Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Review
In terms of the name, the Mercedes-Benz GLS has only been around for one generation - but the reality is that the model lineage stretches back a little longer than that. Arguably it is the largest vehicle in Mercedes-Benz’s product line-up if you aren’t too finicky about the comparisons with their large sedans, as the GLS represents the longest possible SUV which is arguably the largest possible volume in a car.
The model itself hails back to 2006, when it was first launched as the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class as the first full-size seven-seater SUV from the German brand. It was an important product for Mercedes-Benz as it was necessary not only to compete with their rivals in Europe (around the time, Audi had just launched their Q7), but also to take the fight to the United States where there were already established products like the Range Rover and the eponymous Cadillac Escalade.
One generation later and we have the model that you see here today, which made its global debut at the end of 2019 and was officially put to market in 2020. In Malaysia, we got this model at the tail end of 2020, which is remarkable when you consider the economic and logistical conditions of the time as we were in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the very beginning, the Mercedes-Benz GLS has been offered here in a singular variant, and that has continued on until today.
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is a relatively niche product, and in fact it combines the Mercedes-Benz approach to SUV products with their now-phased-out R-Class that once represented a more passenger-car approach to people moving. It’s important to remember that if you wanted a pure people mover, there is the V-Class MPV which boasts impeccable occupancy with features and functionality designed to make life comfortable in that specific context. For those who want something a little more flexible in use case and with a little more resilience if heading off the beaten path, then the Mercedes-Benz GLS is better.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Specifications
As you would expect with the Mercedes-Benz GLS being available in Malaysia with only one variant, there is only one powertrain on offer. Unsurprisingly however it is one of their more potent options in the form of a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine with a mild-hybrid 48-volt infrastructure. In this particular state of tune it makes 367 PS and 500 Nm of torque, with an additional 22 PS and 250 Nm in brief bursts thanks to the EQ Boost functionality.
Power is split across four wheels through a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed conventional automatic transmission and the Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. As is the case with many engines that are laid out in a longitudinal fashion, this means that the system is predominantly rear-biased until it detects slip at the front, at which point it will shuffle power towards the front wheels. The overall system works relatively seamlessly and is capable of delivering traction in adverse situations.
It’s also interesting to note that a variant of this particular powertrain is the same kind as the ones found in the AMG 53 variants of Mercedes-Benz models, although in this case it just presents a large, high output powertrain for the GLS-Class and there are AMG 63 variants of the GLS in other markets, though demand here has not quite been high enough to offer it.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Exterior
There’s definitely a strong impression when you first see the Mercedes-Benz GLS, as all SUVs from the German brand have been particularly large except for their GLA-Class compact crossover. The GLS manages to maintain SUV proportions to a heavy extent, although the length makes it seem almost wagon-esque; this is necessary in order to provide actual usable legroom for the third row.
At each corner sits 22-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, and as you would imagine this particular model variant wears various AMG-styled exterior elements for a sportier look. It does not, however, come with a black-out package for the chrome elements which leaves you with a few bright accents on the exterior that lends itself well to the overall look and positioning of the car.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Interior
On the inside, the Mercedes-Benz GLS is stuck in perhaps a bit of a middle ground. The infotainment and instrument cluster follows the layout of the MBUX-equipped models, although the rest of the car seems to be a little bit last-generation in terms of the shape and positioning of vents, the overall flow of the dashboard and centre console, and other elements. It’s peculiar as this car was launched in 2020, which means that the A-Class should have influenced its design - but this doesn’t quite seem to be the case. Regardless of whether it keeps up with Mercedes-Benz’s most current styling, it does still manage to present a sense of luxury and refinement with brown and grey tones.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Safety Features
There isn’t much information on exactly what Mercedes-Benz provides with the GLS, although that also comes down to the fact that most European manufacturers tend to group their technologies under an umbrella name. Here this happens to be the Driving Assistant package which supposedly includes items like autonomous emergency braking and the like - as should be the case for a luxury car today when it is offered on even entry level products.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Strengths and Weaknesses
It’s fairly obvious what kind of strengths the Mercedes-Benz GLS has, and more importantly whether you’re the kind of person who wants to buy it. You only need to satisfy three questions to figure out if you’re in the right target market: do you need to carry up to seven passengers, do you need the ride height and ground clearance and ruggedness of an SUV, and do you need it to be a luxury car? There are a number of other options in the class but how the GLS stands out is in the particular approach Mercedes-Benz takes with their onboard functions and features as well as the overall styling that will continue to look in fashion for years to come. The weaknesses however are that the interior doesn’t quite live up to the absolute bombshell that is the A-Class with its ultra-modern design and layout, but as a vehicle that may have owners driven around in rather than driving, this really isn’t the biggest dealbreaker.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Price
The price is definitely an aspect of the Mercedes-Benz GLS that can be tough to swallow. In the sole GLS 450 4MATIC AMG Line variant, taking ownership will set you back a hefty RM 899,888.00, which is inclusive of a four year unlimited mileage warranty and the current sales tax exemptions. This may be a hefty sum, but it really isn’t all too different from what its rivals are demanding, and you also benefit from a very extensive and experienced dealer network across the country.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Features
In terms of features, you’ve got the MBUX, or Mercedes-Benz User Experience sitting front and centre which consists of its dual 12.3-inch display setup. Control of this system is intuitive and gives users good visibility and accuracy when navigating through the menus, as well as a great degree of customisation when it comes to the actual info displayed. On top of this there’s also wireless charging, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as two 11.6-inch screens mounted on the back of the front seats for the rear passengers. Burmester surround sound is provided as standard, and the rearmost passengers also get two wireless headsets for true immersion.
Mercedes-Benz GLS 2021-2022 Fuel Consumption
The manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figure for the Mercedes-Benz GLS class in this 450 powertrain variant is a hefty 11.1 kilometres per litre, which is really no surprised considering it’s a combination of a fairly large engine, forced induction through turbocharging, and a kerb weight that’s north of two tonnes in tandem with incredible air resistance. It’s also important to note that this figure relies on conservative driving to achieve it, and you are more likely to consume significantly more fuel if stuck in traffic or accelerating aggressively.
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- Body Type: SUV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 2999 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 7
- Price: RM 899,888
User Review of Mercedes-Benz GLS