July 24, 2024

Byrdr Automotive

Car and Comfort

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS India review, test drive

What is it? 

When they rebranded the previous gen ‘X166’ GL-course to be called the GLS midway through its everyday living cycle, the notion was to cement its location in the array as the ‘S-course of SUVs’. Having said that, as it was just a facelift dependent on more mature architecture, it was not really up to the process. Having said that, with the new ‘X167’ GLS’s, there is a better likelihood of the significant SUV reaching the limousine’s large bar. That is for the reason that this just one was designed from the get-go to be extra of a luxury product and a closer relation to its sedan counterpart. Just how does it obtain that, nevertheless? Browse on.

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The GLS is not just significant, it is a mountain of an SUV. It’s a total 77mm longer than the old car, 60mm of which has long gone into the wheelbase, and it is 22mm wider as perfectly. At total off-highway peak on its air suspension, the prime of the bonnet lines up with my upper body. 21-inch wheels glance just the suitable measurement, not comically significant as they could possibly have a few generations back, and their beautiful five-spoke style is a marked improvement on Merc’s usually meek wheel choices. What’s more, there are the tyres – the 275-area set at the entrance are huge, but at the rear you’ll find a pair of 315/40 R21s, which are the sort of quantities you’d have previously only go through on a Lamborghini’s tyres. It provides tremendously to the highway presence.

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Enormous 21-inch, 315-area rear tyres only add to its tank-like presence.


Its girth alone will make it conveniently identifiable as a GLS, but this is an entirely softer and rounder just take on the components. No extra sharp creases defining the flanks, this just one is all curves. The headlamps are a whole lot smaller sized, the tail-lamps slimmer – each individual with Mercedes’ new LED signature. Incidentally, those adaptive LED headlamps are outfitted with a little something called ‘Ultra Array Superior Beam’, which we’re told, is able of lighting up the highway 650 metres ahead. A different Merc SUV signature is the impractical, but extremely blingy chrome skid plates at the entrance and rear, and there is a lot extra of the shiny stuff – on the tailgate, the bumpers and the window surrounds. 


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What is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS inside like? 

There are a whole lot of seven-seat SUVs on the market, but the GLS has normally been just one of a cherished few in which an grownup would willingly enterprise into the third row for a long journey. The middle row electric power folds (alternatively slowly) to allow you through, and thereafter, it is a quite straightforward clamber into the third row. But, as the seat in entrance of me whirrs back into location, it commences to foul with my knees, which is unconventional, as I distinctly keep in mind the previous version’s third row getting extra spacious, with its have focused glass roof, which is now missing. But, that is not to say you are not perfectly catered to back here, for the reason that you are – with focused cupholders, two of this car’s 11 USB charging ports (Sort-C, on the other hand, so carry your adapter) and even its have local weather zone. The seats on their own are really perfectly cushioned and positioned so that you’re not folded up like a deck chair in storage.

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Sprint resembles a large-close household entertainment unit with its significant screens and Burmester speakers. High-quality is challenging to fault.


The cause for this deficiency of space is, in its bid to be extra like an S-course, the new GLS has sacrificed third row room to present even extra in the middle row, including 100mm of powered fore-and-aft sliding, and suitable now, it is set all the way back to total limousine mode. To accommodate seven, you will have to give up some legroom in the next row, but much from the stage of getting not comfortable. It’s a compromise that will make perception, as most customers will only almost never use their GLS as a 7-seater, and for most of the time, a limo-like middle row for just one passenger is what is extra crucial. The seat back also reclines by 30 degrees, but at total tilt, it is not really the lounge-like experience you’ll find in an S-course. The seats on their own, too, are a touch firmer than you’ll find in the limo, and you do sit a little knees-up for the reason that of the way the seat foundation is reclined. 

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Seat slides by 100mm for exceptional legroom eats into third row nevertheless.


Continue to, once you’re snugly in location, you’ll have little cause to complain. The pillows on the headrests return, and if you need to have a definitely absurd sum of legroom, the entrance passenger seat can be despatched ahead from at the rear of. Certainly, the middle row is a bench so you could get a third passenger in here, but they’ll have to put their ft astride the prolonged centre console between the entrance seats. In total limo mode, you’ll want to flip down the centre armrest, which reveals cupholders, a wireless charging pad and a detachable pill controller. You could use this as a regular Android pill, but it is also a controller for things like the 64-color ambient lighting, local weather control, media and radio. But, as I fiddle all-around with it, I realise that is about it – it will not allow you view or function the navigation, modify the seats or open the solar blinds or panoramic sunroof. You will in all probability get a little bit extra stuff to enjoy with if you add on the optional rear entertainment screens. 

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Not as spacious as prior to and middle row wants to be moved ahead.


If you are travelling with seven aboard, there is a likelihood you’ll need to have location for their luggage, and with 355 litres of room with all seats up, a weekend’s really worth of bags is no trouble at all. There’s just one button in the boot that lowers the air suspension for simpler loading, and a different that can electric power-fold the third and next rows to liberate an remarkable 2,400 litres!

What tools and options will you find in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

So, the middle row plainly is the spotlight of this SUV, but I’m told the new GLS has a whole lot of really like for those sat up entrance too, and that is prior to you even switch a wheel. The lounge seats may well be in the back, but the household entertainment program is up entrance – I stage 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 system, the touchscreen infotainment program and the instrumentation display screen, but the way it is all put with each other really does glance like the elegant but large-tech unit that houses the 4K flatscreen in your den. It’s obtained the hi-fi to match, too, with a thirteen-speaker Burmester seem program, creating by itself identified with its signature chrome speaker grilles peppered all-around the cabin. 

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


All of this is wrapped with each other in what we’ve now occur to assume from Mercedes – highly-priced-emotion Artico faux leather-based, large-gloss wooden grain and awesome brushed metallic switchgear. You don’t have to have this product colored upholstery if you assume it’ll get too soiled too swiftly – black and espresso brown are also out there. The four round AC vents in the centre of the sprint have morphed into rectangular styles for this rugged SUV, just as in the smaller sized GLE. In truth, apart from the use of polished alternatively than matte wooden trim, the total entrance cabin is equivalent to the GLE. 

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Digital instrument panel is wildly customisable Touchscreen appears to be amazing and features brilliantly.


The checklist of gizmos and gizmos is extensive, and it all revolves all-around MBUX – the brand’s hottest infotainment program, which is alternatively exceptional. The touchscreen is beautiful to behold, crisp and fluid to use, and in scenario you don’t want to be distracted by utilizing it on the shift, there is a touchpad between the seats and very intuitive controls on the steering wheel. It’s no shock in this day and age that the GLS is a connected car with an onboard e-Sim, and that it has a companion app that allows you hold tabs on the car, begin and pre-awesome it, and even function the home windows and sunroof remotely. But the connectivity goes a little bit further, with the AI-guided voice assistant that responds to ‘Hey Mercedes’, and then faucets into the cloud to deliver a much wider array of responses and success than you assume. There are even awesome options like seats that can guess your driving place dependent on just your peak, and cabin lights that activate through motion sensors. Soon after all this, the 360-diploma cameras, 9 airbags and auto parking assistant experience a little bit common. But yet again, all of this is out there in the GLE too, and probably heated and ventilated seats – entrance and rear – would have set the GLS apart as the extra lavish just one.

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Rear pill controller awesome but amazingly standard.


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

As opposed to the GLE, you will not find a four-cylinder engine under the hood of the significant GLS, but the two 6-cylinder alternatives are common to the two models. The 450 is a 3.-litre straight-6 turbo-petrol which will make 367hp and 500Nm, that is paired to a 48v moderate-hybrid program that provides a different 22hp and 250Nm of electric powered enhance under challenging acceleration, when the 400d makes use of a 3.-litre straight-6 turbo-diesel with 330hp and 700Nm.  

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The 48V hybrid program on the petrol GLS 450 provides 22hp and 250Nm of e-enhance under challenging acceleration.


As I prod the starter button in the 400d, the diesel engine fires up with a mild murmur and then… it is all but long gone. I have to check the tachometer to make confident it is actually turning above. The refinement is just remarkable! It’s the new-generation OM656 diesel engine that we’ve also seen in the S 350d and G 350d, but as the title implies, this 400d is extra effective, so at the very first signal of an open highway, my very first intuition is to flooring it. The explosive acceleration I expected doesn’t occur. Alternatively what you get is, very first a little bit of hesitation as the 9-speed automated shifts down to the suitable equipment, and then a pleasant long-legged surge of torque with no allow-up, and a muted straight-6 growl to boot. That is just as perfectly for this lavish, 2.5-tonne diesel behemoth. A quick glance down to the speedo reveals we’ve quietly slipped perfectly into the triple digits, and a challenging slam on the brakes tells me that probably they can experience a little bit overcome by all that speed and weight blended. 

Even though it disguises it perfectly, the tempo is all there, with -100kph coming up in a scant 7.48 seconds in accordance to our tests equipment – remarkable taking into consideration the mass at operate! The 20-80kph and 40-100kph times of 4.75sec and 6.22sec respectively are also remarkable, but I experience they could’ve been better even now if the gearbox was a little more rapidly to respond.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS acceleration figures
GLS 450 GLS 400d
-20kph .93s 1.03s
-40kph 1.96s 2.06s
-60kph 3.27s 3.43s
-80kph 4.90s 5.17s
-100kph 7.15s 7.48s
-120kph 9.76s 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
40-100kph (in kickdown) 5.33s 6.22s

If the diesel variation is refined, the 450 petrol is silent as a tomb. Pressing the begin button and leaving it at idle doesn’t make a seem, and even on the shift you can barely inform it is switched on, right until you extend it past about 3,000rpm, and what you get then is a seem that is extra pleasing than the just one in the diesel. And if you assumed the diesel was quick – this one’s even more rapidly. The e-enhance from the moderate hybrid program is really perfectly calibrated, partaking and disengaging imperceptibly, masking any semblance of turbo lag and making it possible for you to start the significant SUV to 100kph in just 7.15sec. There’s no interruption in the stream of electric power, and it will pull really strongly right until it is time for the following equipment. Thoughts you, this variation of the 9-speed auto can also get caught out conveniently by a sudden kick-down on the accelerator. You will not miss the deficiency of a Sport mode in the 400d, but in this petrol variation you just could possibly. It is absolutely the sprightlier and extra interesting powertrain of the two.

On a significant motorway, the GLS excels, getting unassumingly quick, quiet, calm and relatively secure. It doesn’t experience fully tied down and the legislation of physics make me acutely informed of this car’s peak and weight. As I switch off towards smaller sized, rural roads, thoroughly plotting it through my very first toll booth, I’m a little anxious. At very first, I’m consistently informed of its measurement, but the straightforward steering quickly provides me the assurance to steer the significant SUV through site visitors. If you stay in a metropolis like Mumbai where room of any kind is at a premium, on the other hand, you will have to be well prepared for how significant the GLS is. You are going to need to have a greater than common parking location that is straightforward to drive into, not enterprise onto streets that are too slim, and hold an eye out for other vehicles that are all now smaller sized than yours. And even nevertheless U-turns don’t experience too complicated thanks to the mild steering, they will need a whole lot of room for the reason that of the 12.52m turning circle diameter.  

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It rides flat and real on a clean highway, but can get unsettled above bumps.


As the monsoon’s greatest potholes get greater and sharper, those significant wheels and tyres do make on their own felt, and the car does rock all-around really a little bit on its gentle air suspension. As things smoothen out and the roads increase, so does the ride, with that usually plush emotion you get from air springs forming a huge cushion under the car.

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It’s no shock that this 2.5-tonne, 5.2m-long SUV is not just one for fast cornering.


Tricky cornering? In these types of a significant SUV, why bother? As you’d assume, it rolls a whole lot and there is simply too substantially mass to shift all-around at speed it is substantially extra pleasant at a significantly less frantic tempo. Curiously, like in the GLE, they’ve eradicated the ‘Sport’ mode entirely, so when the suspension can be raised for off-roading, it doesn’t lessen or agency up when you want to drive swiftly. Overseas, you do get lively anti-roll bars as component of the e-Active Overall body Manage bundle, which drastically improves things, but that is not on present in India. The steering actually surprises with a superior sum of suggestions and weight at speed, but it is greatest to delight in that at a slower tempo. 

Should really you invest in a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS?

Okay so probably the GLS is not really as lavish as an S-course limousine, but then how could it be? The easy truth is the sheer measurement and practicality demands of an SUV – big mass, significant wheels, tall ride peak, folding seats – make it more challenging to excel as a luxury car. But then, and at Rs ninety nine.90 lakh (ex-showroom), it also fees about Rs 38 lakh significantly less than the S-course. Maybe then it is greatest to call it what it is – the flagship Mercedes-Benz SUV, as this is a position it performs to the T. It’s obtained the glance and the highway presence, which is fifty percent the struggle received here in India, and there is a extraordinary sum of space to extend out great for the chauffeur pushed. It’s outfitted with a pair of sturdy engines and an all-conquering, go-anyplace means, and with good, cozy space for seven, your family members will want to make journeys to the farmhouse each and every weekend. If you want just one Mercedes that can do it all, the GLS is it.

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Also see:

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS video overview