The Mercedes GLS is a huge off-roader with space for seven and an enormous boot. It’s very comfortable but feels a bit dated inside compared to more modern alternatives
If you want a large, luxurious SUV with seven seats and a big boot the Mercedes GLS is well worth considering. It’s quite expensive and its interior doesn’t feel as modern as the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 but it’s easy to drive and very comfortable.
The current GLS first went on sale in 2013 but was originally called the GL. The GLS name first appeared in 2015 when the car was given new bumpers, a revised infotainment system and modified air suspension.
Unfortunately, it’s interior didn’t receive any particularly modern upgrades. The centre console is plastered with old-fashioned buttons and the eight-inch infotainment screen isn’t a patch on the Q7’s slick digital driver’s display but you do get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
So it might not be particularly high tech, but at least the Mercedes’ cabin is fabulously roomy. There’s acres of head and leg room up front, plenty of space in the middle row for tall adults to stretch out and you even get a third row of reasonably spacious seats in the back.
Even with all three rows of seats in place there’s enough room in the GLS’ 295-litre boot for a baby buggy. Flip the rearmost seats down and you can squeeze in 680 litres of luggage or fold all but the front seats away and you’ll open up a van-like 2,300-litre load bay.
The GLS is so vast you could almost park a fighter jet on its bonnet – perhaps it should be called the HMS instead…
Unless you want sports-car performance from your huge SUV, there’s only one engine worth considering – the quiet 3.0-litre V6 diesel. The 5.5-litre petrol V8 in GLS 63 models is thirstier and much more expensive but helps the GLS accelerate from 0-62mph in less than five seconds – that’s sports-car pace from a mammoth, 3.2-tonne SUV.
Whichever model you pick, you’ll get a smooth automatic gearbox and light controls that make the GLS surprisingly easy to drive. There’s even a 360-degree camera to help make squeezing into tight parking spaces relatively painless.
The GLS hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP but its automatic emergency braking feature should help make it one of the safest large SUVs on sale and well worth considering if you’re looking for a comfortable and hugely spacious seven seater.
You can read more in-depth info on the Mercedes GLS in the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you want to see the kind of offers that are available on the GLS, go to the deals page.