Most of you must have seen, every new Mercedes Benz advertisement, begin with Hey Mercedes now, and a response coming in saying- How may I help you!!! Connected car, is one of the new feature in the all new GLS, that Mercedes Benz launched in June this year. And the GLS instantly became new talk of the town. The previous Generation of the GLS was launched in 2016 for keeping the momentum of SUV segment in India, the GLS was instantly successful in making it's presence felt in the market. Infact, it became the most selling SUV in it's segment. That, was 2016, today, in 2020, the game changed significantly. BMW bought a completely new product ground up- the X7, Volvo XC90 was always potent, and Audi throwed the Q8 to the party. Mercedes Benz, had to respond, coz their 2016 GLS, was clearly- ageing.
Enter the new generation of GLS which was bought in June 2020, this time, they positioned the luxury SUV, as the S of SUV's and I am Glad that, the most awaited SUV is back in the realm of colossus SUVs in the India’s Luxury Automotive sector. So, let’s go-through the new updates being brought up in the new GLS right from the Engine to the Driving Dynamics as compared to the outgoing GLS, and answer that all important question, is it then, a worthy successor over the old GLS and can it set the benchmark for the segment, just like the S.
Albeit, this time, how about comparing the all new GLS to its predecessor, using human anatomy? Shall we...
Being very outspoken about the previous generation, it had already lost its charm by following the same old school design of its predecessor the GL, right from the dash to other interior elements. In the last few months of its extinction, the GLS was bought with a limited-edition variant known as the GRAND EDITION which had some cosmetic uplifts, will be discussed in the Vehicle Styling para. Starting up from the whole new design the new GLS seems more identical to its younger brother the New GLE. The front fascia of the beast feels massive as compared to its older version. The overall dynamics of the car are enhanced as compared to its previous model. The previous was 5130 mm long 1934 mm wide 1850 tall and had a wheelbase of 3075 mm, whereas the new generation is much longer and wider than the previous variant. The all New GLS is 77 mm longer, 223 mm wider and has enhanced wheelbase of 60 mm which makes the car more spacious at the second row and third row, respectively. Height of the newer model is lowered by 27 mm keeping the aerodynamics and body-roll in mind, which was a major fall back on the previous generation as conveyed by many of its existing users.
It is said that, a person should always be good at heart and a car’s heart should be strong enough to deliver the capabilities which the automotive companies boast on. Many of us will agree to this, the older GLS gave us a very muscular feeling once peddled to the metal, she roared like a Lion and delivered the power in the next few seconds. The previous GLS had an engine of 2987 cc in the diesel which generated 258 HP of power at 3400 rpm with a push of 620 NM of torque at 1600-2400 rpm. Whereas the petrol motor was equipped with a 2996 cc engine which generated 333 HP at 5250 -6000 rpm with a quick torque of 480 NM at 1600 – 4000 rpm.
The new GLS is a big-hearted personality now; has a bigger engine in the petrol motor but sadly not with the diesel variant. The Petrol “GLS 450” has an engine of 2999 cc which delivers tremendous power of 367 HP at 5500-6100 rpm and a peak torque of 500 NM in the range of 1600 – 4500 rpm. Whereas the diesel “GLS 400d” is although reduced on the displacement; cc still delivers more power as compared to its predecessor. The diesel engine is equipped with a 2925 cc motor delivers a fabulous 330 HP at 3600 – 4200 rpm and backed by a heavy 700 NM of torque at 1200 – 3200 rpm. Although getting the new BS VI diesel engine downsized no one complained about the engine being compromised on its displacement as the engine seems more responsive and certain alterations on the engine has made it smoother and engaging especially for long drives. It has to be accepted, Mercedes Benz is not just concerned about the comfort factor for the rest 6 passenger seats but also for the driver seat, this can only be experienced once you drive it for a long 100- 200kms at a stretch.
In the last few months of extinction the GLS had a feature enrichment named as the Grand Edition, which tried uplifting the model by adding Rear entertainment screens, Partial electric folding seats for the 2nd row, all new design of alloys and a chrome package which in the end helped get a boost in the number game.
Looking at the new GLS, I am sure it looks like an SUV who is escorting a celebrity towards the red carpet. The stance of the car on any given surface; off road, highway makes you look back at the car. It’s truly the latest talk of the B-Town.
A very intelligent step by Mercedes Benz towards portraying its styling and sporty aspect to the clients is by offering the ultimate color options on this model. The older GLS was quiet often seen in shades like the ever-green WHITE followed by Black, Blue, Silver and Grey. Whereas the GLS has been experimented greatly in offering the Hyacinth Red shade in its series car variant which looks stunning on the SUV. Mind it, it will make u look back once you spot it in that shade.
For the VIP on the rear seat, the SUV is equipped with a chauffeur package in which the driver can operate the front passenger seat from his side to make some more legroom for his owner. The person seating on the master seat can also operate this function from the rear and can also control the sun blinds for the rear windows and the sunshade for the sunroof. Offering interior options was not something very strange as Mercedes Benz didn’t had many combinations of which they managed getting three shades for the interiors unlike the previous GLS. You get an interior option of Macchiato Beige, Espresso Brown, and Black/ Anthracite. Offering stunning Alloy wheel designs on any Mercedes Benz was truly never spotted compared to it competition. Having those huge R21 inches alloy wheels with a completely new design on the new GLS makes it truly define the term “The Emperor’s Chariot”.
Prior to the launch, people who dis-liked the SUV’s new body language compared to the older GLS are the people praising about its new look. “It looks precious once seen Live”- A verdict from one of a BMW fans, I was seriously stunned to hear this out from him, thanks to the Mercedes Benz Product development team. Chrome elements on the front, sides, and rear highlights the GLS unlike its older generation. Roof rails on the top are capable of handling 2 bicycles/ a closed roof box / a surfing board. If all this makeover is not sufficient, Mercedes Benz also offers add-ons on the car at an additional cost, which includes Roof spoiler, Side trims on doors and Cool box, Refrigerator.
For the interior, Mercedes Benz offers Removable Coat/ Jacket Hanger, Removable Folding table, and Rear Screens for entertainment with pre-defined sources like, CDs, USBs, Bluetooth and HDMI in-case if you carry your latest Play Station along.
The previous Generation of the GLS was pretty old fashioned right from its design language to the features offered in the cabin. Few of the features which really made sense on the previous gen were, Intelligent lighting system which made a huge difference as compared to an any competition, Leg room on the 3rd row was never as spacious as in any of a proper 7 seat SUV at that price, Rear screen entertainment with personalized Headphones added a new turning point in the discussion.
With respect to features it will be quiet of a big analogue if we discuss on the upgrades done as compared to the previous GLS. However, some of the key new features are discussed below
The new GLS is equipped with 5 zone climate control on which the 3rd row seat also has a separate climate control zone. Adaptive suspensions are a must for a luxury of this kind. Body roll on the newer model is reduced to a quiet of an extent in which Airmatic suspensions play a vital role.
The new GLS has driving modes like Eco, Comfort, Individual and Off-road mode. Mercedes Benz has started offering electric seat folding on the second row. The car is also equipped with controls at the boot in which all the seats on 2nd and 3rd row can be folded in one go, Saves Time.
Tablet in the 2nd Row armrest:
Wireless Charging and connectivity:
Headlights and visibility:
With a complete package of luxury, the GLS is exceptionally at par against it competitors. I must say, Mercedes Benz has fluently managed to lead the 7 seat SUV segment in their possession despite of such fierce competition. Of Sheer excitement, I would just like to ask Mercedes Benz, What’s next?