What was the GL, is now the GLS. Simple enough, right? Yes, this 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS is the brand’s seven passenger, family hauling SUV…its most practical, yet not its most expensive utility vehicle. But, that’s a different story…

The GLS is going to look very familiar to anyone currently rolling in a GL, and that’s because, at least for now, little more than a name change has taken place. 

Details have been updated, however, with redesigned front and rear features like bumpers and lights, and new wheel choices. Inside, a new gauge cluster, steering wheel, and center console highlight more changes.

It’s under the skin where most of the updates come into play. All models now get a 9 speed automatic transmission; all that is except for the AMG version, which keeps its unique seven gear setup.

Other models include the GLS450, 550, and 350d for diesel, all with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Engines carry over for each badge…the 350d sees a bump in horsepower from its 3 liter turbocharged V6, to 255. The 450 stays put with 362 from its 3 liter twin turbo V6. And the 550 sees serious gains, up to 449 from its 4.7 liter twin turbo V8.

The beastly GLS63 AMG was on display for us, too, with its 5.5 liter twin-turbo V8 now putting out 577 horsepower.

Air suspension is standard for all GLS models, and the entire AIRMATIC system has been upgraded. The result is a silky smooth cruiser. Our favorite was the GLS550, with its stout V8 power that actually played nice with the 9 speed auto, making acceleration, driving at speed, and handling – all a very pleasant affair.

Now, to just find that spare 95 grand lying around…Not to worry, as a base GLS450 starts a little cheaper, at $70,000. Book ending the lineup are the 350d, starting at $68,000, and the GLS63, at an eye-popping $125,000. 


  • Engine: 4.7 liter (for GLS 550)
  • Horsepower: 449 (for GLS 550)
  • Price: Starts at $70,000