The Mercedes Benz GLS is offered with one of two engines. The Base GLS 450 4Matic comes with a 3.0L, 362 horsepower inline 6-cylinder engine sending power to all-four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. In addition, a mild hybrid system is included, providing an additional 21 horsepower, which allows the GLS to coast in electric only mode, saving gasoline. The GLS 580 4Matic is powered by a 4.0L V8 aided by two turbochargers and a similar mild-hybrid system. With 483 horsepower, the GLS 580 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Standard features on the GLS 450 4Matic include power seats with three different memory slots that will also remember the position of the steering wheel and mirrors, a power liftgate with hands free access, keyless entry and a remote starter that can be linked to a smartphone, dual-zone climate control, a powered sunroof, a 12.3-inch multimedia display in the center console, a second 12.3-inch, multiconfiguration display for the driver's instruments, navigation with built-in voice control, 64-color ambient LED lighting, SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android auto, nine different USB ports as well as a household style 115V power source, a Burmester sound system and steering wheel mounted touch controls.
An AIRMATIC suspension is also standard, meaning that the GLS 450 can raise or lower its ride height depending on conditions, making everything from off-roading to simply getting into the vehicle easier than ever. It also means the GLS can change its suspension stiffness between comfort and sport modes. Standard safety features include an active brake assist system, blind spot assist, Mercedes' PRE-SAFE system, Active Brake Assist pedestrian detection, seven airbags and a surround view monitor.
The GLS 580 trim adds soft close doors, ventilated front seats, leather seating surfaces and 5-zone automatic climate control in addition to the much more powerful engine.
Option packages include an Executive Rear Seat Package with second row wireless charging, a removable 7-inch tablet for the second row which can control the comfort and infotainment settings, nicer headrests and additional airbags. The Executive Rear Seat Package PLUS adds heating and ventilation and a massage function to the second row, while a Driver Assistance Package PLUS includes active steering assist, active brake assist and a radar guided cruise control which can maintain a set distance from vehicles the GLS might be following on the freeway. Standalone options include a Burmester 3D surround sound system, a heads-up display and heated and cooled cup holders for the front or second row.
There are some folks who need more luxury than a standard Mercedes-Benz can offer. And for them, there's Mercedes-Maybach. Previously only the S-Class got this extra-extra treatment but now, Maybach is broadening its reach with the new hifalutin, as well.
This fancy SUV looks like a bright, shiny silver dollar, complete with copious amounts of chrome and an available two-tone paint job. The grille, while shiny as hell, is actually quite subdued with its simple vertical slats. Yes, they reflect the sun and glint into the eyes of the peons that dare look at you, but I honestly expected something even more ostentatious.
The silhouette is dominated by my tester's available 23-inch multi-spoke wheels. Curiously, the center caps are not self-centering as those on the, which is a bummer, as that's a pretty easy feature to incorporate. Regardless, when I open the door the GLS lowers itself slightly and a running board made of anodized aluminum deploys for easy ingress.
The Good ~ Sumptuous rear seats ~ Excellent onboard tech ~ Buttery-smooth transmission
The Bad ~ Competitors offer more luxury ~ Poor fuel economy
The Bottom Line The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 is an ultra-luxury SUV for those who prefer to be driven, but it doesn't offer the same over-the-top options or great-to-drive dynamics as competitors from Bentley, Land Rover and Rolls-Royce.
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