2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 4MATIC

Large and in charge – the GLS class is among the most expensive and luxurious SUVs made by Mercedes-Benz. This SUV has powerful engine options, dynamic handling, an opulent interior, and is packed with premium features and up-to-the-minute tech.

Base Price: $112,000
As Tested: $125,770
Horsepower: 510
Mileage: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway/16 mpg combined

The GLS Class was fully redesigned in 2020 and has received several updates since then. For 2024, there are some exterior styling tweaks, some engine updates, and the GLS 580 can get the Off-Road Engineering package.

The GLS Class comes in four trims: GLS 450, GLS 580, AMG GLS 63 and Maybach GLS 600. Starting prices range from $87,000 to $174,350. The three lower trims have three rows with room for six or seven passengers, depending on whether you get captain’s chairs in the second row. The Maybach GLS has two rows with room for five passengers. All-wheel drive is standard on all trims.

The engine choices go from powerful to extremely powerful. All have a mild-hybrid system that makes for slightly improved fuel efficiency and horsepower.

The base engine in the GLS 450 is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Total output is 375 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The GLS 580 gets a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that makes 510 horses and 538 pound-feet. The AMG FLS 63 has a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that cranks out 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet. And the Maybach GLS 600 has a 4.0-liter V8 and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with a total output of 550 hp and 538 pound-feet. All engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The nearly 5,500-pound GLS can hustle, no matter the engine. My GLS 580 has plenty of smooth power. Acceleration feels effortless off the line and when merging and passing at freeway speeds. Mercedes-Benz says the GLS 580 can go from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. The ride is extremely smooth, even over bumps and rough roads, thanks to the adaptive air suspension. Select from Comfort, Sport, and Off-Road driving modes to set the driving experience you prefer. All in all, the GLS 580 is nimble and engaging to drive, especially considering its heft!

Fuel efficiency is about what you’d expect for a large luxury SUV. EPA ratings for my tester are 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway with a combined rating of 16. I got 18 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

When properly equipped, the GLS can tow up to 7,700 pounds.

The cabin is posh and upscale as you’d expect in a Mercedes-Benz. Materials are top notch and the fit and finish are excellent, with every stich in place. Two huge digital displays dominate the dash. There’s plenty of leg- and headroom in the first two rows for taller adults and the cabin has an airy feel thanks to the huge sunroof. The third row is best suited for kids, as is usually the case, though adults can ride there on shorter trips.

Standard features include remote start, push-button start, surround-view camera system, quad-zone automatic climate control, MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, topstitched MB-Tex upper dash trim, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, Nappa leather multifunction steering wheel, brushed aluminum trim, Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, which includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch touch screen, touchpad controller, navigation, and voice command, 13-speaker Burmester audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, eight USB-C ports, wireless device charging, in-car communication system, 64-color LED ambient lighting, rain-sensing windshield wipers, universal garage door opener, parking damage detector and a panoramic sunroof.

Available features include a head-up display, dashcam, five-zone automatic climate control, real leather upholstery, heated and ventilated second-row seats, heated third-row seats, massaging first- and second-row seats, heated steering wheel, 26-speaker Burmester audio system, MBUX interior assistant (which responds to the driver’s and front passenger’s hand and arm movements), seven-inch MBUX tablet for the second row, wireless device charging in the second row, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, lane-change assist, blind-spot monitoring, evasive-steering assist (helps steer the vehicle to avoid crashes), crosswind assist (helps keep the GLS stable during strong winds), traffic-sign recognition, front and rear cross-traffic alert, pre-safe (rolls up windows and tightens seat belts when an impending forward collision is detected), pre-safe plus (does the same thing when a rear collision is detected), parallel and perpendicular park assist, driver-attention monitoring, and vehicle exit warning (warns passengers leaving the vehicle of other vehicles approaching from behind).

Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control, magic vision control (heated wiper blades that release heated washer fluid), trailer stability assist, and trailer maneuvering assist.

The GLS models get the latest generation MBUX infotainment system. There’s a learning curve but it becomes easier to use with practice. It takes time to figure out all the menus and submenus. The system can be controlled via the touchscreen, touchpad, voice commands and steering wheel buttons. Graphis look great and the system responds quickly to inputs. The driver display can be changed to “Classic,” “Sporty” and “Discreet,” while the driver display and touchscreen can be set to one of seven color schemes that go with the ambient lighting.

Cargo space is decent for a large luxury SUV. There are 17.4 cubic feet with all three rows of seating in place, 42.7 cubes with the third row folded, and 84.7 cubes with the third and second rows folded. A power liftgate and retractable luggage cover are standard. You can adjust the lift height with a press of a button inside the cargo area – this makes it easier to load large and/or bulky items.

The good:

Powerful engine choices

Dynamic handling, especially for a large SUV

Super smooth ride

Posh and luxurious cabin

Packed with features and the latest tech

Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Plenty of room for passengers and cargo

The not-so-good:

Complicated infotainment system

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $112,000. Diamond White Metallic paint is $1,750. Black exclusive Nappa leather is $1,370. MB-Tex door trim is $350. Rear side airbags are $700. Trailer hitch is $600. Burmester High-End 3D surround sound system is $4,550. The DC1 Night Package is $400 and includes these black elements: front splitter, grille trim, rear diffuser, side mirrors, window trim and roof rails. The Acoustic Comfort Package is $1,100 and includes increased cabin insulation, windshield with infrared-reflecting film, and side windows with acoustic and infrared absorbing film. The Pinnacle Trim is $1,800 and includes a head-up display, AIR BALANCE heated and cooled front cupholders, and Mercedes star pattern logo projectors. Destination fee is $1,150 bringing the grand total to $125,770.

Bottom line:

The GLS class is about as posh and upscale as you can get in a large luxury SUV. It handles well with swift acceleration and a super smooth ride, and the opulent cabin is laden with features and tech. You’ll easily pay six figures but the GLS class is tough to beat if you want that full-size premium hauler.

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