Superior comfort, excellent handling, and the latest technology
It’s a behemoth for sure, weighing between 5,467 to 5,798 pounds and capable of towing up to 7,500 pounds (with an optional trailer hitch).
Despite its size, we found during our week with the Mercedes GLS 450 that it seems ridiculously easy to drive and has surprising performance. It’s also comfortable and convenience. The only notable complaint is an infotainment system that takes a while to master.
Besides the 450, the GLS brand also includes the upgraded GLS 580 and GLS 600, which employ twin-turbocharged V8 engines. The 450 model is a turbo V6.
Introduced in 2006, sales of the GLS brand were 25,000 or more for seven straight years, including a high of 32,248 in 2017. However, sales dipped to 16,928 in 2020 before rebounding to 24,482 last year.
Designed for more traditional driving, the GLS still has some off-road chops. It has an optional off-road package that has a two-speed transfer case and increased ride height. It’s not the perfect SUV for an adventurous journey, yet it can handle itself adequately on rugged terrain.
Smooth & powerful
The GLS 450 felt smooth and powerful in all driving situations we encountered. The engine uses a mild hybrid system that delivers efficiency and performance.
The engine is a turbo 3.0-liter, V6 that generates 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and travels 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, an impressive time for a luxury SUV. Gas mileage of 18-24 mpg is solid as well.
The performance is clearly evident and so is the smooth handling. The GLS 450 cruised along multiple road conditions and did it with ease and a lightness that defies its size. It never felt cumbersome on either short or long drives.
Standard driver assistance features include blind spot monitoring, surround-view parking camera system, crosswind assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, vehicle exit warning, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.
The luxurious GLS can seat seven people or be equipped with comfy captain’s chairs in the second row that will reduce the seating to six passengers.
Regardless of where one resides in the three rows, there will be no lack of space in regard to head and leg room. The seating is supportive and won’t get burdensome during long drives.
There’s 17.4 cubic feet of cargo area with all the rows upright, just long and wide enough to squeeze in an average size golf bag. It expands to 48.7 cubic feet with the third row down and nearly doubles to 84.7 cubes with the two rows folded to the floor. Additional storage is available in bins, cupholders and pockets throughout the cabin.
AT A GLANCE: 2022 MERCEDES GLS 450
- Performance: turbocharged 3.0-liter, V6, 362 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 18-24 mpg
- Price estimate: $77,300
- Warranty: 4 years 50,000 miles; Drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; Roadside assistance: 4 years/50,000; Corrosion: 4 years 50,000 miles
The GLS provides a wealth of standard features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The one we grew to like most was the voice command system that turns on when you respond with “Hey Mercedes.”
The only real downside is the infotainment system. It’s not intuitive and the learning curve is a challenge when using the 12.3-inch touchscreen that is well-equipped with the latest tech. The cabin has lots of physical controls and a somewhat troublesome touchpad controller as well.
It’s difficult to find fault with the 2022 Mercedes GLS. It offers superior comfort for all seven passengers, possesses legitimate power, excellent handling, and the latest technology.