• 12
LISTEN 10:56

It has only been two model years since the second-generation Mercedes-Benz GL-Class went on sale, but in addition to a new name, the full-size SUV is getting an updated look inside and out. The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS, as it is called starting 2015, has been renamed to create a more coherent naming structure across the lineup (after the GLA, GLC and GLE), and as the name suggests, the GLS will stand as the S-Class of SUVs. No small shoes to fill there.

Even though it will hit dealerships with a new name, the GLS isn’t a brand-new SUV, but a revised version of the second-generation GL-Class. As with most Mercedes-Benz facelifts, updates aren’t massive, but the GSL received just enough features to keep it fresh for a few more years. Besides the revised exterior features, the full-size hauled also gained an overhauled interior and upgraded drivetrains.

The seven-seater will hit U.S. dealerships in 2016 in four engine specs, including a diesel version and a performance-oriented AMG variant.

Updated 11/20/2015: The 2017 Mercedes GLS made its world debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show and will be put on sale on the North American market in March 2016. Check out the picture gallery for a set of new images taken live on the show’s floor.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS.

  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    65000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654027
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654026
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654033

After revealing the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE earlier this year, Stuttgart virtually gave away what the new GLS will look like. Since it was introduced in 2007, the GL has essentially stood as the stretched, three-row version of the M-Class (now the GLE) with almost identical design. These official photos confirm that the same holds true for the GLE and GLS, as the changes are almost identical, especially at the front.

The SUV now sports a more aggressive bumper with larger air intakes on the sides.

Specifically, the SUV now sports a more aggressive bumper with larger air intakes on the sides. Depending on trim, it also gets the same wavy insert seen on the GLE. The grille’s upper edges have been refined for a sharper look, while the headlamps feature new clusters and LED strips.

The facelifted SUV continues to benefit from Mercedes’ numerous customizing features and packages. The Sport exterior, available on the GLS550, adds more muscular front and rear aprons, body-colored side flaps, and 21-inch AMG wheels. By selecting the Night Package, customers will get an AMG-style grille and an array of black-painted parts, including the mirror caps and the window trim.

Better individualization can be achieved by ways of Designo paints such as Diamond White or Cardinal Red, and the comprehensive range of new wheel designs.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 202 Inches (GLS63 203.2 Inches)
Width 84.3 Inches w/ mirrors
Height 72.8 Inches
Wheelbase 121 Inches


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Interior
- image 654022
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Interior
- image 654032
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Interior
- image 654021

More changes are visible inside the cabin, where Mercedes added a new three-spoke steering wheel in Nappa leather, an instrument panel with Media Display, and a center console with touchpad control. The ambient lighting comes in three color shades and Mercedes now offers an available air ionization system.

Connectivity and infotainment are provided by the company’s latest generation of Comand Online, which includes an eight-inch color display and an intuitive touchpad. The optional "Mercedes connect me" service adds the Standard Services package with automatic emergency call, Accident Recovery and breakdown assistance, and after-sales service. There’s also the Remote Online services, which allow access to vehicle information from anywhere at all times, including the status of windows and doors, mileage, and tire pressure.

For the first time, the GLS gets an AMG Line interior

Those looking for a bit of exclusivity can choose between trim elements in Black Piano Lacquer or a variety of woods, as well as five leather upholstery color combos in Black, Ginger Beige/Espresso Brown, Saddle Brown/Black, Crystal Grey/Black, or Ginger Beige/Black. There’s also a Designo Exclusive package with heated front seats, Nappa leather, and diamond quilting. For the first time, the GLS gets an AMG Line interior with sports seats in Exclusive Nappa leather, a sports steering wheel in black Exclusive Nappa leather, instrument dials in a Checkered flag look, and brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.

Legroom, headroom, and shoulder room remained unchanged with the facelift, but that’s far from bad news, as the second-generation GL was know to boast an outstanding level or roominess in all three seat rows.


2013 Mercedes GL63 AMG High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 458059

Four drivetrain will be offered in the U.S., beginning with the biturbo, 3.0-liter V-6 in the GLS450 4Matic. The unit produces 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 rpm and comes with a start-stop function.

Next in line is the GLS550 4Matic with a turbocharged V-8 rated at 455 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, 20 ponies more than the outgoing model.

The GLS63 gets a V-8 generating 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet from just 1,750 rpm.

Finally, the range-topping gasoline model is the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 motivated by a V-8 generating 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet from just 1,750 rpm. The updated unit cranks out 27 extra horses compared to the previous version.

In the diesel department, Mercedes offers the GSL350d 4Matic, powered by the company’s familiar turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6. The oil burner generates 255 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque, a 15 horsepower improvement over the GL350 BlueTEC it replaces.

All non AMG versions are equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission, 4Matic all-wheel drive, and an updated air suspension with enhanced damping. The AMG GLS63, on the other hand, comes with a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox and a Sport+ setting instead of the Off-Road mode.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654036

One of the safest full-size SUVs on the market as of 2015, the GLS is equipped with numerous standard driver assistance features, including Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Crosswind Assist, Attention Assist, Pre-Safe, Brake Assist, ESP, and cruise control among others. The optional Driver Assistance Package adds Distroic Plus with Steering Assist, pedestrian detection, Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Sport Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and Speed Limit Assist.

For the first time, the GLS also gets LED Intelligent Light System for improved night-time vision. Customers can also opt for the Magic Vision Control system with the heated adaptive windscreen wiper.

As for airbags, the SUV features adaptive, two-stage units for driver and front passenger, knee airbag for the driver and front passenger, and window airbags for all three seat rows.


Pricing shouldn’t vary too much from the 2015 GL-Class, which ranges from $63,600 for the GL350 BlueTec up to $119,450 for the GL63 AMG. Of course, a potential GLS63 AMG S would increase the price even more, and if and when the Mercedes-Maybach GLS arrives, such a model would likely be priced much closer to the $200,000 mark.


2015 Cadillac Escalade

2015 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Collection High Resolution Exterior
- image 564370

When it comes to full-size luxury SUVs, the Cadillac Escalade is still the top dog in terms of sales, but the GL-Class definitely has the upper hand in terms of pricing and available models. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is offered with just one powertrain, while the current GL has four, including the 550-horsepower AMG model. But unlike the Mercedes (or any other similarly sized luxury SUV), the Escalade is available in two wheelbases, providing maximum interior space with the extended-length ESV model.

Read our full review of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade here.

2016 Audi Q7

2017 - 2020 Audi Q7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 585693

Until the BMW X7 comes along, the all-new 2016 Audi Q7 might be the closest rival to the GLS in terms of model variety. In addition to the standard gasoline and diesel variants, the next-gen Q7 will also add a high-performance RS Q7 (to go up against the GLS63 AMG) as well as two plug-in hybrid models. The understated exterior might be the biggest downfall of the 2016 Audi Q7, as it comes off looking more like a big station wagon than a luxury SUV. In the styling department, the new GLS-Class should definitely outdo the Audi.

Read our full review of the 2016 Audi Q7 here.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654037

Although Mercedes has some tough competition in the new Cadillac Escalade and Audi Q7, the revised and renamed 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS won’t go down without a fight. Mercedes-Benz is hard at work shaking up its entire lineup, and the new GLS is one of the most important introductions. Along with the GLE, the GLS is built at Mercedes’ Tuscaloosa, Alabama assembly plant, and these two models stand as the core of the automaker’s growing SUV lineup.

  • Leave it
    • Might not be enough to keep up with new Escalade and Q7

Updated History

Updated 11/04/2015: Mercedes dropped the official information on the 2017 GLS.

Spy Shots

May 21, 20015 - Mercedes GLS doing calibration work in the western U.S.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Exterior Spyshots
- image 631169
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Exterior Spyshots
- image 631170
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Exterior Spyshots
- image 631173
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

Press Release

Like the GL before it, the new GLS is setting standards in the world of the SUV as it confirms its position as the "S-Class among SUVs." The only full-fledged seven-seater in the European premium SUV segment boasts ample spaciousness and combines luxury with impressive levels of comfort, agile dynamics and best-in-class safety. Whether put to everyday use or venturing off the beaten track, the GLS meets all requirements effortlessly and comfortably. Compared with its predecessor, the new generation features improved efficiency, additional DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, improved air suspension system (AIRMATIC) with enhanced damping system (ADS), nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, state-of-the-art assistance systems and the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz telematics which includes internet access and remote-start capability. More power, more dynamism and more equipment are also offered by the new Mercedes- AMG GLS63. With a peak output of 577 hp, independent suspension and the revised AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission, it represents the pinnacle of the GLS model line. Standard features on the GLS63 include AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes which provide optimum flexibility and a rear-biased AMG Performance all-wheel drive system. The GLS63 also shows strength of character with its updated AMG design elements and high- quality interior.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654033

A new, dynamic exterior and revised, luxurious interior clearly underscore the impressive character of the GLS. With the 2017-model-year facelift, designers have adapted the full-size luxury SUV to the current Mercedes-Benz design idiom. On the exterior, focus has been placed on a redesign of the front end, while the rear has been modernized around the bumper and with full LED tail lamps. Eye-catching highlights in the interior include a newly designed instrument panel with Media Display, new 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel, modified center console with touchpad and new trim options.

Once again the dimensions of the GLS bear witness to its full-size format, and form the best possible basis for providing its seven passengers with a generous amount of space.

New exterior design and equipment lines

The new GLS reflects harmony and modern luxury to impressive effect. Chrome details such as the roof rails, underguard, shoulderline trim strips, luggage compartment handle and side skirt trim create attractive highlights.

The Sport exterior, available on the GLS550, provides a muscular appearance and consists of unique front and rear aprons, side running boards, side flaps painted in the vehicle color and 21-inch AMG light-alloy wheels. Even more exclusivity is created with the Night package which is available in conjunction with this model’s equipment line.

Additional individualization options come courtesy of various standard and metallic paint finishes, including two special editions in designo Diamond White and, new for the GLS, designo Cardinal Red. On top of this there is a comprehensive range of new light-alloy wheels featuring a variety of designs.

Luxury liner with outstanding inner values

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654034

Accompanying the high-end exterior design quality is a revised interior which underscores the first-class standards of the GLS. Furthermore, up to seven passengers are able to enjoy an outstanding level of spaciousness. Like its predecessor, the new GLS boasts ample elbow and headroom in all three seat rows. With its diverse adjustment options, the center seat row enables a high degree of flexibility in the interior, including a cargo position for optimum use of the luggage compartment.

Other interior highlights include a new 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather and a newly designed instrument panel with color Media Display. Options available for the new GLS also include an air ionization system for even better interior air quality.

Individual highlights can be created in the GLS interior with the help of the wood/leather multifunction steering wheel, ambient lighting featuring three color shades or the wide range of generously proportioned trim elements on the instrument panel and door panels with coordinated retractable cup holder covers.

State-of-the-art connectivity and infotainment are optionally provided by the latest generation of COMAND Online, including an 8-inch color Media Display as well as an intuitive touchpad. An extensive package of free Standard Services and Remote Online Services is available for the GLS as part of the mbrace service. Standard Services include automatic emergency call, Accident Recovery and breakdown assistance and after-sales service. The Remote Online services (standard with COMAND and usable free of charge for the first five years) allow access to vehicle information from anywhere at all times, including the status of windows and doors, mileage, tire pressures and other diagnostic data.

Exclusive interior lines meet the most discerning of standards

In addition to ambient lighting and trim elements in black piano lacquer or a variety of woods, five attractive interior color concepts are also available exclusively in genuine leather: black, ginger beige / espresso brown, saddle brown / black, crystal grey / black or ginger beige / black.

In the case of the designo Exclusive nappa leather package, the overall impression of refinement is further heightened by heated comfort seats in the front with upholstery in designo nappa leather as well as characteristic diamond quilting. A distinctively sporty note comes courtesy of the AMG Line interior. It is comprised of, for the first time for the GLS, sports seats in Exclusive nappa leather, a 3-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel in a black Exclusive nappa leather finish, graduated instrument dials in a Checkered flag look and brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.

Maximum safety for seven passengers

The equipment level of the new GLS in the area of active safety underscores Mercedes-Benz’s high standards when it comes to taking the strain off the driver. Standard driver assistance systems include COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, Crosswind Assist and ATTENTION ASSIST. Other systems available as standard on the GLS include: PRE-SAFE® system, Brake Assist BAS, electronic all- wheel drive traction system 4ETS, ESP®, and cruise control.

The optional Driver Assistance Package further reduces the driver’s workload while enhancing safety for the passengers, with systems including DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian detection, BAS PLUS with Cross- Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Speed Limit Assist.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654035

Optimum protection potential is provided by passive occupant protection systems together with "electronic crumple zones" of the assistance systems and intelligent body design. Adaptive, two-stage airbags for driver and front passenger, knee airbag for the driver and front passenger (combined thorax/pelvis airbags) and window airbags above all three seat rows are available.

Night-time vision is improved by the optionally available LED Intelligent Light System, new to the GLS, while adverse weather conditions resulting in impaired visibility are defused by MAGIC VISION CONTROL, the heated adaptive windscreen wiper system which provides optimum water distribution.

Efficient performance: the engine line-up in the GLS

All of the engines available on the new GLS provide better performance across the model line. The powerful GLS550 4MATIC with V8 biturbo engine featuring direct injection now generates 449 hp, some 20 hp more than the preceding model, and at a maximum torque of 516 lb-ft combines outstanding performance with the high level of motoring comfort of these engines. The 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine, also featuring direct injection, is used in the GLS450 4MATIC. This engine produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 rpm, and like all GLS models has an ECO start/stop function.

As the effortlessly superior top-of-the-range model in the series, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 now has 577 horsepower, over 27 horsepower more than its predecessor. The peak torque of 561 lb-ft is now available from just 1,750 rpm.

Alongside the gas engine offerings, in the GLS350d 4MATIC offers a proven V6 diesel engine rated at 255 hp and with ample torque of 455 lb-ft.

At the launch of the new GLS generation, all versions will feature the nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission as standard (except the Mercedes-AMG GLS63), optionally in combination with low-range gearbox and center differential lock.

Comprehensive stability: DYNAMIC SELECT, AIRMATIC with enhanced ADS and ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM

With DYNAMIC SELECT, the new GLS provides up to six transmission modes. In addition to the settings COMFORT, SLIPPERY and SPORT, with the DYNAMIC SELECT Controller in the center console, the driver can additionally choose INDIVIDUAL or an OFF-ROAD mode. If the GLS model is equipped with the optional Off-Road Engineering package, OFF-ROAD+ mode is also available. With this, the low-range gearbox and center differential lock intervene if necessary in order to ensure a high degree of drivability in demanding off-road terrain. This is further boosted by the extended functions of the AIRMATIC air suspension with raised ride heights for a ground clearance of up to 12.5 inches (306 mm) and a fording depth of up to 23.6 inches (600 mm).

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 654036

On the GLS63, the DYNAMIC SELECT system receives the AMG treatment with the inclusion of a SPORT+ mode in place of the OFF-ROAD mode available on other models.

In addition to several ground-breaking powertrain configurations, the retuned AIRMATIC air suspension with enhanced ADS damping characteristics guarantees extremely stable driving, altering dampening depending on the current DYNAMIC SELECT mode. SPORT focuses on the greatest possible lateral dynamics with the best possible ride quality. Conversely, COMFORT mode enables maximum ride quality with the best possible dynamics.

The optional active roll stabilization ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM uses active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axle and reduces the roll angle of the body during cornering. Better driving comfort when cornering and driving off-road are also part of the advantages of the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM.

Completely modernized SUV family from Mercedes-Benz

With the new GLS, Mercedes-Benz is now offering the latest and most comprehensive premium SUV range ever. The portfolio now ranges from the compact GLA, to the new GLC, the successful GLE family, the GLE Coupe and GLS, right through to the mainstay of all Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the G-Class.

With its wide range of engine options, the GLS is an impressive prospect for North American buyers in particular: it has been a market leader in its segment for many years.

The GLS will be available to order from December 2015, with deliveries in in the US market from late-March 2016.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: