After six weeks of driving on the left side of the road, it was a welcome sight to return home to the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 4Matic full-size SUV.
After a slight urge to exit the airport car park on the wrong side, my week behind the wheel of this luxurious ride returned my senses to normal.
The GLS 580 simply offers more: More space. More comfort. More technology. More luxury.
It comes with a $125k asking price. But in my mind, worth every penny.
My tester was a six-seat variant with captain’s chairs in all three rows and third-row seats that can be lowered into the floor with the push of a button, increasing cargo space. All rows feature heated, fully-electric, adjustable seats with USB ports. Plus, the third-row captain’s chairs are actually functional, designed to accommodate adults up to 6-foot-4 in height.
My son, who is the same height, tested the statement, and confirmed accuracy.
Powered by a 4.0-liter, V8, bi-turbo mild hybrid engine, the GLS 580 generates 510 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive. Fuel consumption is the compromise, with the vehicle rated at 14 miles per gallon in city driving.
“The GLS combines modern luxury with the character of an off-roader,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. “Powerful highlights of the off-road design idiom combined with an elegance reminiscent of a classic luxury sedan. The interior is a synthesis of modern, luxurious aesthetics, hallmark SUV practicality, and digital high-tech. In our view, the new GLS therefore offers the best of all these worlds.”
At present, Mercedes-Benz offers seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS and G-Class). The SUVs are a major structural pillar in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio, and greatly contribute to the growth of the brand.
When the discussion lands on creature comforts, where to start?
Mercedes slathers layer, upon layer, upon layer. Many of them as standard, others among the $13k in optional equipment. My personal favorites were the elaborate navigation system, Burmester surround sound system, five-zone climate control, and massage seats.
Other goodies included a night package, acoustic comfort package, pinnacle trim, illuminated running boards, panoramic roof, ambient lighting, Mercedes-Benz user experience, soft close doors, and more.
Perhaps the most fun – other than driving the GLS 580 – was the feature of bossing it around. Simply say “Hey, Mercedes” and a specific task, like: ‘change the channel to Margaritaville, or open the panoramic roof, or change the ambient color to purple’ and it magically happened.
Other than an occasional “will you repeat that?”, your wish is its command. Outstanding.
Also available on the new GLS, the sophisticated E-Active body control air suspension technology that delivers outstanding suspension comfort, agile handling, and a high degree of off-road capability.
Driver assist technology allows the GLS 580 to virtually drive itself, placing a premium on safety and security. The lengthy list is highlighted by active distance and steering assist, lane-keeping assist, brake assist, blind spot assist, parking assist, surround view camera, anti-theft alarm system, adaptive high beam assist, and a LED intelligent light system.
Base Price: $113,150
Price As Driven: $125,770
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may cary at local dealerships.