2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS Officially Out As “The S-Class Of SUVs”

We already know what the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLS looks like but today the wraps officially come off at the New York Auto Show.

The BMW X7 rival looks like a bigger GLE which is actually is, given that it shares many underpinnings with the midsize luxury SUV. It’s the largest and most luxurious SUV ever to wear the three-pointed star badge.

Actually, the 2020 GLS even trumps its massive predecessor for size as it’s 77 mm (3 in) longer and 22 mm (0.86 in) wider. Most importantly, it has a 60 mm (2.4 in) longer wheelbase that now measures 3,137mm (123.5 in). What that means is it offers more passenger space, especially on the second- and third-row. The latter is said to offer enough room to accommodate people up to 1.94 m (6ft4) tall.

Cavernous cabin with up to seven seats and 2,400 liters (84.7 cu-ft) of cargo volume

All three rows of seats are fully electrically adjustable and offer passengers “a generous amount of space and outstanding seating comfort,” according to the automaker. When not needed, the seats in the third row can be lowered into the floor to increase cargo volume, while the seats in the second row fold flat.

With the second- and third-row seats folded, the cargo capacity expands to a cavernous 2,400 liters (84.7 cu-ft). Besides the standard seven-seat arrangement, Mercedes-Benz offers the GLS as a six-seater with two luxury individual rear seats in the second row. This option is a first for the nameplate.

New GLS 580 4Matic range-topper with 482 hp electrified gasoline V8

At the New York Show, the 2020 GLS celebrates its world premiere in GLS 580 4Matic guise. The unusual moniker designates an electrified 4.0-liter V8 engine featuring the EQ Boost 48-volt system with integrated starter-generator. The range-topping engine delivers 489 PS (482 hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque, with the ISG adding a further 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) and 22 PS (21 hp) available via EQ Boost over short periods.

The engine lineup will also include six-cylinder engines, using both gasoline and diesel fuel. The GLS 450 4Matic features an electrified 3.0-liter straight-six engine that makes 367 PS (362 hp) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque. It benefits from the same EQ Boost 48-volt system with integrated starter-generator. This engine variant will not be available in the European Union, though.

Straight-six turbo diesels only for Europe, Russia, and other markets


Europe, Russia, and other markets will get two 2.9-liter straight-six OM 656 diesels instead: the GLS 350 d 4Matic and the GLS 400 d 4Matic. The former produces 286 PS (282 hp) and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) while the latter delivers 330 PS (325 hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft). All engines offered on the GLS come equipped as standard with the 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. There’s no information on AMG and Maybach versions yet but they will arrive later with 8- and (hopefully) 12-cylinder power.

Speaking of AWD, the standard transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent (torque on demand) between the axles. Mercedes also offers an optional transfer case with reduction gear specifically designed for superior off-road driving characteristics.

On and off road, the optional 48-volt E-Active Body Control active suspension is said to offer “outstanding suspension comfort, agile handling and a high degree of off-road capability.” The standard suspension is the Airmatic air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus.

The latest tech available, including for rear passengers

The GLS also offers the latest tech including the MBUX infotainment system with two large 12.3-inch screens, available full-color Head‑up Display, MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System with two 11.6-inch screens, and Rear Comfort package Plus (separate 7-inch Android tablet that controls all MBUX functions from the rear seats).

New driving assistance systems include Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Trailer Manoeuvring Assist, and more. The all-new GLS will arrive in the United States and Europe at the end of the year.


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  • nastinupe

    The EQC looks nice in real life. Very sleek, kind of reminds me of the Range Rover Velar. The GLS looks better as well. The pictures didn’t do it justice.

  • PK

    gotta see this in person before i judge.

  • Belthronding

    it looks & feels perfectly done. i like it more than previous generations as there is huge improvement without doubt.

  • Nexus7

    There’s only so much you can do to a refrigerator on wheels, but they’ve done a far better job than most.

  • SteersUright

    And the MB jellybean styling lives on…

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    Far better than the X7.

    • PK

      that x7 grille alone makes me wanna 100% pick the new gls over the x7!!!!

  • Dennis Scipio

    It has clean and simple lines, which is okay.

  • alexxx

    X7 all day….

  • Bash


  • StrangerGP

    The interior doesn’t look S Class worthy, BMW X7 seems to have a much nicer one.

    • MarketAndChurch

      Maybe it’s to make room for the Maybach version.

  • getoffme

    And the X7 still looks way better despite its YUGE grille.

  • Enter Ranting

    More like the Mess-Class of SUVs.


  • atomicbri

    I am loving the metallic green one! That’s a really nice color. Otherwise it’s not bad.

  • AMG44

    Why drop the iconic 500 badge. Stick to GLS500, S500, SL500…etc for flagship gasoline V8 like it has always been. Or just stick to GLS550 badging for US market and GLS500 for rest of the world.

    • Cobrajet

      Why did change it straight to 580 and not 560. I think the 500 had to go because they used it on a six cylinder hybrid.

  • baofe

    What really is the difference between the glc/e/s nowadays other than dimensions? Can’t see any difference in styling or tech between Mercedes models anymore

  • SteersUright

    Looks more like a Highlander or a Suburban than an S-class. Either way, looks pretty decent. Def no beauty as far as design though.

  • emjayay

    Stop the (metaphorical) presses! The AC vents are rectangular, almost.

  • Cobrajet

    I never thought I would have to say this for a benz, but it has not enough bling.

  • Mercedes went conservative and – SHOCKING – wound up with a better looking vehicle. Imagine that.

    Also, it looks like the finally figured out the busy, overwrought dash that plagues the E Class.

  • CBV2020

    Quite a bit of progress. I still feel there is a small margin between the new GLS interior packaging and that of an S class that could have been minimized. I understand it’s a truck, but luxury could be a bit more obvious in overall design.

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