The automotive paparazzi have spotted the new Mercedes SUV out for winter testing, giving us a peek at the revised exterior and fueling speculation on further changes that might lie under the body panels.

Coinciding with the updated Mercedes nomenclature structure, the full-size GL will be designated as the GLS going forward into 2015, marking it as the flagship model for the Mercedes SUV and off-roader lineup. The refresh comes mid-cycle, so changes are not extensive. However, alongside visible exterior styling tweaks, we might see interior updates and some new engine options as well.

First introduced in 2006, the GLS offers third-row seating for up to seven passengers. Based on the same unibody as the M-Class (now known as the GLE), the front engine, 4MATIC all-wheel-drive layout makes the GLS perfect for anyone looking to haul a ton of gear and kids up to the slopes for a weekend of snowy fun. Currently, the X166 chassis GL comes with three trim levels, including a turbo-diesel V-6 with 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque, a turbocharged V-8 with 362 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, and a range-topping, turbocharged V-8 with 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. All are paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Although details are rough, we have the latest on Mercedes’ new leading SUV ready for your consumption past the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mercedes GLS-Class.

  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    64000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Mercedes GLS - image 585919
2016 Mercedes GLS - image 585921
2016 Mercedes GLS - image 585922

From the photos, we can see that Mercedes has changed the front end with new, rounded headlights, and a slightly modified grille design, front bumper and hood. The rear end has been changed as well, with minor updates to the taillight graphics, plus exhaust tips that are molded into the rear bumper. Overall, the changes are minor, retaining much of the same boxy-styling present in the current model.

Interior

Speculation places the revised dashboard present in the recently unveiled GLE Coupe into the GLS, along with new trim and material options. There could also be a standalone eight-inch command screen for use with the infotainment system. Of course, expect the usual top-shelf leather upholstery and gizmos that Mercedes is known for.

Drivetrain

2016 Mercedes GLS - image 585925

Along with the existing V-8 and V-6 diesel powerplants in the GL, rumor has it that Mercedes will also share the engine from the GLE Coupe with the GLS, which means a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 with 333 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The possibility of a hybrid drivetrain has been speculated on as well.

Prices

2016 Mercedes GLS - image 585931

Current prices for the GL start at $63,600 for the V-6 diesel, and we’d expect the GLS to slot somewhere close to that figure. Of course, pricier models and options are always available, ranging all the way up to the $100,000 mark.

Competition

Audi Q7

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 - image 585674

The four-ring brand recently unveiled its 2016 Q7 model at the Frankfurt Motor Show, sporting new styling, a revised cabin, and for the first time, a plug-in hybrid model. The Q7 looks sportier than the GLS, with swooping lines and a short rear end. The interior is equipped to handle up to seven passengers, with foldable seats to maximize storage. High-grade leather, walnut, and aluminum trim abound, with optional 10.1-inch rear monitors and WiFi-equipped infotainment on deck for gadgetry. Engine options come in several different specs, including two gasoline motors in a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 252 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, and 3.0-liter V-6 with 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. There’s also a 3.0-liter, diesel V-6 with 272 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, and for the first time, a plug-in diesel hybrid e-tron model good for 373 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Each comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive.

Land Rover Range Rover

2013 - 2015 Land Rover Range Rover - image 559930

The latest-generation Range Rover is lighter, stronger, and more refined than the previous generation. Thanks to an aluminum monocoque chassis, this generation is an astounding 771 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. I think it looks great too, and with a range-topping, supercharged V-8 engine putting out 510 horsepower, it’s mighty quick as well. There are two additional diesel options in the form of a 3.0-liter V-6 with 258 horsepower and a 4.4-liter V-8 with 339 horsepower. Each is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Inside, you’ll find a quality audio system from Meridian, central eight-inch display, voice control, four-zone climate control, massage seats, and LED illumination, plus blind spot monitoring, emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.

Conclusion

2016 Mercedes GLS - image 585920

I’ll have to wait for the final reveal to draw any definitive conclusions, but if history is to provide me with any clues, I’d venture a guess that the GLS will be a luxury cruiser capable of delivering you and your passengers to your destination in comfort and style. Off-road capabilities and sportiness are questionable, but the focus here is clearly not on rock crawls or lap times. The GLS is about space and luxury, both of which it has in spades.

  • Leave it
    • Poor off-road capabilities
    • Very competitive segment
What do you think?

2 comments:

  (592) posted on 08.3.2011

I think other car manufacturers are threatened to lose their production, so they are now making other versions of BMW X6. Hopefully, Mercedes will also have a big sale just like the BMW.

  (419) posted on 07.6.2011

Well, I really wouldn’t be surprised that everyone is after the BMW X6. That one is certainly looking to be a beast in its class. Now, I wonder how this GLS would fare.

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