Mercedes GLS 2021 - Should You Buy One?
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 Published On Feb 24, 2021

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Some Mercedes models are the epitome of on-road luxury. Others are almost unrivalled for off-road prowess. And then there's one which claims to offer the best of both: the GLS. This is the very few super-luxury SUVs that can seat seven fully-sized adults. And it claims to be able to do so while offering a properly dynamic drive on road as well as extreme capability off it. This second generation version is smarter, plusher, more refined and even more appealing. Got a family? You'd like one.

Market and Model

Buying a GLS is pretty straightforward. Though there's a wild V8 petrol GL63 Mercedes-AMG model requiring a huge budget, almost all customers will want the more sensible GLS 400d diesel variant that you can expect to be priced in the £74,000 bracket. We haven't space here to list all the standard features - there are a vast number. And of course you get considerable multimedia capability, courtesy of the brand's latest 'MBUX' ('Mercedes-Benz User Experience'). This allows intuitive operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition via a camera in the overhead console that registers movements of the driver's and front passenger's hands and arms. When a hand approaches the touchscreen or the touchpad on the centre console, the media display changes and individual elements are highlighted. A unique feature of MBUX is its ability to anticipate what the user would like next, for example. For instance, anyone who often telephones their mother on Tuesdays during the journey home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week. Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time also receives this as a suggestion.

Our favourite standard feature though, is the Carwash function - which should come in very handy for a large vehicle like the GLS. When this function is selected, the suspension moves to the highest position, which reduces the track widths due to the axle geometry. This makes it easier to drive into a carwash as well as remove any dirt remaining in the wheel arches from the last off-road trip.

Summary

If you're in the unusual position of wanting a huge 7-seat super-luxury SUV that can climb the lower slopes of Snowdon, then stop by Sainsburys on the way to an evening at the Ritz, then you won't be disappointed with this one.

But then, that much we already knew about this Mercedes. The thing that's changed with this second generation version is a broadening of its appeal. Now it reaches out below its price point to an Audi Q7-class customer. And above its asking figure to lower-order Range Rover buyers. These people may not necessarily need this car's huge size or ultimate off-road prowess but hey, they didn't really need a big SUV in the first place, so why not buy one that really ticks all the boxes?

This GLS does and in second generation form, manages to do so with a far more dynamic personality. True, it's not quite the all-round proposition a Range Rover can be but in many respects, it offers far more car for much less money. Which means that in your SUV search for the biggest and the best, you shouldn't overlook it.

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