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May 11, 2016

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS: Luxury, Performance -- and Practicality

2017_Mercedes_Benz_AMG_GLS-_AS_0784-front_beautyAt the large end of its utility offerings is the three-row 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS, the only full-fledged seven-seater in the European premium SUV segment.

Like the GL before it, the new GLS -- the "S-Class among SUVs" -- combines spaciousness and luxury with impressive comfort, high-performance engines, and best-in-class safety.

2017_Mercedes_Benz_AMG_GLS-_AS_9843-side_beautyWhat's Inside and Outside?
With its 2017-model-year facelift, designers have adapted the luxury SUV to the current Mercedes-Benz styling approach with a redesigned front end, two special designo paint colors, new LED taillights, a refreshed selection of light-alloy wheels, and chrome highlights on the roof rails, underguard, shoulderline trim strips, luggage compartment handle, and side skirt trim. A power tailgate, rearview camera, power-folding mirrors, and remote start are standard.

Inside, the elegant interior features exclusive nappa leather upholstery options, along with a newly designed "checkered flag" instrument panel with optional 8-inch color media display and center console with touchpad, and three-spoke multifunction steering wheel. For added luxury, power-folding third-row seats are standard.

2017_Mercedes_Benz_AMG_GLS-_AS_0754-interiorWhat's Under the Hood:
A 3.0-liter V-6 biturbo direct-injection engine producing 362-horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque powers the Mercedes-Benz GLS450 4MATIC. Under the hood of the GLS550 4MATIC is a V-8 biturbo direct-injection promising 516 lb.-ft. of torque and 449 horsepower, some 20 hp more than the preceding model. The top-of-the-range AMG GLS63 is powered by a hand-built 5.5-liter biturbo V-8 engine that boasts 577 horsepower (over 27 horsepower more than its predecessor), 561 lb.-ft. of torque, acceleration to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 174 mph. Alongside the gas engine offerings, the GLS350d 4MATIC offers a V-6 diesel engine rated at 255 hp and 455 lb.-ft. of torque. All GLS models benefit from an ECO start/stop function and are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, except the GLS63 which is paired with an AMG Speedshift Plus seven-speed automatic transmission.

2017_Mercedes_Benz_AMG_GLS-rear_beautyA retuned Airmatic air suspension system is standard, as is the Dynamic Select system, which, with the touch of a button, allows the driver to adjust vehicle performance dynamics and ride quality for a variety of road conditions, including comfort, slippery, sport, off-road, and individual preferences. Choosing the optional Off-Road Engineering package adds an OFF-ROAD+ mode as well as a low-range gearbox and center differential lock. On the GLS63, the system offers an AMG-styled SPORT+ mode in place of the OFF-ROAD mode.

Mercedes-Benz has always been a leader in safety technology; as such, the GLS benefits from a wide assortment of standard safety features, including crosswind assist (which detects sudden strong gusts of wind and helps prevent the vehicle from drifting out of its lane), attention assist (which analyzes the driver's performance to identify when the driver is becoming tired and prompts him to take a rest), collision prevention assist plus (which alerts the driver with visual and audible alerts to the risk of a collision with the vehicle ahead, and even brakes if necessary to mitigate impacts), Pre-Safe (which tightens seatbelts, closes windows, and adjusts seating to protect occupants in case of an accident), and brake assist (which helps ensure adequate braking performance when necessary to mitigate collisions).

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS is available in four models: GLS350d 4MATIC ($67,050), GLS450 4MATIC ($68,700), GLS550 4MATIC ($93,850), and top-of-the-line AMG GLS63 ($124,100). Pricing does not include $925 delivery and destination charge.

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