• Price: $81,514

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    • 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS450 4MATIC Guaranteed Clean Title

      GLS450 $69,550
      040 Black
      114 Espresso Brown MB-Tex
      P01 Premium Package $3,830
      17U Android Auto
      319 Lighting Package $1,390
      322 Appearance Package: 20-Inch 10-Spoke Wheels $1,340
      413 Panorama Sunroof $1,000
      55U Porcelain Headliner
      6P5 Factory Code
      731 Burl Walnut Wood Trim
      866 Pre-Wiring for Rear Seat Entertainment $170
      843 Power EASY-ENTRY $400
      9U3 factory code -tbd
      581 3-Zone Automatic Climate Control $1,450
      993 Lane Tracking Package
      996 Parking Assist Package $1,290
      SUBTOTAL $80,420
      TOTAL $81,415

      Higher asking prices and maybe a new paint color or two will keep changes to a minimum following a significant model-year 2017 refresh. That refresh included a name change, from GL-Class to GLS. It also updated the styling and powertrains and improved fuel economy.

      The changes didn’t fundamentally alter a vehicle design that debuted for model-year 2013. Part of Mercedes’ plan to align its crossover designations with those of its cars, the rebadging identified this full-size seven-seater with the automaker’s flagship S-Class sedan. Shoppers responded positively, with the GLS defending its sales leadership in the full-size premium-SUV class, ahead of such rivals as the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, and Land Rover Range Rover.

      You shouldn’t, given the slim chance of significant content updates but the near-certainty it’ll cost more. You’d also be a model year closer to a full redesign – likely for 2020 – that’ll render this-generation GLS a little stale. Furthermore, very high rollers may want to delay until 2020 or so because the next-generation GLS will be the basis for Mercedes’ new ultra-luxury crossover. That full-sizer will wear the Mercedes-Maybach badge and likely cost more than $200,000. It’ll compete with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and upcoming Aston Martin DBX and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

      As for the 2018 GLS lineup, expect it to reprise the V-6 GLS450, V-8 GLS550, and high-performance V-8 GLS63, the last again tuned by Mercedes’ AMG arm. The diesel-powered GLS350d could return, but as of April 2017, it hadn’t been approved for sale by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pending the EPA’s investigation into emissions compliance.

      Will the styling be different?
      Other than maybe a new color choice, no. As part of its model-year 2017 freshening, the GLS received a new grille with a large Mercedes-Benz logo, reshaped headlights, and a broader tail. That won’t change for ’18. And, beyond the badging, about the only way to differentiate the models will again be wheel size: 19-inch alloys on the GLS450, 20-inchers on the GLS550, and massive 21s on the GLS63. Despite its performance bent, the GLS63 will retain a very subtle look. Aside from the larger wheels, its distinguished only by a deeper front fascia and quad (versus dual) exhaust pipes. Overall, the GLS is not as ostentatious as an Escalade or Range Rover, but it’s still plenty upscale.

      Passenger room is baronial in the first and second seating rows. There’s good comfort for three across on the second-row bench. Even the two-passenger third row is adult-friendly, with reasonably easy access, although grownups back there ride with knees slightly elevated. Cargo space basically mirrors that of the Escalade, with 16 cubic feet behind the third-row seat, 49.4 behind the second row, and 93.8 with both rear rows folded
      The control layout is Mercedes typical: brand loyalists will feel right at home; newcomers may need time to decipher some of the myriad controls and their not-always-obvious identifying markings. Cabin materials are first-rate, as you’d expect from such a pricey vehicle. You might, however, expect the GLS63 to feel a little more special, given its station.

      Unlikely. All 2018 GLS engines will again use turbochargers; the gasoline engines in fact have two, while the suspended diesel used one. Every engine will also return with a fuel-saving engine-idle stop/start function that automatically shuts it off when the vehicle is stationary and instantly restarts it when the driver releases the brake pedal.

      The 2018 GLS450 will again have a 3.0-liter V-6 that should retain 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The GLS550 will reprise a 4.7-liter V-8, again with 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both will continue a 9-speed automatic transmission. Expect the ’18 GLS63 to again pack a 5.5-liter V-8 with 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque and to again link it with a 7-speed automatic transmission. All models will retain steering-wheel paddle shifters and should again be available with a $575 Class IV trailer hitch to achieve a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.

      Also returning as standard on all ’18 GLSs will be Mercedes’ Dynamic Select, which allows drivers to customize transmission, throttle, and suspension calibrations among Normal, Comfort, Slippery, and Sport modes. There’s also an off-road setting on some models, while the GLS63 includes a Sport+ setting. The automaker may well consider some recalibration within these modes. As it is now, most buyers are best served leaving Dynamic Select on Normal. Comfort makes the ride a bit too floaty. Sport and the GLS63’s Sport+ trigger touchy throttle response, making smooth acceleration difficult in city and suburban traffic.

    • Drive: 4MATIC
    • Transmission: Automatic

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