2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV

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2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Review: Gentle Giant

Ever wanted all the style and luxury of an S-Class sedan but also the practicality of something like a Toyota RAV4? Well then, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Glass might be just what you're looking for - assuming you can look past that daunting price tag. This large luxury SUV is impressive to look upon, and it backs its good looks up with a capable turbocharged six-cylinder engine with mild-hybrid assistance. The setup delivers 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. The V8-powered GLS was discontinued in late 2021, but the automaker has said that it will make a comeback later in 2022. This may help Mercedes compete with the sportier BMW X7 and Audi Q7. But even in base guise, the GLS-Class is hard to beat in terms of luxury and refinement, but as things stand now, is it really the best luxury SUV out there?

Read in this review:

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 GLS-Class SUV?

For 2022, the GLS-Class receives no new standard features over the 2021 updates. However, it is available with the sportier AMG Line appearance package, which includes the option of the Night Package. The latter replaces the standard exterior accents with gloss black and equips black-accented 21-inch wheels. New color options include Cirrus Silver for the exterior and Espresso Brown/Black for the interior.

Pros and Cons

  • Capable turbo inline-six engine
  • Attractive, modern styling
  • Ultra luxurious and spacious interior
  • Loads of standard tech
  • Comparatively large trunk
  • It's expensive
  • The GLS 580 isn't available yet
  • Subpar fuel economy

Best Deals on GLS-Class SUV

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
GLS 450 4MATIC
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$77,850
GLS 580 4MATIC
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$102,250

GLS-Class Large SUV Exterior

The Mercedes GLS is the largest SUV in the automaker's range, so it naturally makes quite the impression. It has arguably more eye-catching styling than its sedan counterpart, with a very attractive twin-blade grille dominating the front fascia. This is framed by multi-beam LED headlights and LED daytime running lights. The rear gets LED taillights, too, which are joined by a thin strip of chrome. The rear fascia is somewhat bland, but there is a chrome lower bumper plate and dual chrome-accented exhaust outlets. As standard, the wheel arches house 20-inch alloys, but 21-, 22-, and even 23-inch variants are available. If you want your GLS to stand out even more, the AMG Line Package equips it with 21-inch AMG twin five-spoke wheels and AMG body styling. Blacked out accents can be added by way of the AMG Line with Night Package. Another option is an expansive panorama roof, although a power tilt/sliding sunroof is standard.

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Front View Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Rear View Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Front Angle View Mercedes-Benz
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Dimensions

Standing 205 inches long and 71.8 inches tall, the GLS-Class SUV is certainly not small and will dwarf a midsize crossover when parked alongside one. A total width of 79.9 inches, even with the mirrors folded, makes it tricky to park, but the 123.4-inch wheelbase creates a spacious cabin for passengers and cargo. Despite its imposing dimensions, the GLS is not really made for off-roading, as evidenced by its 7.9-inch ground clearance. This can be raised to 8.5 inches with the suspension set to maximum height, but even then only slightly rough terrain can be conquered.

The currently available GLS 450 weighs in at 5,467 pounds.

  • Length 205.0 in
  • Wheelbase 123.4 in
  • Height 71.8 in
  • Max Width 77.0 in
  • Front Width 65.7 in
  • Rear Width 66.6 in
  • Curb Weight 5,412.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

Mercedes doesn't skimp when it comes to giving you choices for customizing your new car. The GLS SUV has access to a palette of ten paints, starting with Black and Polar White as no-cost options. For $750, you can upgrade to one of the metallic paints, which comprise Obsidian Black, Mojave Silver, Lunar Blue, Cirrus Silver, Emerald Green, and Selenite Grey. There are only two premium Manufaktur options: Cardinal Red and Diamond White. Both come at a price of $1,750. The optional AMG Line with the Night Package lends the GLS a more sinister appearance with numerous Gloss Black exterior accents.

  • Obsidian Black Metallic
  • Lunar Blue Metallic
  • Cirrus Silver Metallic
  • Emerald Green Metallic
  • Mojave Silver Metallic
  • Selenite Grey Metallic
  • Brilliant Blue Metallic, Build Out:02/17/22
  • MANUFAKTUR Diamond White Metallic
  • MANUFAKTUR Cardinal Red Metallic
  • MANUFAKTUR Diamond White Bright
  • Black
  • Polar White

Mercedes GLS-Class SUV Performance

Though it may be electronically limited to a top speed of just 130 mph, the Mercedes GLS is capable of going faster. The turbocharged inline-6 under the hood is paired with an EQ boost mild-hybrid system to develop 362 hp and 369 lb-ft. This empowers the hefty vehicle with a 0-60 mph sprint time of just 5.9 seconds. If the GLS 580 returns unchanged later this year, it will have the same 483 hp and 516 lb-ft as before, shaving 0.7 seconds off of the GLS 450's sprint time. The current generation BMX X7 and Audi Q7 are both marginally quicker than the Mercedes.

Properly equipped, the GLS 450 is an excellent SUV for towing, with a maximum capacity of 7,700 lbs. That's on par with the Audi, and slightly more than the BMW can manage.

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Front View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Rear View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Engine Bay Mercedes-Benz

Engine and Transmission

Until the GLS 580 returns later this year, the GLS 450 is the only model on the market. This means buyers are restricted to the less powerful 3.0L turbocharged inline-six engine. Don't get us wrong, though, it's a capable power plant. Paired with an EQ Boost mild-hybrid system, it puts out 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. This is directed to Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Despite the size of the GLS, it never feels sluggish with this engine. A lot of the torque is easily accessible at lower rpm, so getting around town is a breeze, and once it gets going on the highway, overtaking requires little planning. The integrated starter generator also helps with its contribution of 21 hp and up to 184 lb-ft.

The GLS 580 will get the same twin-turbo V8 it's always enjoyed, developing a more impressive 483 hp and 516 lb-ft. It's the way to go if you want to leave most other cars eating your dust at the traffic lights or effortlessly overtake many of the sports cars you'll see on the highway. If you desire that kind of power, you'll have to wait until the second half of 2022.

  • Engines
    3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Mercedes-Benz vehicles are definitely biased towards comfort, but that doesn't mean they don't know how to have a little fun. That said, the GLS SUV is an enormous car and a hefty one at that. Don't expect it to be able to handle corners with a great deal of dexterity. Still, it can be engaging, especially with the V8 engine, if the 2021 GLS 580 is anything to go by. However, the BMW X7 is sportier, insofar as a vehicle this size can be. But, when it comes to leveling out the road and delivering a silky-smooth ride, the Mercedes is hard to beat. The adaptive suspension eats up bumps so well that passengers will never even know they were there. The standard AWD system ensures optimal traction, no matter the weather or condition of the road, so the driver will never want for confidence. If you do want to go off-roading, the suspension can be raised to a decent 8.5 inches. This won't let you go as far as a Land Rover might, but it should be enough for some light adventuring.

GLS-Class SUV Gas Mileage

If you expect a mammoth SUV to be light on fuel, you're in for a rude awakening. The GLS is a thirsty beast, even with mild-hybrid assistance. To be fair, though, the EQ Boost is mostly for increasing performance. So far, the GLS 450 is the only model with EPA-rated fuel economy figures. It manages a respectable 18/24/20 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. By comparison, the quicker BMW X7 xDrive40i - also with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder power plant - returns a slightly more efficient 19/24/21 mpg. While we have no figures for the GLS 580 just yet, we expect it to be marginally more fuel-hungry; last year's model was capable of 16/21/18 mpg.

Equipped with a 23.8-gallon fuel tank, the GLS 450 can travel for up to 476 miles with mixed driving.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    23.8 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 18/24 mpg
* 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 450 4MATIC SUV

GLS-Class SUV Interior

There are few places as comfortable as the interior of a Mercedes-Benz, and the GLS has one of the cushiest interiors ever designed by the automaker. Only the finest materials are used in its construction, including genuine leather and wood. However, it's the generous consignment of tech that really impresses. Power-adjustable, heated, and ventilated front seats are just the beginning, while a large touchscreen grants access to a wide variety of infotainment and safety features. A high-tech head-up display is an option if you don't want to take your eyes off the road while checking system vitals, and there is wiring in place in case you want to install a third-party rear-seat entertainment system. However, while the GLS ostensibly supplies room and seating for up to seven occupants, there may not be enough room in the rearmost row for adults. A factory-installed sunroof does make it feel nice and airy in the cabin, though.

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Dashboard Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Dashboard 1 Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Front Seats Mercedes-Benz
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Seating and Interior Space

Considering its size, it should come as no surprise that the GLS is a seven-seater. Each row is gorgeously appointed, and there is more overall interior space than you will find in most other high-end SUVs. That being said, the third row isn't very accommodating, supplying 34.6 inches of legroom. It feels a little claustrophobic, and getting back there can be a challenge. Opting for the six-seater configuration helps to alleviate this somewhat. The second row is far more suitable for adults, offering 41.9 inches of legroom, which is more than the 40.3 inches front-row occupants get. The second row gets the most headroom at 40.2 inches, while the sunroof in the front leaves 39.4 inches. Mercedes doesn't supply a figure for the third row, but the vehicle's blocky design frees up enough headroom for six-foot adults. As standard, the front-row seats are power-adjustable with memory settings, and they also receive heating and ventilation. The second-row outboard seats can be upgraded with heating.

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.3 in
  • Front Head Room 39.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 41.9 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.2 in

Interior Colors and Materials

You'd be hard-pressed to find low-quality materials anywhere inside a Mercedes GLS, assuming it's possible at all. MB-Tex synthetic leather is the standard upholstery, but upgrading to genuine leather will only cost you $1,620. Both options give you the choice of three color themes: Black, Espresso Brown/Black, and Macchiato Beige/Black. Exclusive Nappa leather is available, too, but only in pure Black and at a cost of $2,990.

As for the interior accents, you get a wide selection and none of that faux wood nonsense. No-cost options include Grey Linden wood and Aluminum with Longitudinal Grain. An extra $160 will get you access to Natural Grain Grey Oak or Brown Walnut wood, while $600 is what you need to pay if you want Metal Weave. The Manufaktur options are the most expensive at $850 and comprise Natural Grain Black Flamed Ash or Brown Linden "Flowing

Topstitched MB-Tex lower dash and upper door trim goes for $350, and a wood/leather steering wheel adds another $600. However, the latter upgrade requires at least another $160 for one of the optional wood inlays.

GLS-Class SUV Trunk and Cargo Space

The GLS SUV may be enormous, but fitting in three rows of seats always comes at a cost. It leaves only a small amount of space behind the rear-most bench. However, the 17.4 cubic feet supplied by the Mercedes is still a lot more than you'll find in the BMW X7, and even the Audi Q7 falls short. If you treat it like a regular five-seater by folding the third row in a 50/50 split, you can enjoy between 42.7 and 48.7 cubic feet depending on the position of the second-row seats. For added convenience, the 50/50 third row is folds automatically. If it's just you and your partner, you can fold down all the seats and pack for an extended vacation with the 84.7 cubic feet available.

Around the cabin, you get all the expected nooks and crannies to store your loose items. The center armrest cubby can handle larger items, while the various bins around the console will accommodate smartphones, keys, or change. The glove compartment is another option for larger items, and every row of seats gets a set of cupholders. Each door also comes outfitted with a capacious door pocket and the front seats have seatback pockets.

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Maximum Cargo Space Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Trunk Space Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Seat Folded Mercedes-Benz

GLS-Class SUV Infotainment and Features

Features

Mercs have always had the best when it comes to comfort and convenience features, but the amount of tech you'll find in a modern Mercedes is almost ridiculous. Apart from standard MB-Tex upholstery, it's easy to find a good seating position with power-adjustability for the front seats (including four-way power lumbar support), while heating and ventilation are standard, along with massage functions. The second-row seats can be upgraded with heating and ventilation optionally. Other standard features include keyless entry and ignition, quad-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt/telescopic steering column, and remote start. The liftgate offers hands-free operation and a power tilt/slide sunroof is factory-installed.

The safety suite is extensive, comprising forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, attention assist, active brake assist, and active parking assist for both front and rear. These can be further bolstered with optional extras such as active steering assist, Pre-Safe Plus, active lane-keep assist, and active brake assist with a cross-traffic function. Should your car experience a collision while parked, the parking-damage detector will register and the Mercedes Me Connect app will notify you on your smartphone.

Infotainment

Beside the 12.3-inch driver-information display is another equally large touchscreen devoted to operating pretty much all the onboard tech. In terms of infotainment, this includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, navigation, SiriusXM with a six-month Platinum Plan trial, and HD Radio. Interacting with these features is made easy by the state-of-the-art MBUX operating system. The display is crystal clear, and while the menus seem complicated at first, it is simply because there are so many features to go through. Once you get used to it, they become a breeze to navigate. The standard sound system is an already impressive 13-speaker setup from Burmester. The GLS 580 will likely return with the optional 26-speaker Burmester 3D surround sound system. To keep everyone connected, nine USB-C ports are spread throughout the cabin, and there is a wireless charger in the front for the driver their lucky co-pilot.

Mercedes follows BMW's lead by availing the MBUX Interior Assistant. An option, this feature allows either the driver or front passenger to adjust key features using hand gestures.

GLS-Class SUV Problems and Reliability

The 2021 GLS-Class was recalled a total of four times, which doesn't bode well. Reasons included the possible detachment of the rear window glass, a rearview camera image not displaying, inaccurate vehicle location for emergency services, and lack of illumination of the interior switches. With this in mind, J.D. Power's consumer rating of just 75 out of 100 makes sense, with the specific quality and reliability rating being a disappointing 71. There are no recalls for the 2022 model at the time of writing, however.

Luckily, Mercedes does a good job of covering its vehicles with an all-inclusive warranty, which is valid for four years/50,000 miles. You also get 24-hour roadside assistance for the same time period with unlimited mileage.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

GLS-Class SUV Safety

You won't find any official safety ratings for the Mercedes GLS-Class from either of the authorities in the USA. However, there is no need to worry, since every Mercedes comes with an extensive list of active and passive safety features.

Key Safety Features

Rolling off the factory floor, every GLS-Class SUV comes outfitted with oodles of high-tech safety gizmos. You get the standard assortment of features such as ABS, traction and stability control, and seven airbags covering the front, front side, driver's knee, and side curtains. Second-row side-impact airbags can be added optionally for $700.

The more advanced systems include a surround-view camera, Pre-Safe accident preparation, forward-collision avoidance with emergency braking, active brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, attention assist, exit warning, and front and rear parking assist. There is still room for improvement, which takes the form of the 13-feature Driver Assistance Package Plus, comprising active distance assist, active and evasive steering assist, brake assist with cross-traffic alert, emergency stop assist, radar-based adaptive cruise control, active blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keep and lane change assist.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class a good SUV?

Large, spacious, and practical SUVs are all the rage, so their luxury counterparts should be, too, right? Well, that would be true if they weren't so exorbitantly expensive. But if you have the money for it, there are few better ways to spend it than on a Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV. It's a powerful vehicle, especially in GLS 580 guise, but this model will only be available later in the year. So, does the GLS 450 have what it takes to carry the weight of the brand on its shoulders?

Looking at the list of features that come standard, it just might. MB-Tex leatherette may not be genuine leather, but it's still high quality, and the upgrade to the real deal is not very expensive. The safety suite is extensive, though at this price, the options could've been included. And the infotainment is more than adequate enough to keep everyone in the cabin happy. The GLS is also big enough to house seven, which is a boon in luxury vehicles. The standard cargo space is not all that great, but it's better than either of the Merc's direct competitors, the BMW X7 and Audi Q7.

In terms of ride comfort, the Mercedes GLS is hard to beat, and it can even go mildly off-road when the need arises, though it isn't nearly as capable as the likes of Land Rover Range Rover. It's not the most exciting driver but it still knows how to have fun. That's not where its strengths lie. It's a top-notch luxury people hauler that is well worth the money. Both the driver and their passengers will be hard-pressed to find anything to complain about.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV?

Currently, there is only one model in the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV range. The GLS 450 has a starting price of $77,850, which is still quite a bit less than an S-Class sedan. By comparison, the base-level BMW X7 is slightly cheaper at $74,900. If you want a fully loaded GLS, expect to pay somewhere in the area of $100k, although the price of the GLS 580, when it's released later this year, is expected to be $101,250. These are MSRP figures and do not include miscellaneous fees or the $1,050 destination charge.

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Models

Mercedes-Benz had promised to reintroduce the V8-powered GLS 580 later in 2022, but for the time being, the GLS 450 is the only model in the range. This SUV may be the less sporting of the two, but the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six is still highly capable. It comes mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that directs outputs to the 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrain.

The GLS 450 rides on 20-inch alloy wheels and boasts a full array of exterior LED lighting, including headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights. A power liftgate and sunroof are installed as standard. Convenience features include keyless entry, push-button start, and remote start. Meanwhile, quad-zone climate control, power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel ensure comfort. The 12.3-inch touchscreen grants access to an array of infotainment and safety features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, SiriusXM, blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, attention assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision avoidance, and exit warning assist. You also get front and rear parking assistance and a parking-damage detection feature linked to the Mercedes Me Connect app. Thirteen speakers, including two subwoofers from Burmester, come standard.

See All 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There are a few ways to customize your GLS, both in terms of appearance and functionality. The AMG Line Package equips the SUV with 21-inch AMG wheels, AMG body styling and floor mats, a sport steering wheel, and brushed stainless steel pedals for $4,350. For an additional $400, the Night Package can be conjoined with the AMG Line to give the GLS gloss black exterior accents.

The standard sunroof can be upgraded to a panorama roof for $1,000. Inside, the six-seat layout can be added free of charge, while the Acoustic Comfort Package will cost $1,100 to ensure a quieter cabin. The Warmth & Comfort Package ($1,900) installs rapid heated for the second-row seats, along with heated front and second-row armrests. The Driver Assistance Package Plus ($1,950) comprises all of the optional safety tech. This includes active steering assist and evasive steering, active brake assist with cross-traffic function, active blind-spot assist, active lane-keeping assist, adaptive radar-guided cruise control, and Pre-Safe Plus, among others.

Other noteworthy options include soft-close doors for $550, a head-up display for $1,100, heated second-row seats for $580, and a heated steering wheel for $250.

πŸš—What Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Model Should I Buy?

Since we only have one model to choose from currently, it comes down to how you want to spec your GLS 450. The AMG Line is something you can overlook since the GLS is already quite an attractive car, and the larger 21-inch alloy wheels only hurt the ride quality. Inside, we do think the genuine leather upholstery is worth the minor increase in price and the six-seater layout is far more comfortable if you don't really need space for seven. In terms of packages, the Warmth & Comfort Package is definitely alluring, while the Driver Assistance Package Plus is a must. In this configuration, the GLS 450 will cost you $84,370 with the destination charge included. However, with its more potent twin-turbo V8 and access to more advanced features, the GLS 580 might be worth the wait until the second half of 2022.

Check out other Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Styles

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Comparisons

BMW X7 BMW
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Mercedes-Benz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV362 hp18/24 mpg$77,850
BMW X7 335 hp19/24 mpg$74,900
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV 255 hp19/27 mpg$56,150

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV vs BMW X7

Regardless of configuration, the BMW X7 is always the quicker of the two SUVs. This is despite the fact that the inline-six under the X7's hood isn't quite as strong - developing 335 hp and 331 lb-ft. But speed isn't all it has on the GLS as it's also far more engaging to drive. However, the Mercedes is better-behaved on the road, smoothing over bumps more easily with its adaptive suspension. Comfort is also exemplified inside the cabin, with premium materials covering every surface and only the best tech installed as standard. While it won't matter to buyers in this segment, the X7 is slightly more frugal in terms of fuel economy, and it is marginally cheaper, too. Which of the two premium SUVs is better, though, is a more difficult question. If speed and driving engagement are more important to you, the X7 comes out on top, while the GLS wins out if you value comfort and sheer luxury more.

See BMW X7 Review

2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV vs Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV

The smaller sibling of the GLS-Class, the GLE accommodates only five passengers in any real level of comfort, since the optional third-row seating package offers little in the way of passenger space. It's around $20k cheaper, so it wins if you want Mercedes luxury but can't afford the range-topper. Both SUVs also share the same turbocharged six-cylinder engine, so power is on par, although a lower-output 2.0-liter motor is the standard on the GLE. Since you're paying more, it should come as no surprise that the GLS gets a lot more standard features than the GLE. Lastly, the GLS is technically available with a stronger twin-turbocharged V8 engine, though that will only be coming later in 2022. If you only need seating for five, the GLE is a good compromise, but there is no denying that the GLS is simply more opulent and powerful.

See Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class SUV Review

Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Popular Comparisons

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