First Drive: Polished 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS Expands Tech and Luxury

This redesigned premium SUV wows with a quiet ride and tons of tech

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS review, front driving view

The new full-sized Mercedes-Benz GLS is a top-of-the-line SUV positioned to show competing models just how high standards are getting. And just glancing at its gorgeous interior, we'd say that most competitors need to play catch-up.

No large SUV gets good fuel economy, but Mercedes is trying to make things better with the GLS. It's fitted with fuel-saving technology, such as a standard 48-volt battery setup that allows accessories to operate without taxing the engine. This gas-saving system also smooths out the stop/start feature.

Mercedes-Benz Road Tests

We’ve driven our GLS 450 for 2,000 miles, cataloging our impressions on every aspect of the vehicle’s ride, interior comfort, features, and feel. The GLS is currently going through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including those to evaluate acceleration, braking, fuel economy, handling, car-seat fit, and controls. It competes against elite SUVs, and we will soon know how it measures up against the BMW X7, tested earlier this year.

Prices for the new model range from $75,200 for the base model to $126,150 for the AMG GLS 63 version.

You can access our assessment of the new GLS by logging in or clicking below to become a Consumer Reports member, which also gives you full access to exclusive ratings on all the products we evaluate.

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What we bought: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 4Matic
Powertrain: 362-hp, 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbocharged engine; nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $75,200
Options: $12,835, which includes black leather seats, walnut trim, MBUX navigation, captain’s chairs, heated/cooled cup holders, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, black headliner, trailer hitch, illuminated running boards, heated rear seats, 21-inch wheels, chrome door handle inserts, Driver Assistance Plus package (adaptive cruise control, active steering assist, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance), Warmth and Comfort package (rapid-heating front and rear seats, heated front armrests and door panels, rear heated armrests), Energizing Comfort Plus package (vented front seats, air balance package, active multicontour front seats with massage).
Destination fee: $995
Total cost: $89,030

CR’s Take

Even with the dizzying $89,030 price of our test SUV, this big, tranquil Benz still feels like it offers something special, even among other premium full-sized SUVs. It's certainly no bargain, but buyers will get a lot of return for the price they pay. 

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