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Upgraded SUV will be available here in four versions, writes Colin Smith
The upgrade and renaming of Mercedes-Benz SUV models will be complete when the GLS arrives in New Zealand from April to join the GLA, GLC and GLE model lines.
The GLS is a upgrade of the previous GL model and will be sold in New Zealand market in four versions priced from $139,900.
Seven-seat accommodation is standard and the GLS is the largest of the Mercedes-Benz SUV models with an overall length of 5130mm and a wheelbase of 3075mm.
The adjustment options for the centre seat row enable a high degree of flexibility in the interior, including a cargo position which provides a cargo volume of 680 to 2300 litres.
Among the changes that accompany the arrival of the GLS are revised exterior styling and a more luxurious interior.
The frontal styling has been redesigned while the rear has been modernised primarily in the area of the bumper and tail lights while chrome-look details such as the roof rails, underbody protection, beltline trim strips, luggage compartment handle and side sill trim create attractive highlights.
Updates to the interior include a newly designed instrument panel with semi-integrated Media Display, the new three-spoke multi-function steering wheel and the modified centre console with the innovative touchpad.
The entry level is the GLS 350d model powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine producing 190kW output and 620Nm of torque.
The new 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on all non-AMG models.
As part of the upgrade , the GLS now includes Comand Online navigation, Apple CarPlay, an LED Intelligent Light System, Dynamic Select with five driving modes and 20-inch alloy wheels in a 10-spoke style as enhancements over the previous GL entry model.
As the next step in the range the GLS 350 d Sport incorporates a newly designed AMG Line exterior package, Active Curve System with active roll stabilisation, tyre pressure monitoring system and metallic paint as standard.
In addition, nappa leather, an AMG Line interior and 21-inch AMG wheels also become standard equipment.
V8 power is introduced to the GLS line with the GLS 500 model. It's 4.7-litre engine develops maximum output of 335kW with 700Nm of torque.
In addition to the equipment offered on the GLS 350 d models, the GLS 500 gains a panoramic glass electric sunroof with slide/tilt function, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second row seats, an anti-theft protection package and a Digital TV tuner.
Completing the GLS range is the high performance Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 with its 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 engine producing 430kW and 760Nm of torque to allow 0-100km/h acceleration in 4.6 seconds.
The AMG variant also gains further specification over the GLS 500 including an AMG Driver's Package.
Driver assistance systems fitted as standard across the GLS line-up include Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Crosswind Assist, Attention Assist, Distronic Plus with Stop&Go Pilot, Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian detection, BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and the electronic all-wheel drive traction system 4ETS.
Adaptive, two-stage airbags for driver and front passenger, kneebag for the driver and front passenger (combined thorax/pelvis bags) and window bags across all three seat rows are also part of the standard specification, among other features.
Night vision is improved by the standard LED Intelligent Light System.
With Dynamic Select, the new GLS provides up to six transmission modes. In addition to the settings Comfort, Slippery and Sport, the driver can choose individual or the Off-Road mode for light terrain.
When equipped with the optional Off-Road Engineering package, the Off-Road+ mode is also available.
With this, the low-range gearbox and centre differential lock also intervene if necessary in order to ensure a high degree of driveability in demanding off-road terrain.
This is further boosted by the expanded functions of the Airmatic air suspension with raised ride heights for a ground clearance of up to 306mm and a fording depth of up to 600mm.
Apart from the ground-breaking powertrain configuration, the retuned Airmatic air suspension with further advanced ADS damping characteristics guarantees extremely stable handling.
The damping system changes its priorities depending on the preselected Dynamic Select mode.
Sport focuses on the greatest possible lateral dynamics with the best possible ride quality.
Comfort mode enables maximum ride quality with the best possible dynamics.
The optional active roll stabilisation Active Curve System uses active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axle and reduces the roll angle of the body during cornering.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS 350D 4Matic $139,000
GLS 350D 4Matic Sport $160,000
GLS 500 4Matic $198,000
AMG GLS 63 4Matic $238,000