The present Mercedes-Benz GLS is barely about three years previous, however time strikes quick, particularly for Merc’s large flagship SUV. The brand new GLS for 2024 is in some ways the identical car it was earlier than, besides with a bigger grille, swanky new inside trim choices and — gasp — a steering wheel with contact controls solely.
At a time when Volkswagen is lastly yielding to public opinion and deleting the troublesome capacitive-touch keys from the Golf’s steering wheel, and Hyundai has come out emphatically towards such controls in its autos, it’s unusual that Mercedes would double down even in its range-topping SUV. The sensation of soft-click buttons and weighted knobs between your fingers is like 30 p.c of the attraction of Merc’s S-Class choices, is it not? Shiny black plastic simply appears so plebeian.
I can’t converse to the convenience of the wheel’s touch-sensitive operation, although I can say it at the very least seems good in photos. The GLS receives new leather-based and wooden trim choices with this facelift, together with MANUFAKTUR Piano Lacquer Flowing Traces (seen beneath) which you used to solely be capable to get on Maybach’s model of the GLS. And no, I wasn’t cleansing my keyboard with caps lock on simply then — “MANUFAKTUR” is basically how Mercedes spells it out.
Talking of which, it’s not simply the usual GLS that’s getting the love for 2024. The refresh extends to the AMG and Maybach variations as properly, which have additionally acquired new, larger grilles for an added diploma of differentiation. The slats go vertical for each editions, although the Maybach provides many extra of them.
Supplies and trim apart, the brand new AMG GLS ought to carry its some 6,000 kilos of mass just a little higher, due to up to date suspension logic. Right here’s how Merc put it within the press launch:
The AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL energetic roll stabilization system works with two electro-mechanical actuators on the entrance and rear axle. The system reduces physique roll when cornering, and permits extra exact tuning of load change conduct and precision when cornering. It additionally will increase driving consolation when driving in a straight line as one-sided highway imperfections are balanced out.
As a part of the facelift, the roll stabilization and air suspension additionally profit from a software program replace and a brand new setup. These measures improve the unfold between dynamic dealing with and luxury. Nice-tuning of the software program for the configuration of ESP, electronically managed rear-axle locking differential, AMG Efficiency 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive and the suspension management system delivers a dynamic and superior driving expertise.
The GLS 63’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 social gathering piece stays entrance and heart, producing 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque with hybrid help. In the meantime, energy has truly been elevated on the ordinary-by-comparison GLS 450 and 580. The GLS 450’s 3.0-liter inline-four now affords 375 hp — a 13-hp bump from the pre-facelift mannequin’s 362. Likewise, the 4.0-liter V8 thumping within the GLS 580 brings 510 hp, in comparison with the 483 hp it used to make.
Pricing on all variations of the Tuscaloosa-built GLS is prone to come nearer to launch, which Mercedes has promised for later this yr. For reference, the present GLS 450 begins at $81,800.