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

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS

Pros: Fine handling for a large SUV; good interior room; luxurious cabin; lots of high-tech available features

Cons: Complicated control system; poor fuel economy with V8; pricey options

CG Says: The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class adds two new models. The GLS 63 is a high-performance version of this big three-row SUV. It is powered by a 603-horsepower biturbo 4.0-liter V8 that is paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. That’s enough power to propel the 5,798-pound vehicle 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The other new GLS is the ultra-luxury Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600. Maybach is a name used for a Mercedes prestige line during 2002-12, but is now used for top trim models. The Maybach GLS uses a 550-hp version of the biturbo 4.0-liter V8 and eliminates the third-row seat. Available amenities include rear folding tables, refrigerated compartment, and champagne flutes. After last year’s redesign, changes are few for existing GLS models. The base GLS 450 gains standard ventilated front seats, 4-zone automatic climate controls, and 20-inch wheels. The GLS-Class is the largest of Mercedes’ crossover SUVs; it offers seating for six or seven passengers (except the four- or five-passenger Maybach GLS 600), depending on whether a 3-passenger bench seat or dual captain’s chairs are ordered for the second row. The GLS 450 is powered by a 362-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The GLS 580 gets a 483-hp biturbo 4.0-liter V8 that is also paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. All engines are paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard. Available features on the GLS include E-Active Body Control, an intelligent air suspension that can control the spring and shock absorber rates individually for each wheel to counteract body roll, pitch, and squat. There is also an Executive Rear Seat Package Plus that includes heated/ventilated/massaging second-row seats and a tablet for control of comfort and entertainment functions. Available safety features include autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot alert, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, exit warning, and active brake assist with a cross-traffic function that applies the brakes to avoid a collision when turning across the path of oncoming traffic. The GLS is a large SUV with a comfortable ride, yet it also has remarkably good handling for a vehicle its size. The long list of available high-tech features is another plus, though some of them are complicated to learn and use. The GLS 450’s six-cylinder engine’s performance is satisfying enough that we would be hard pressed to spend the significant price premium for the GLS 580 model. In any of its forms, the GLS is not cheap, but it provides a luxury SUV experience expected of the marque.

The Facts
Class Premium Large SUV
Body Style(s) 4-door wagon
Passenger Count 4-7
Drive Wheels all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices GLS 450: $77,950
GLS 580: $99,900
AMG GLS 63: $133,150
Maybach GLS 600: $161,550

Base Engine
turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder/electric motor (GLS 450)
Horsepower
362
Std. Transmission
9-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
20
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
24

Optional Engine
turbocharged 4.0-liter V8/electric motor (GLS 580, Maybach GLS 600)
Horsepower
483 (550 in Maybach GLS 600)
Std. Transmission
9-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
15-16
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
19-21

Optional Engine
turbocharged 4.0-liter V8/electric motor (GLS 63)
Horsepower
603
Std. Transmission
9-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
14
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
18

Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63
2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63
Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - NA
0%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - NA
0%
Side Crash - NA
0%
Rollover - NA
0%

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