God of big things
Auto Today|August 2020
God of big things
We had driven the third-generation GLS in the hills around Salt Lake City in the US of A last year and looked forward to having it in India. The big brute of an SUV is finally here, albeit in different trims and engine configuration. We drive it in and around Noida to find out whether it matches up to our expectations from – the S-class of SUVs!
Yogendra Pratap

Mercedes Benz GLS 450 4MATIC

Engine 2999cc Inline 6 turbocharged with Integrated starter-generator

Power 367bhp@5,0006,100rpm

Max torque 500Nm@1,6004,5000rpm

EQ Boost 48V; 22bhp/250Nm

Gearbox 9-spd Gtronic auto permanent AWD

Wheelbase(mm) 3,137

LxWxH (mm) 5,207x1,956x1,823

Top Speed 246kmph

0-100kmph 6.2 seconds

Price: 99.9 lakh On sale Now

The GL as it was earlier known was a big brute with all the characteristics of a truck that they love so much in the New World. It was roomy and comfortable, with exceptional ride quality as it was suspended on twin axle air suspension. We drove one second generation GL all the way from Stuttgart in Germany to Pune in India and on the way had crossed some of the harshest terrain in the mountains of Kyrgystan as well as the highlands of Tibet and the mountains between Nepal and Tibet and were delighted not only by its all-round abilities as well as by the comfort it offered its occupants. However the GLS now has much more competition, both globally and in India as well and we were looking forward to driving the car in India.

Mercedes has had to up the game also to live up to the expectations that adding an S to the GL nomenclature has added. Calling it the S-class of SUVs puts pressure on the vehicle to deliver and meet the heightened expectations from it.

In terms of size it seems that all the vehicles in the world are getting bigger and bigger and it is no different with the Mercedes SUVs. The GLE is a bigger vehicle in this generation so much so that Mercedes is calling it a LWB vehicle, and the GLS is also bigger, albeit by 77mm, even though it does not seem so because of its more modern family design. Both the wheelbase (+60mm) and the length are longer but are masked by the large wheels and the family design respectively.

Compared to its main competition the GLS fits in well between the Range Rover Sport and the BMW X7 with its longer than 5m length. In terms of width it seems to be the biggest of the lot especially with those large rear view mirrors and it is the tallest of the lot as well. Sitting on 21in wheels gives it a good profile view and a sense of stability as well with the broad 275mm tyres in the front and 315mm wide tyres in the back.

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August 2020