Road Test: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS450

Road Test: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS450
Story by Jordan Allan, photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz


Price: $95,500

Engine: 3.0L turbocharged inline 6-cylinder

Trans: 9G-TRONIC 9-speed

Power: 362 hp@ 5,500 rpm

Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Curb Weight: 5,701 lbs./ 2,586 kg

Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 12.3/10.2


New for 2020: The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is fully redesigned for 2020 and offers a new mild hybrid system and standard adjustable air suspension. It features new looks inside and out, and is longer and more aerodynamic than its predecessor.

Segment Competitors: Land Rover Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX 570, BMW X7, Audi Q8, GMC Yukon Denali, Lincoln Navigator

The Skinny: Although the redesigned 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS450 is unmistakably German, there is something about it that feels very (North) American. It’s big, tall, loud and is just as at home cruising the freeway as it is putting up to 7 kids around the city. That being said, although they are very good, the American versions of a vehicle like this are really playing for second as few can match the upscale design and interior appointments of the GLS450.

The new design is more aggressive in nature and is longer and more aerodynamic than the outgoing model and provides some much needed freshness as it had started to grow a little long in the tooth.

Inside of the GLS450 is an absolutely incredible interior design that is refined, upscale and – most notably- huge! I compared it earlier to the Escalade and Navigator that feel equally as big, but as I said there is just something about the way Mercedes designs its interiors that makes it stand out from the rest. The materials feel better, the layout makes more sense and every single nook and cranny seemed well thought out.

The front seats are amazingly comfortable, and although I was a little disappointed the middle seats in my test model were a bench rather than captain’s chairs, the back was equally as nice. The 3rd row is best suited to kids as usual, but can definitely be used by full sized adults in a pinch.

Driving the GLS450 in any situation is incredibly smooth and the SUV does an superior job of keeping road noise out. Acceleration is good whether it’s from a dead stop or say merging on the highway, while the steering felt quite responsive and allowed it to be very easily navigated through tight city streets.

All controls, including the infotainment system, were easy to find and use for me and I simply could not get enough of the overall luxurious feel the GLS450 provided.

Pros: Don’t want to go on more than I already have regarding the interior, so let’s go with the fact that although it is quite big, it doesn’t really feel that way when driving, which is a good thing especially if you’re in the city. And let’s be honest, if you’re buying a Mercedes, there’s a good chance you are.

Cons: It’s something that comes with the territory in these types of vehicles, but I wouldn’t say fuel efficiency is one of its strong suits.

The Verdict: Though it starts below the $100,000 mark at $95,500, selecting just 1 or 2 option boxes is more than enough to put you over that mark. Buyers of this vehicle are going to be those looking for a large, true 3-row SUV who don’t mind paying a little bit more for some of that Mercedes prestige. Having driven this as well as most of its main competition, all I’ll say is that it definitely deserves more than just a look.


Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests