Do you know, guys, that there ’s an S in GLS? It represents the comfort of an S-Class. But there’s a G there, too – and I can guess this stands above all for: larger, tougher version of Mercedes-Benz’s oft-lauded flagship sedan, and of course, we mean here the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS 500.
As a car enthusiast, I can see an array of abundant options that allow any Merc lover to personalize the new Mercedes-Benz GLS 500 further. From small details that just add a certain something, through to deluxe and comfortable appointments. Also, that face-lift, grafting a far more up to date facade across the SUV’s bluff frontage, is the most obvious bit.
What drew my attention the most, upon stepping inside the cabin, niceties such as heated front seats, silver chrome controls as well as the lavish amounts of wood trim and soft leather upholstery with contrasting stitching that help create an air of high luxury worthy of the S-Class.
Also, such traits as a new instrument panel, a smarter three-spoke steering wheel with plenty of button controls, up-to-date smartphone connectivity tech, and Mercedes’ de rigueur touch-pad interface on the center console, turned me on at the very first sight.
There’s space for seven adults across three rows of seats, with even the rearmost row being a snap to access thanks to power easy-entry second-row seats. Cargo space measures 16 cubic feet behind the third-row seats; fold down the third row, and 49.4 cubic feet are available, while also stowing the second row unlocks 93.8 cubes.
It’s a more fuel-efficient car than its predecessor, with tweaks throughout the engine range and the fitting of a new-to-the-GL nine-speed automatic gearbox, with plenty of ‘Dynamic Select’ transmission modes to fiddle with. Elsewhere, the air suspension system’s been tinkered with and assistance systems have been updated to include the likes of lane-keeping assist and pedestrian recognition warning.
Highest safety standards
The Mercedes-Benz GLS 500 comes standard with dual front, front side, a rear side, and full-length side curtain airbags, in addition to a driver’s knee airbag and traction and stability control systems. Moreover, the car has a Crosswind Stabilization system that uses targeted braking in the event of strong crosswinds to keep the vehicle on its intended course.
Also standard is a radar-based Collision Prevention Assist system that works to prevent or mitigate collisions, a trait that proved high competence when driving around the curve at the foot of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s tallest mountain, which has recently become a magnet for enthusiastic drivers, sightseers, and extreme athletes.
An Attention Assist system is in place, too, to alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness. Furthermore, the car is equipped with an optional safety gear which includes Active Lane Keeping Assist, a technology that warns the driver if it detects that the GL-Class is drifting into an adjacent lane and can apply steering inputs to remain on the proper course. Also available is Active Blind Spot Assist, which uses radar to detect if a vehicle is in the blind-spot area. It provides driver alerts and can also steer the car out of harm’s way if the driver accidentally starts to merge into a vehicle.
What many parts of me say about this masterpiece?
What an extraordinary experience, what a soft, velvety way to deliver power. Itʼs enough to give even the most experienced automotive enthusiast goosebumps. Also, the new Mercedes-Benz GLS 500 commands its surroundings just by being there – and with an enticingly high-quality design. Although I don’t personally see any real competitors to that masterpiece, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class seven-seater is up against a strong class of established competitors, including the Audi Q7, Cadillac Escalade and the Infiniti QX80.