Home / Home / Mercedes GLS 400 d Review – Putting the ‘S’ in ‘SUV’


The all-new Mercedes GLS has come to India and there’s a whole lot new about it. From the design and interior to the engine and equipment. How much of an all-road S-Class is it really? We drive the GLS 400 d 4MATIC to find out.

Mercedes GLS 400 d

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Apurva Ambep

Huge. Not just huge, over 5.2 metres long and two metres wide sort of huge. The new Mercedes GLS towers over most other vehicles and road users, making trucks and buses part lanes to allow it to trundle through. City traffic seems to be getting worse by the day and with more rule-flouting through the extended lockdown, the GLS demands even more care; at first anyway.

The new X167 GLS from Mercedes-Benz — this is the 400 d, the most potent diesel on offer — has a lot going for it. Dare I say, with a price tag over the Rs 1-crore ex-showroom mark, the GLS is excellent value for what it brings to the table. And it’s a huge table. The only real competition, in that bracket anyway, is from the BMW X7 30d; no, the 40d isn’t sold here. The Range Rover D300 also factors in, but the entry Sport S is the one that competes on price. So, a direct comparison is not something I’d like to engage in. However…

Mercedes GLS 400 d

The Mercedes GLS is huge, we’ve already established that. Its looks, however, blend increasingly into family territory. At first glance, it looked, to me, like a blown up GLB with the GLE’s headlights. Those headlights, MultiBeam LEDs, have 112 individual lights and they really know how to illuminate. The front end has a vast area, with swatches of red from the body colour, soft silver from matte aluminium, and black from the plastics, other elements and shadows. The large, very butch grille is loaded with sensors and that means there’s a lot of equipment hidden away. The large proportions are joined by big side-steps and massive 21-inch wheels with 315-section tyres making for a huge footprint. Thankfully, the diesel will help keep the carbon footprint lower. The large side-windows — with enough surface area to keep all three rows of occupants happy — and their silver surround flow into a generous tail section. The wraparound LED tail-light clusters and another chrome strip flowing across look neat and very expensive to replace.

Mercedes GLS 400 d

Inside is where it’s at. There’s an expanse of room across all three rows. The supple leather upholstery and soft, cushioned head-rests made me wonder how much more indulgent the Maybach GLS would be. Yes, soft-close doors and massage seats are missing from this one. But there’s the MBUX interface with intuitive operation via touchscreen, gesture control, and the “Hey, Mercedes” voice control, together with two large 12.3-inch displays for a seamless widescreen appearance. That’s joined by a huge sunroof, electric sunblinds, as well as ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours. There’s also a five-zone climate-control system and a premium Burmester sound system. This GLS also has many USB Type-C ports for every row. And there are three of those.

Mercedes GLS 400 d

In proper luxury format, all seats are powered and offer plenty of room and comfort for all seven passengers thanks to the long wheelbase of more than 3.1 metres. The second row slides by a full 100 mm and the third row can properly seat full-size and even taller than average adults. Besides, all rear seats can be folded separately or together at the touch of a button. That makes for a voluminous boot of up to 2,400 litres. The powered tail-gate adds to the practicality.

Mercedes GLS 400 d

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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