Full-size luxury is a concept that many would naturally pair with iconic brands like Mercedes-Benz, and among rival three-row haulers from BMW and Audi, the GLS-Class SUV pulls off the premium feeling particularly well. But it’s not just about being comfortable and spacious, but also about potent powertrains and responsive driving characteristics that make driving a large SUV a pleasant experience. So, while the big Merc has been gifted some aesthetic enhancements for 2024, the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class engine lineup has also been tweaked with more power on tap than before. The entry-level GLS now makes 375 horsepower and will hustle up to seven passengers to 60 mph in under six seconds – and there are quicker, more powerful models waiting in the wings, including the AMG version.
When Is The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Coming Out?
The automaker hasn’t revealed a specific release date for the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV, short of saying it will make its way to dealerships in the USA “later in 2023”.
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Price And Competition
Although the manufacturer hasn’t given the exact price for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV, we can assume it’ll likely cost a few thousand dollars more than current prices, given the upgrades. 2023 models have an MSRP of $81,800 for the GLS 450 and $105,000 for the GLS 580; we’d expect to pay at least $83k for the base model before options and destination fees and $107k for the more potent 580 4Matic version.
Competition for the GLS-Class includes familiar foes like the BMW X7 and the Audi Q7. The former also boasts some tasty updates and pricing for the big Bimmer starts at around $78k for the base model and $103,100 for the 2023 M60i. From the Audi garage, we’re expecting an updated 2024 Q7 in the near future, although we don’t have details yet. Current models are much cheaper than rivals, at around $59,200 for the entry-level model and starting at $90,200 for the spicier SQ7.
New Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Exterior And Colors
Changes to the new Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV are obvious at first glance. The radiator grille now features four louvers in a Silver Shadow finish, set above a much more assertive bumper. Here, the air inlets are more prominently highlighted with a high-gloss black surround to give it a much more dominant look. It also gets a redesigned front underride guard.
At the back, there are new LED taillights with a triple-block light signature. A panoramic sliding sunroof is standard, and the dual exhaust outlets carry over. We expect 20-inch wheels to fill the arches as usual on the GLS 450, with the 580 4Matic running on 21-inch wheels.
The exterior colors for the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class have been updated too, with Twilight Blue Metallic and Manufaktur Alpine Grey added to the palette. We’ve yet to find out if some older colors have been traded out for the new hues.
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Dimensions
Merc hasn’t provided exact dimensions for the new Merc GLS-Class, but with the exterior tweaks and minor upgrades to the spec sheet and powertrain, we can expect only slight changes. Existing measurements for the GLS 450 include a length of 205 inches over a 123.4-inch wheelbase, a width of 84.9 inches including the mirrors, and a height of 71.8 inches. GLS 580 models may be a bit longer, and the new models will likely be similar in dimensions.
Curb weight figures for the new GLS-Class have historically started at 5,467 pounds for the base model, with more potent models adding to that. We’re likely to see the 2024 GLS-Class models up this by a few pounds to start with.
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV Engine And Performance
The models in the new GLS-Class range cover both ends of the spectrum when it comes to performance, and an AMG model, which we review separately, brings even more to the table. For 2024, the GLS 450 4Matic comes with more power from the turbocharged inline-six, now making 375 hp (up from 2023’s 362 hp), while torque is still rated at 369 lb-ft. This enables a 0-60 mph sprint that is a tenth quicker than the outgoing model, estimated at 5.8 seconds.
The GLS 580 gets even better specs, with its V8 engine now putting out 510 hp (up from 483 hp) and making 538 b-ft. The result is a significantly quicker sprint, with the GLS 580 needing just 4.7 seconds to get to 60 mph, half a second quicker than the outgoing model. Both models have a top speed of 130 mph, and thanks to the mild-hybrid system with integrated starter generator, can net between 20 and 21 hp of additional horsepower through temporary boost. Towing is catered for, too, with up to 7,716 pounds of towing capacity when correctly equipped.
But the GLS is not just a sublime cruiser on the highway as off-roading is also catered for, although this isn’t a trail-rated car by any means. The GLS 580 can be equipped with the Off-Road Engineering Package, which adds specific underbody protection and 1.2 inches more ground clearance.
Since powertrain specs have changed, fuel consumption on the 2024 Merc GLS-Class SUV will be different too. But while we aren’t privy to exact mpg figures for the GLs-Class yet, we can use current figures as a starting point, and assume either a slight increase due to the mild-hybrid assist system, or similar figures (considering outputs are higher to offset this).
The EPA rates the 2023 GLS 450 at 18/23/20 mpg city/highway/combined, while the GLS 580 fares worse, at 16/21/18 mpg. We’re hopeful the gas mileage figures will be better on the new models.
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Interior And Cargo
While there have been some updates to the interior, it’s not quite as overt as the exterior tweaks. The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV still seats either six or seven, and it’s still premium inside, as is expected. The new models feature the latest generation steering wheel with touch controls and gain two USB ports in the rear center console.
Interior materials and colors for the 2024 GLS-Class are updated too, and there are two new leather upholstery choices, namely Catalana Beige and Bahia Brown, and buyers now have access to High-Gloss Brown Linden Wood and Manufaktur Piano Lacquer Flowing Lines, which was previously only found on the Maybach GLS 600. Also from the Maybach version, the climate control vents are now outlined in Silver Shadow finish.
The latest version of the MBUX infotainment system does duty here, but the graphics and interface show off a new look. The system comprises a 12.3-inch driver display that has three display styles and three modes, ranging from Classic through Sporty, to Discreet. In the latter setup, only the most essential info is shown on the screen. Seven color schemes are available that work with the ambient lighting setup to create a futuristic look. The central infotainment touchscreen is also 12.3 inches in size.
Among the standard features, Merc has made MBUX Interior Assistant standard, and your usual slew of luxury items will carry over. These include navigation, HD Radio, inductive charging, high-end sound from the likes of Burmester, four-zone climate control, and hands-free access to the trunk. Speaking of cargo space, the Merc GLS-Class trunk should hold between 17.4 cubic feet and 84.7 cubes, depending on configuration and which seats you fold down. Heated and cooled cupholders are standard at the front of the cabin.
Safety will likely be prioritized in the production of the new GLS-Class, considering some incidents that made news headlines in the last while. GLS models come with seven airbags, active parking assist, blind-spot assist with exit warning, and crosswind assist. A ‘transparent hood’ function engages in Off-Road Mode to display a virtual view of what’s underneath the vehicle’s nose, using the 360-degree camera and surround-view monitoring system to warn you of obstacles.