On a big motorway, the GLS excels, being unassumingly fast, quiet, calm and rather stable. It doesn’t feel fully tied down and the laws of physics make me acutely mindful of this car’s peak and weight. As I change off in direction of more compact, rural roads, very carefully plotting it through my very first toll booth, I’m a little anxious. At very first, I’m continually mindful of its sizing, but the effortless steering shortly offers me the assurance to steer the big SUV through visitors. If you stay in a town like Mumbai where by house of any type is at a high quality, nevertheless, you will have to be well prepared for how big the GLS is. You are going to require a even bigger than average parking location that is effortless to generate into, not undertaking onto streets that are far too slender, and maintain an eye out for other vehicles that are all now more compact than yours. And even while U-turns do not feel far too tough thanks to the light-weight steering, they will involve a lot of house for the reason that of the 12.52m turning circle diameter.  

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It rides flat and legitimate on a smooth highway, but can get unsettled in excess of bumps.

 

As the monsoon’s best potholes get even bigger and sharper, individuals big wheels and tyres do make themselves felt, and the automobile does rock all over rather a bit on its tender air suspension. As points smoothen out and the roads boost, so does the journey, with that usually plush emotion you get from air springs forming a huge cushion underneath the automobile.

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It’s no surprise that this 2.5-tonne, 5.2m-lengthy SUV is not one for rapidly cornering.

 

Really hard cornering? In this kind of a big SUV, why bother? As you’d be expecting, it rolls a lot and there’s just far too considerably mass to go all over at velocity it is considerably far more pleasing at a less frantic tempo. Curiously, like in the GLE, they’ve removed the ‘Sport’ mode altogether, so even though the suspension can be lifted for off-roading, it doesn’t reduced or company up when you want to generate rapidly. Overseas, you do get lively anti-roll bars as portion of the e-Active System Control bundle, which considerably increases points, but that is not on offer in India. The steering essentially surprises with a great total of suggestions and weight at velocity, but it is greatest to take pleasure in that at a slower tempo. 

Ought to you invest in a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

Okay so potentially the GLS is not rather as deluxe as an S-course limousine, but then how could it be? The straightforward fact is the sheer sizing and practicality demands of an SUV – substantial mass, big wheels, tall journey peak, folding seats – make it harder to excel as a luxurious automobile. But then, and at Rs ninety nine.90 lakh (ex-showroom), it also fees about Rs 38 lakh less than the S-course. Perhaps then it is greatest to connect with it what it is – the flagship Mercedes-Benz SUV, as this is a job it plays to the T. It’s acquired the seem and the street presence, which is 50 percent the fight won right here in India, and there is a outstanding total of home to extend out ideal for the chauffeur driven. It’s geared up with a pair of solid engines and an all-conquering, go-any place capability, and with suitable, relaxed home for 7, your family will want to make journeys to the farmhouse every weekend. If you want one Mercedes that can do it all, the GLS is it.

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Also see:

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS video overview

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