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Mercedes-Benz GLS Review

Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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Mercedes-Benz GLS

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      SUV
      Fuel type
      Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Enormous seven-seat luxury SUV

Best bits

  • Hugely practical and versatile, even for a large family
  • Clever infotainment system and lots of toys
  • Much cheaper than a Range Rover

Not so great

  • Some really good seven-seat SUVs cost much less
  • Not as good to drive as most of them
  • Can’t match the best for build quality either

Read by

Mercedes GLS frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes GLS front interior

On the inside

Mercedes GLS front exterior

Driving

Mercedes GLS backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes GLS frontleft wheel

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Few companies have embraced the SUV revolution with quite so much enthusiasm as Mercedes-Benz. The company offers no fewer than eight varieties: small ones, big ones, middle-sized ones, cheap ones, pricey ones, hardcore ones, lifestyle ones, coupe ones, you name it."

Mercedes GLS frontleft exterior

The GLS, though, is the flagship of them all. Labelled as ‘the S-Class of SUVs’, its job is to deliver limousine levels of class, quality, technology and luxury, but with all the desirability, image, practicality and versatility that you’d expect from an SUV. No mean feat, that.


Good job, then, that it’s absolutely massive. Any car that can make a Volvo XC90 look puny has to be on the chunky side. Good job too, that it has a huge seven-seat cabin that's crafted from expensive-feeling materials, and stuffed with luxury equipment and a variety of interesting infotainment technology. Good job also, that it has a strong, muscular diesel engine that delivers superb mechanical refinement and competitive efficiency. That’s plenty of those boxes checked already.


Unfortunately, the GLS has got one big problem, and it’s called the BMW X7. Both cars are a bang-on match for each other in terms of size, price, appeal, and a whole host of other factors. And although the X7’s nostril-heavy looks might not be to everyone’s taste, anyone who’s experienced the car will know that it’s very, very good. And crucially, it’s better - in a number of ways - than the GLS.


Cabin quality is one of them. Yes, the big Merc feels very posh and lustrous inside, but the BMW’s greater solidity and attention-to-detail means it feels appreciably more dense and substantial. The Merc can’t match the BMW on the road, either. It doesn’t ride as comfortably, regardless of your surroundings or speeds, and it feels a good deal more cumbersome on the bends. And in a luxury car, that dynamic polish is essential in creating the right impression of civility and sophistication, and if it’s not there, all the swanky touchscreens in the world can’t make up for it.


There’s also the challenge posed by smaller, cheaper seven-seat SUV choices such as the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, both of which are excellent, the Audi especially. Ask yourself: do I really need a car as big as a GLS? For most, the answer will be no.

If you do, then - don’t get us wrong - the GLS is a very strong contender in a lot of ways. Tech-heads, in particular, will love it. However, the X7 is just a better all-rounder, while other excellent cars like the Audi Q7 do a very similar job for considerably less money.

Ready to get your top quality Mercedes-Benz GLS?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Mercedes-Benz GLS

GLS 400d 4Matic AMG Line Premium + 5dr 9G-Tronic

  • 2021
  • 1,000 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Mercedes-Benz of Hull
  • Yorkshire, HU139PB
Price:£83,998
PCP: £1,242.60/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £1,242.60, Customer Deposit: £12,599.00, Total Deposit: £12,599.70, Optional Final Payment: £39,076.00, Total Charge For Credit: £11,168.70, Total Amount Payable: £95,166.70, Representative APR: 6.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 6.69%, Excess Mileage Charge: 8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Mercedes-Benz GLS right for you?

If you need a seven-seat luxury SUV in your life, but an Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90 just don’t have the space, the image or the theatre to cut it, then you need to kick things up a notch. That’s where the Mercedes GLS comes in. This car is so enormous that it can’t fail to get you noticed, while the desirable badge on the nose and the handsome styling will ensure that you’re being noticed for all the right reasons.


 There’s enough space in the passenger compartment and boot to deal with the needs of any family, even one made up entirely of basketball-playing beanpoles, while the amount of luxury kit and clever infotainment tech on board will keep everyone entertained. In principle, a very similar car to the BMW X7, and if you’re considering one of those, you’re probably considering one of these.

What's the best Mercedes-Benz GLS model/engine to choose?

You don’t get a choice with the engine of your GLS, because there’s only one. Called the 400d, it’s a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine with 330PS, and importantly, it’s muscular enough to haul this huge car around briskly and easily. It’s also smooth enough and quiet enough to ensure that life in the cabin stays as sophisticated and as civilised as it should in a luxury SUV.


There are three trim levels to choose from, all of which are ludicrously named (we’ll come onto that later), but even the entry-level one has all the luxury gear that you could want from a car like this. Upgrading to the other ones adds lots to the price, and while some of the items (massaging rear seats, anyone?) are quite appealing, many of them are needless fripperies, even in a car like this.

What other cars are similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLS?

There’s no shortage of options for luxury SUV buyers, but there’s one car that’s more of a direct rival for the GLS than any other. It’s from that old enemy over in Bavaria, and it’s called the BMW X7. The two cars are about the same size (enormous, then), cost about the same (new or used) and provide a very similar mix of quality, luxury, desirability and seven-seat practicality.


Also vying for your cash will be smaller, cheaper seven-seaters like the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, while buyers might also consider the daddy of the luxury off-roaders - the Range Rover - if they only need five seats.


Learn more

Mercedes GLS front interior

On the inside

Mercedes GLS front exterior

Driving

Mercedes GLS backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes GLS frontleft wheel

Prices, versions and specification