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Thursday, December 24, 2020

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450: The Luxury Brand's Second-Generation Flagship Crossover


Highlight: An ultra-luxury Maybach version of the GLS is available.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $90,655 (Base MSRP: $76,945)

Seating Capacity: 6 or 7-passenger 

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; all-wheel drive; a trailer assist sway system; a crosswind assist system; blind spot assist with exit warning assist system;  a tire pressure monitoring system; and an active park assist system

Standard Equipment: 20-inch wheels; a 9-speed automatic transmission; a fuel saving start and stop system; an Airmatic air suspension; a 12-inch infotainment screen; a 12-inch widescreen digital instrument cluster; a navigation system with a touchpad; power folding side mirrors; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; ambient lighting; leather like seats; heated front seats; power front seats with lumbar support and memory; a bench second row seat; two third row seats; separate charging ports for third row seats; a 3-zone automatic climate control system; power fold down second and third row seats; carpet trimmed back seats keeps from ruining the interior when items are stored on top of them; heated third row seats; and a new car automatic car wash prep system

Options: 21-inch spoke wheels; metallic paint; Macchiato leather; walnut GLS easier for automatic system; side mirror logo projections; trim; wood leather steering wheel; augmented video for navigation; captain chairs; heated and cooled front cupholders; multi-contour front seats with massage; panorama sunroof; a heated steering wheel; a porcelain headliner; an interior assistant with gesture controls; heated rear seats; rapid heating systems; a 4-zone automatic climate control system; heated and ventilated front seats; power rear side window sunshade; a co-pilot assist system; a radar activated cruise control system; a lane change keep assist system; an active emergency stop assistance system; an active brake assist system; an electronic blind spot system; a route based speed adaptation system; an active stop and go assist system; a traffic sign assist system; increased cabin insulation; a windshield with Infrared-reflecting film side windows with acoustic and infrared absorbing film

Other Trim Levels:

GLS 580

AMG GLS 63

Maybach 600

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/SiriusXM  

Android/Apple CarPlay: Available

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder /362-hp

Towing Capacity: 7,700 lbs

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 19-city/23-hwy


What’s New: The second-generation GLS is all-new for the 2020 model year. The brand’s luxury flagship SUV-type crossover is longer and provides a number of technological enhancements that eluded the previous generation.

The three-row all-wheel drive vehicle offers a a fresh and more contemporary design theme for the 2020 model year, literally smoothing off the rough edges from the previous more edgy styling cues.

The GLS is also available with a variety of powertrains: a 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder hybrid-like turbo or an all-new hybrid-like V8 engine. There are also a few other V8 engine choices, which we’ll highlight and acknowledge in this write-up.

The 3.0-liter engine is a carryover that produces a healthy 362-horsepower. We found that engine on our test vehicle to be more than adequate, as we glided in the luxury vehicle and soaked up Atlanta’s roads.

However, for those seeking a little more punch from underneath the hood, the GLS adds an all-new 8-cylinder, which spews out 483-horsepower. The hybrid engine produces a combination of 21 horsepower, which is available from a EQ Boost, and this adds to the standard 483-horsepower. We must note a V8, 603-horsepower engine is available in the more performance-oriented AMG GLS 63, which offers more flair to the vehicle.  And a 550-horsepower engine is available in the ultra luxury Maybach.


Also the engineering team has infused the perfect suspension system that balances the ride comfort and the agility. In fact, Mercedes-Benz has the only system on the market that can easily control damping forces at each wheel. For the occupants, this aids in eliminating body rolls and adjusts to a variety of road surfaces.

Added to that, while the vehicle is slightly longer than the outgoing model, inside the vehicle is wear will notice the benefits of the additional growth. Many of the brand’s vehicles have incorporated the iPad like continuous screens that merges the traditional electronic gauges with the infotainment system. This also includes a color graphic HUD (heads up display system). The oversized, data packed screen just goes on forever. A number of the features in the vehicle can be controlled through gestures by a camera that is located in the overhead console.

As far as the seating, Mercedes-Benz has made a number of adjustments in this generation’s vehicle. The vehicle can be easily transitioned from a six occupant to a seven occupant vehicle within a matter of flipping a switch. The vehicle is also easy to enter and exit too, as it relates to access to the third-row.

The second-row seating provides a variety of configuration, depending upon the option trim selected. For instance, the second-row seats are available with a massaging function and climate control. This is a part of the Executive Rear Seat Package plus feature. Also the second-row seats can be outfitted with Captain’s Chairs this year.

Moreover, the power operated third seats can be folded flat into the floor, increasing the cargo capacity. When the third-row seats are in use, the engineering team has made sure that they heat and that individual USB charging ports are available for the rear occupants.

Furthermore, this smoothing riding flagship vehicle, is available with a standard carwash feature. For those who prefer to use automatic commercial carwsh facilities, with a touch of button on can make sure the vehicle is carwash ready. Everything from the exterior mirrors fold to a/c goes into recirculation mode to suppressing the rain sensor info, which deactivates the windshield wiper.

Lastly, one can expect the daddy of Mercedes-Benz’s SUV-like crossover to be outfitted with the latest semi auto driving technological aids too. These features can range from an all-new active stop-and-go traffic system, which helps keep the vehicle in the lane, while maintaining a safe distance from the car ahead.

But: We did find the infotainment screen to be quite busy. Also some of the controls such as the power sunroof button switch seems to be of a lower quality standard than what we expect in this German-engineered sedan.

Also there is so much technology in this vehicle, it takes a moment to master the vehicle. One will definitely encounter a long learning curve.


Verdict: With a host of fresh entries in this segment, Mercedes-Benz has reworked its flagship vehicle, which has taken the place of the S-class series of cars, as a result of consumers thirst toward crossovers and SUVS, to make sure its competitive in the segment. The GLS, which offers a new design, advanced technology and loads of space for both occupants and utility purposes, has been reimagined to appeal to a variety of luxury buyers, depending on one’s budget. Despite many of the competitors offering premium versions of their three row vehicles, Mercedes-Benz has upped the ante with offering a 6-cylinder and a variety of supercharged 8-cylinders too.

Competition: 2020 BMW X7; 2020 Cadillac Escalade; and 2020 Lincoln Navigator 

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