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“The GLS450 is 202 inches continued and 84.3 inches wide, according to Mercedes-Benz”
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS450 is a attractive beast.
Formerly accepted as the GL Class, the GLS450 is 202 inches continued and 84.3 inches wide, according to Mercedes-Benz. It stands a appear 72.8 inches alpine and rides on a 121-inch wheelbase.
On that ample brand rides a beautiful anatomy with affluence of modern-day Mercedes-Benz architecture trademarks. There is, of course, the ample Three-Pointed Star on the shield-shaped grille opening. Able-bodied bulges and bifold blast ports on the awning adumbration at the Merc’s muscles.
“The ancillary appearance sees a tall, squared-off greenhouse with lots of bottle breadth that makes the berth ablaze and airy”
The ancillary appearance sees a tall, squared-off greenhouse with lots of bottle breadth that makes the berth ablaze and airy. A slight advancement beat in the basal axle of the ancillary bottle gives a faculty that this big SUV can hustle aback asked. The arch bulge aloof beneath the aperture handles flows from the advanced fender to a secondary, Z-shaped bulge that forms the rear fender band and eventually touches the advanced bend of the taillight lens. Roof balustrade are arresting from the side, for those who appetite to booty burden on the roof, safari-style.
The rear appearance of the GLS450 is a lot beneath arguable with best audiences than the GLC300 Coupe I collection a few weeks earlier. The big, boxlike anatomy agency makes for an cocked hatch. The rear bear bottle appears to blanket about the D colonnade a bit. A added alluringly sized Three-Pointed Star adorns the centermost of the hatch, aloof aloft a band of chrome that accents the lozenge-shaped taillight lenses. Bifold bankrupt tips at the abject of the architecture already afresh adumbration at the achievement abeyant of the GLS 450.
“The berth of the GLS450 is a bit of a bequest to the way I anticipate of Mercedes-Benzes of my youth”
The berth of the GLS450 is a bit of a bequest to the way I anticipate of Mercedes-Benzes of my youth. The seats were chaste in their design, covered in MB-Tex leatherette, yet nonetheless chiefly comfortable. The advanced seats were heated, but disappointingly for an $80,000 SUV, not ventilated. In hot temperatures, I’d appetite bench ventilation. It’s an accessible advantage that was abnormally missing from my contrarily acutely loaded tester.
The dashboard architecture was a acceptable mix of old-school Mercedes advantage and new-age technology.
There were accompanying analog gauges in the barometer cluster, afar by a blush advice affectation that handled aggregate from cruise computer to aeronautics duties. A ample blush touchscreen affectation headed up the centermost stack, breadth it sat on top of some rather dated-looking radio and buzz controls — including a buzz dialpad not clashing one you ability accept apparent in in the 1999 Mercedes-Benz S Class.
“HVAC controls were added old-school than the aftermost few Mercs I accept driven”
HVAC controls were added old-school than the aftermost few Mercs I accept driven, with dual-zone altitude ascendancy dials apparent in temperature increments instead of announcement temperature apart of the dials. At atomic M-B didn’t coffin HVAC settings in the awning above. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.
But the drive was serene. Airmatic absolutely absolute air abeyance ensured that affection remained no amount how the GLS450 was loaded, or how it was driven. There was a drive approach selector in the centermost animate that accustomed me to toggle amid Sport, Comfort, Snow, and Off-Road modes in accession to a customizable Individual mode. Alike in Sport mode, aback one would accept the abeyance was its stiffest, the ride remained controlled and adequate over bumps.
Powering my tester was a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine. Mercedes-Benz said it fabricated 362 application and 369 lb-ft of torque. That ability seems a bit baby for a 5,335-lb behemoth, but it never acquainted slow. I’d account it acquainted absolute able-bodied aback accustomed a abundant appropriate foot.
“Powering my tester was a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo agent that fabricated 362 application and 369 lb-ft of torque”
That ability catholic through a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automated manual to all four auto as allotment of Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system. 4Matic provided abundant anchor that kept administration anticipated aback I absitively to bang over to Sport approach on a backing backroad on my way home from assignment one evening.
Left in its absence Comfort mode, though, the GLS450 accepted to be abundant at schlepping my kids to academy and the babysitter, and it was a superb grocery-getter — these are the affairs for which I brainstorm best GLS450s will be used, in all honesty.
Front-seat occupants got 41.2 inches of headroom, 40.3 inches of legroom, and 58.5 inches of accept room. Second-row occupants — my kids, artlessly — got 40 inches of headroom, 38.5 inches of legroom, and 58.3 inches of accept room. The third row, if used, had a decidedly ample 38.9 inches of headroom, 35 inches of legroom, and 50.5 inches of accept room. Bend the added and third rows, and you’ve got up to 93.8 cubic anxiety of accumulator aback there.
“Admittedly, I did bend the third row aback I apparent the burden breadth was absolutely baby aback the third row was in use”
Admittedly, I did bend the third row aback I apparent the burden breadth was absolutely baby aback the third row was in use. I bare the grocery space. Thankfully, stowing the third row is as accessible as acute a button aloof central the burden hatch. It whirrs away, creating a large, collapsed amount attic in an instant.
“I was disappointed, however, that the amalgamation did not accommodate Android Auto affiliation in accession to Apple CarPlay”
Mercedes included the $3,830 Exceptional Amalgamation on my tester, which brought with it COMAND aeronautics with three years of chargeless map updates, Sirius XM accessory radio with six months of service, keyless admission and ignition, Apple CarPlay connectivity, dark atom monitor, lane befitting assist, ambient lighting with user-selectable blush and aperture axle lighting, and a power-adjusting advanced commuter bench with adjustable lumbar support.
Overall, I’d alarm that amalgamation money able-bodied spent. I was disappointed, however, that the amalgamation did not accommodate Android Auto affiliation in accession to Apple CarPlay. I analysis collection a Mercedes-AMG CLA45 about a year ago that had both. Why isn’t it accessible in this, “the S Class of SUVs,” as Mercedes calls it?
Also according genitalia adorable and abashing was the centermost console-mounted infotainment ascendancy device. There’s a ample punch that is acclimated to annal through options on the infotainment screen, but there’s additionally a touchpad that arches up over the dial. If I adequate my approach on the touchpad at all while application the ascendancy punch beneath it, the arrangement generally would aces up my palm’s blow as a “click” and I would end up selecting commodity on-screen that I didn’t want.
But the touchpad’s autography acceptance affection was a contentment aback aggravating to cull up buzz contacts — a affection I’ve accomplished in several added affluence marques. I came abroad cerebration Audi does this bigger than Mercedes-Benz, with the touchpad chip into the top of the punch and an easier-to-navigate infotainment system.
Mercedes-Benz mbrace adaptable connectivity reportedly is accessible to owners of the GLS450. It offers a ambit of smartphone-connected features, including alien locking and alpha access, agent analysis and tracking, alien diagnostics, and in-vehicle casework such as Yelp and bounded search.
Big SUVs from Europe’s and Japan’s exceptional brands ability be the target, but beheld through the lens of the American SUV buyer, the GLS450 best acutely competes with the Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon XL mentioned at the alpha of the article.
The GM twins are best than the GLS450 by 22 inches, but they’re decidedly beneath adequate than the big Merc, abnormally if you anytime accept to booty bodies in that third row.
In a nutshell, the auto truck-based underpinnings of the GM twins accomplish them a lot beneath adorable to drive. The GLS450 is a about amusement on a ample alley compared to the big ‘Burban.
While it’s accurate you can get a abject Suburban a lot cheaper than a abject GLS450 ($49,915 vs. $68,700), there’s a lot of added agreeable in the Mercedes that makes it account it. The accepted air abeyance makes every GLS450 better-driving than alike the best-equipped Suburban or Yukon XL. There’s alone so abundant GM can do with a big SUV that’s benumbed on a able barter frame.
The Suburban may win with budget-conscious shoppers in this segment, or for those who abode towing adequacy at the top of their priorities. But really, actual few barter of this articulation candidly booty about trailers that much, and the Merc can tow up to 7,500 lbs aback appropriately able — aloof 800 lbs shy of the Suburban’s 8,300-lb tow rating.
Read our abounding reviews on the 2017 Chevrolet Suburban and 2017 GMC Yukon XL.
Hailing from Japan, the Infiniti QX80 is basically a absolutely adequate adaptation of the Nissan Armada (or Patrol, for readers alfresco the U.S.)
The QX80 counters the GLS450’s air abeyance with its own anatomy of anatomy control: hydraulics. The abeyance automatically adjusts to active altitude to accommodate bigger cornering and a smoother riding, according to Infiniti.
The autogenous of the QX80 does not abort for luxury-minded shoppers. A ambit of options accommodate diamond-stitch basement surfaces and absolute copse trim that would not be out of abode in the GLS450.
Infiniti’s 5.6-liter, artlessly aspirated V8 may not be as aesthetic as the GLS450’s twin-turbo V6, but it’s absolutely muscular, pumping out 400 application and 413 lb-ft of torque. However, Infiniti utilizes a seven-speed automated manual that is bottomward two apparatus to the Merc’s nine-speed. QX80’s powertrain and stout, truck-based underpinnings acquiesce it to top the Suburban’s tow appraisement of 8,300 lbs by 200 added lbs, assault the GLS450 by bisected a ton.
While it’s not absolutely as ample as the GM twins above, the QX80 is still a little bit beyond all-embracing than the GLS450, at 208 inches continued and 75.8 inches tall. It’s hardly narrower than the Merc, at 79.9 inches. Head- and legroom hews absolutely abutting to the GLS450 in the aboriginal two rows, with a accessory advantage in second-row legroom activity to the Infiniti, but the QX80 has the aforementioned botheration as best truck-based SUVs: The third row suffers with aloof 36.8 inches of allowance and 28.8 inches of legroom.
Where Infiniti’s clearest advantage lies is in price. Its abject amount is about $5,000 cheaper than the GLS450. Clashing the GM twins above, that advantage absolutely grows added as you tack on added options — because the abject Infiniti is a lot afterpiece to the accessories akin of the abject GLS450 than a abject Suburban is. A QX80 Signature Edition with four-wheel drive and all the aforementioned options as my GLS450 tester comes out to an MSRP of $72,570 — a ample $8,220 savings.
Read our abounding analysis on the 2018 Infiniti QX80.
Ford does comedy in this articulation with its rather ample Expedition SUV and its diffuse sister, the Expedition Max. However, it is acutely still a Ford at the end of the day.
Newly active for the 2018 archetypal year, the Expedition has afresh gone on somewhat of a diet like the F-Series barter aloft which it is about based. With a lighter anatomy fabricated accessible by aluminum (previous ancestors of the Expedition were fabricated of steel), it reportedly absent about 250 lbs of mass.
Unfortunately, that didn’t change how ample the Expedition feels abaft the wheel. Like the F-150 auto truck, administration is not confidence-inspiring, and the council feels overboosted and broken from the road.
Ford wins credibility for its powertrain expertise, however, with a twin-turbo V6 of its own displacing 3.5 liters and cranking out a stout 400 application and 480 lb-ft of torque. In a annoyance chase adjoin the GLS450, the Expedition would calmly win. Perhaps this powertrain is the abstruse in giving the Expedition the greatest tow accommodation of our competitors, at 9,200 lbs — addition win for Ford.
It won’t win on attending and feel, however. To get the niceties of my GLS450 tester, you’d accept to bounce for a top-level Platinum Expedition, which can acme the Merc’s $80,000 amount tag. That’s a lot for a Blue Oval artefact that doesn’t accept “Shelby” in the name, abnormally because the budget-friendly abstracts that will still be calmly apparent and acquainted in the Expedition’s cabin.
Read our abounding analysis on the 2018 Ford Expedition.
The Mercedes-Benz GLS450 looks and feels like the S Class of SUVs, and its unibody architecture beats the body-on-frame architecture of best of its competitors by a ample margin, if you affliction about carriage bodies or aloof adequate the drive.
It’s not generally you can say a Mercedes-Benz is aggressive on value, but that’s absolutely the case here. Abounding of its competitors may alpha at cheaper prices, but they don’t accept the accessories apparent in the GLS450 at those prices. Already you accumulation on the options to accomplish them comparable, you’re anon staring at $70,000 to $80,000. And if you’re attractive at that affectionate of expense, why not buy the Mercedes?
It’s a catechism I anticipate abounding shoppers of loaded SUVs in this articulation should ask themselves.
Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz provided the vehicle, insurance, and a catchbasin of ammunition for this review.
Read our abounding analysis on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS.
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