The new Mercedes-Benz GLS luxury SUV is now available to order in the UK, costing from £73,995.
In the UK, the car will initially only be offered in GLS 400d trim, featuring the range-topping 2.9-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine, with 325bhp and 516lb ft of torque. Official (WLTP) fuel economy and CO2 emissions are 37.2mpg and 201g/km.
Three trim levels will be available. Entry-level AMG Line Premium models comes with the latest version of Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system, 22in wheels, heated front and rear seats, a Burmester surround sound system, 360deg parking camera, head-up display and a panoramic roof.
Additions for the AMG Line Premium Plus trim include augmented-reality navigation, multi-contoured massaging seats, an MBUX rear-seat entertainment system, temperature-controlled cupholders and heated armrests. The top AMG Line Premium Plus Executive trim includes 23in wheels, a nappa leather steering wheels, massaging rear seats, electric sunblinds for the rear doors and heated seats for the third row.
All three trim levels are available with a £1495 Off Road package, which includes variable all-wheel drive and low-range transmission, inter-axle locking, low-range off-road gearing, off-road ABS and special off-road drive modes.
Styled along similar lines to the new GLE, alongside which it will be produced at Mercedes' plant in Alabama, US, the new GLS is of an evolutionary appearance, retaining its prdecessor's upright stance but omitting its prominent sharp lines.
Aerodynamic refinements are said to yield a drag coefficient of 0.32Cd, along with “dramatically reduced wind noise at speed”, according to design boss Gorden Wagener. This compares with the previous GLS’s 0.35Cd.
At 5207mm long and 1956mm wide, the new GLS is 77mm longer and 22mm wider than its predecessor and a considerable 277mm longer and 6mm wider than the GLE. In comparison, the long-wheelbase Range Rover stretches to 5200mm long and 1990mm wide.
The new GLS is based on Mercedes' Modular High Architecture (MHA) platform, as is the GLE. This is heavily related to the Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) that underpins the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class.
The GLS's interior has also been thoroughly redesigned. Like the new GLE, it features a 12.3in digital instrument display, a 12.3in infotainment screen, touchpads within the upper spokes of the steering wheel and a touchpad on the centre console in place of the old rotary controller. Mercedes' MBUX interface supports touchscreen control as well as a voice control in conjunction with the Mercedes Me smartphone app.