A new naming structure

Mercedes' largest crossover

All-wheel drive is standard

Top of the line

Plenty of torque

Six and eight cylinder engines

A better interior

Bringing a premium feeling inside the car

The COMAND infotainment system

Three rows of seating

Options for off-roading

Crossing water

Adaptive damping

Active Curve System option

Magic Vision Control wiper arm assembly

Detecting driver drowsiness

Adaptive cruise control

Plenty of airbags

A more aggressively appearing option

More information still to come

Orders begin this holiday

International availability not yet announced

Behind the wheel

The 2017 GLS-Class replaces the model formerly known as the GL-Class, to bring the car in line with Mercedes' new naming structure.

Caption by / Photo by Mercedes-Benz

From here on out, all crossovers will begin with GL-, and the third letter will refer to the vehicle's size. Given that the S-Class is the brand's largest sedan, the GLS will be the automaker's largest crossover.

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No matter what model you choose, your GLS-Class will come standard with Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.

Caption by / Photo by Mercedes-Benz

The range-topping model, seen here, is the Mercedes-AMG GLS63. It's powered by a 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged eight-cylinder engine, good for 577 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

Caption by / Photo by Mercedes-Benz

Those with an eye for efficiency can opt for the GLS350d, which uses a 3.0-liter diesel engine to maximize efficiency. It might be low on power, with just 255 hp, but it's packing an impressive 457 pound-feet of torque.

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In-between the diesel and AMG variants lie the GLS450 and the GLS550. The GLS450 sports a gasoline-powered six-cylinder engine, and those on the hunt for a bit more thrust can look to the GLS550's 4.7-liter eight-cylinder.

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Mercedes went all-out improving the GLS' interior. The most notable update is the COMAND infotainment screen, which is no longer tucked inside a shroud in the dashboard. It sports the same floating-tablet aesthetic seen on other new M-B vehicles.

Caption by / Photo by Mercedes-Benz

Other changes to the interior include a revised center console, a new instrument panel and a three-spoke steering wheel that feels a bit more premium than the outgoing car's four-spoke unit.

Caption by / Photo by Mercedes-Benz

Buyers can opt for an 8-inch COMAND infotainment screen with a touchpad and navigation capability. Online services (including automatic emergency calling, breakdown assistance and diagnostic data sent to a buyer's smartphone) are free for the first five years.

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All GLS-Class variants come standard with three rows of seating. The back two rows can fold down for some serious cargo capacity.

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Off-road enthusiasts can pick up the Off-Road Engineering package, which includes a low-range gearbox and a locking center differential.

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The GLS-Class' standard air suspension can be configured to provide a ride height in excess of 12 inches. In that mode, the vehicle can ford nearly 24 inches of standing water.

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Mercedes' air suspension also gains adaptive damping, and it's standard for all drivetrain variants.

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Another bit of optional equipment is Active Curve System, which can alter roll-bar stiffness for reduced body roll in turns.

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If you like fancy windshield wipers, the optional Magic Vision Control puts the wiper-fluid nozzles inside the wiper arm assembly. Instead of fluid spraying wildly in every direction, it looks like your wipers are clearing the windshield without any liquid whatsoever.

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Buyers will find plenty of standard safety equipment in the GLS-Class, including forward collision warning, automatic braking and an attention assistant that monitors driveline inputs to detect driver drowsiness.

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If you'd rather let computers do the brunt of the work, the Driver Assistance Package includes Distronic Plus, which allows adaptive cruise control functionality from 0 mph up to a chosen top speed. It will start and stop moving without any driver input.

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If you do end up in a collision, you'll have plenty of airbags to absorb any forces at play, including two-stage front airbags, front knee airbags, and window airbags across all three rows.

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You can outfit the GLS550 with an optional Sport package, which gives the car a more aggressive appearance without requiring you to spend the coin for the full-on AMG treatment. Upgrades include unique front and rear bumpers, side running boards and 21-inch AMG alloy wheels.

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While drivetrain configurations and power outputs are all finalized, Mercedes-Benz has yet to release any information regarding fuel economy, performance, or price. To give you an idea, though, the least-expensive GL-Class ran buyers about $65,000.

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US buyers can order the 2017 GLS-Class starting in December, and deliveries will take place in late March.

Caption by / Photo by Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has not yet announced order or delivery data for the UK or Australia.

Caption by / Photo by Mercedes-Benz

The interior has been improved for the GLS-Class over last year's model.

Caption by / Photo by Mercedes-Benz
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