Review

The Mercedes-Benz GLS550 Is The Three-Row SUV BMW Doesn't Have

But not for long.

It’s been on sale since 2006 and is currently in its second generation, which itself has already had a recent facelift. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS550 (formerly the GL-Class) is the big three-row SUV that BMW doesn’t have, at least not yet. Audi recognized the need for a three-row SUV/crossover years ago, hence the Q7. BMW, meanwhile, is still working on the X7, which is due to arrive in the near future. But we recently got to spend some time with the 2017 GLS550 and we fell hard for it the moment we saw its engine.

Under the hood lies a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 with 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Power goes to all four wheels through the 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive system and nine-speed automatic. Honestly, there’s very little the GLS550 can’t do – if you demand a luxury full-size SUV with some off-road capabilities (it’s still no G-Class, however).

It even has a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds and, for the record, two adults can fit in that third row for a limited period of time. Our tester, as can be expected, wasn’t cheap. The starting price alone is nearly $94,000, and we only opted for a few extras features, which brought the total to $97,715. Still not expensive (or powerful) enough? Hey, there’s always the $125,025 AMG GLS63 with 577 ponies. Special thanks to Mercedes-Benz of Sacramento for letting us film the car.

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