All-new Mercedes GLS SUV rolls into New York

Published: 17 April 2019

► New 2019 Mercedes GLS SUV
► Plush seven-seater is here
► Revealed at NYIAS 2019

Mercedes has lifted the lid on its all-new GLS at the 2019 New York motor show. It looks an awful lot like the facelifted GLC and latest GLE, as Merc looks to streamline its SUVs.

The GLS is by far the fattest car Mercedes makes; this new one is almost 400mm longer and 25mm wider than a G-Class, with Stuttgart calling it the ‘S-Class of SUVs’.

The brand says its done some work to reduce the aerodynamic drag of its big luxo-bus, so the 2019 GLS achieves a drag co-efficient of 0.32cd. The previous GLS only managed 0-35cd.

Tell me about the cockpit

Inside, it’s much like the new GLE. A fat dashboard panel, a pair of thick grab handles on the centre console, tonnes of leather and wood and two vast screens containing the latest MBUX infotainment system.

There’s even a Car Wash mode, standard on every GLS model. When activated, the air suspension rises to its highest setting to allow better access to the inevitably-muddy wheel wells and actually reduces track width as much as it can due to how the axle geometry is set up. The car also folds in the door mirrors, closes all windows, limits the speed to 12.4mph (20km/h) and activates the 360-degree cameras to assist manoeuvrability. Trailer assist tech is standard in the UK, too, as is five-zone climate control.

Mercedes GLS interior

The adaptive cruise has gained a bit of intelligence via live traffic data. When a jam is detected ahead, the cruise automatically slows to 62mph ‘as a precaution.’ The Driving Assistance Pack Plus now also has a traffic jam assist (stopping and setting off in traffic, while keeping you in lane) at up to 37mph.

Any word on powertrains?

Three engines are mentioned, a GLE 450 petrol, 350d and 400d diesels. All have EQ Boost, a feature also seen on the GLE and a number of warm AMG models like the 53 range.

It is expected that the UK will receive the 400d model, which is good for 325bhp and 516lb ft from a straight-six diesel.

It’s still a seven-seater, right?

It is. All seven are electrically adjustable as standard and the easy entry system slides and folds the second row forward electrically so you can clamber in the back. The third row have their own USB sockets and are even heated. A Rear Comfort Pack Plus and Rear Entertainment pack are available if you regularly have folk in the back.

Mercedes GLS rear seats flat

You can, however, make your GLS a six-seater as an option, available for the first time. That’s three rows of two individual seats.

When and how much?

No prices yet for the new GLS, but Mercedes says it’ll be in dealers in the US in July and Europe by late autumn.

Check out our Mercedes reviews

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches