Mercedes-Benz’s all-new GLS has broken cover in New York and is due to hit Australian showrooms later this year.
It’s the first all-new version of the large luxury SUV since it arrived as the GL in 2006 before facelifts in 2013 and 2016.
It will face a far more crowded segment than when it was launched, with traditional rivals such as Range Rover being joined by high riders from the likes of Bentley, Maserati and Lamborghini.
Merc has imaginatively dubbed the new GLS as the “S-Class of SUVs” and has grown even bigger, adding 77mm in length, 22mm in width and having a 60mm longer wheelbase.
The boost in space means, according to Merc, all three adjustable rows now have ample leg room.
Passengers up to 194cm can fit in the third row – and they will also have heated seats and separate USB charging points back there.
f not in use, the third row can drop into the floor, bumping boot space up to 2400 litres.
A new six-seater version, with two luxury second row seats, will also be available for the first time.
As with all international reveals, we’ll have to wait fro the GLS’ local arrival before we know what gear is available on what grade – but there’s some suitably cool stuff.
Like the S-Class limo, there’s a lot of emphasis on rear seat luxury. The rear seat entertainment system uses two 11.6-inch touch screens, while there is another tablet which controls comfort and entertainment settings from the back – including a five zone climate control system.
You can even prep your car for the car wash, with mirrors folding and windows and sunroof closing at the touch of a single button.
There is a choice of two mild hybrid petrol engines – a six-cylinder and a V8, the latter offering up to 376kW and 950Nm in short bursts – while some other markets will also get a pair of diesels.
All engines will be paired with a nine-speed automatic.
The GLS sits on Merc’s new modular platform and also has an upgraded version of the Airmatic suspension to keep occupants suitably cosseted.