2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV

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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Review: Top Dog

by Deiondre van der Merwe

As Mercedes-Benz's largest and most luxurious SUV, the brand new GLS-Class has a lot to prove. It replaces an outgoing model that had a trunk full of awards and accolades, so it's safe to say that the pressure is on. The redesigned SUV is bigger and more modern than its predecessor, allowing for even more practicality and comfort than before. Shoppers have the choice between a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, both equipped with EQ Boost and delivering expert performance. Yes, this SUV is stacked to the rafters with luxury and comfort, but when you're up against the equally esteemed BMW X7, there isn't an obvious champion.

Read in this review:

9.0
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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 GLS-Class SUV?

The GLS-Class emerges in 2020 as a completely redesigned version of the SUV it once was. It has a completely new body as well as an updated face and rear end. The interior has also had a makeover, and the result is a beautifully modernized SUV. The new GLS-Class has the pretty intimidating task of being better than the outgoing model that was beloved by many. Larger dimensions and a longer wheelbase are among this year's changes, and the lineup gets two new electrically-assisted engines.

Pros and Cons

  • Stunning exterior styling
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Two powerful engines
  • Modern and plush interior
  • Class-leading interior space
  • Large trunk
  • Heavy price for the GLS 580
  • Heavy fuel consumption on the base model

Best Deals on 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV

2020 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
$75,950
GLS 580 4MATIC
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$98,800
See All 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Trims and Specs

2020 GLS-Class SUV Exterior

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Front View Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Rear View Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Front Angle View Mercedes-Benz
See All 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • 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

Exterior Colors

  • designo Cardinal Red Metallic +$360
  • Obsidian Black Metallic +$720
  • Lunar Blue Metallic +$720
  • Iridium Silver Metallic +$720
  • Emerald Green Metallic +$720
  • Brilliant Blue Metallic +$720
  • Mojave Silver Metallic +$720
  • Selenite Grey Metallic +$720
  • designo Diamond White Metallic +$795
  • Polar White
  • Black
  • Mojave Silver

2020 GLS-Class SUV Performance

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Front View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Rear View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Engine Bay Mercedes-Benz

Engine and Transmission

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

Handling and Driving Impressions

It comes as no surprise that regardless of which model you choose, a truly plush and compliant ride awaits you. This is mainly thanks to the air suspension with an adaptive damping system that comes standard on both GLS trims. Sensors and a whole bunch of complicated technology allow damping characteristics to change depending on the road conditions as you go along. Essentially, this keeps the car level and confident, regardless of the terrain. The result of the adjustable and intuitive suspension is a delightfully cushy ride, and the GLS SUV sails across undulations. Its occupants are none the wiser, and the driver doesn't have to sacrifice on handling dynamics for the sake of comfort. Driving the SUV is a far more engaging experience than one would expect, and this is especially true for the V8-equipped version. The burly Mercedes has a hidden superpower. Agility. Its curve mode setting mitigates body roll, and on the off chance that you venture off-road, the GLS won't disappoint there either. All-wheel-drive is standard on both models, and both engines are sprightly enough for lively city-driving. They're also great at overtaking slower cars and merging onto the highway at higher speeds thanks to ample power offered at the top end.

2020 GLS-Class SUV Interior

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Dashboard Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Dashboard 1 Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Front Seats Mercedes-Benz
See All 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • 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

2020 GLS-Class SUV Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Interior Overview Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Sunroof Mercedes-Benz
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Maximum Cargo Space Mercedes-Benz

2020 GLS-Class SUV Safety and Reliability

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

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV a good SUV?

The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV is an excellent offering in its segment and excels in all the areas that matter most for a strong victory against most rivals. For starters, both powertrains offer outstanding power figures, and though the base engine returns fuel economy figures that fall slightly behind its rival from BMW, the more powerful V8 found in the GLS 580 came back with impressive EPA estimates that are slightly better than the more powerful 4.4-liter V8 found in the top of the range X7 lineup. Power and frugality rarely come as a package deal when it comes to engines, but the GLS manages to blend the two. Aside from its performance and relatively light sipping, the inside of the SUV is a heavenly, plush masterpiece that's complemented perfectly by state of the art technology in the form of two large screens that combine the instrument cluster and infotainment in a surprisingly easy-to-use manner. The whole experience behind the wheel of any GLS is likely to put a smile on the faces of even those who are difficult to please.

Check out other Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Styles

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Comparisons

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Mercedes-Benz
BMW X7 BMW
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV362 hp18/24 mpg$77,850
Mercedes-Benz G-Class 416 hp17/19 mpg$139,900
BMW X7 375 hp21/25 mpg$77,850

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV vs Mercedes-Benz G-Class

The boxy G-Class adds tens of thousands of dollars onto the price of the GLS-Class SUV, and a whole lot of status points with it. Only the most elite can be seen trawling about in a six-figure lunch tin, so this is essentially the iPhone of bigger Mercs. The inside of the G550 is modern and also integrates two digital screens rather seamlessly. The main difference between the interiors is that the G-Class gives a considerably more off-road feel, and the inside of the GLS-Class is slightly more refined. Aside from appearances, the G-Class is home to a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that punches out 416 horsepower as standard, but the higher trim level of the GLS-Class has a more powerful 483 hp engine for a considerably more affordable price. It's likely that these two offerings from Mercedes-Benz will appeal to very different people, but all things considered, the GLS-Class SUV is the better buy.

See Mercedes-Benz G-Class Review

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV vs BMW X7

The GLS-Class manages less powerful outputs of 483 hp and 516 lb-ft in comparison to the xDrive M50i's 523 horses and 553 lb-ft. The former manages to deliver a better interior, though opinions on that will depend on personal preference. The GLS SUV has better road manners than its counterpart, and also offers more interior space and a much bigger trunk than the BMW. The Merc does fall behind in terms of fuel economy with base engines considered and the base model in the X7 lineup returns considerably more frugal EPA estimates. The X7 offers excellent power outputs without the sacrifice of fuel economy, but the Merc offers a better interior with much more space. The better SUV will ultimately depend on what you're hoping to get out of one.

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