Review Of The Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate
The new Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate leads a formidable GLS lineup. If you’re on the lookout for a premium seven-seater that’s rugged but cosseted, it ticks a lot of boxes.
It comes with seven spacious seats, a powerful four-wheel-drive system, excellent ride quality – and it’s a surprisingly good handler.
It’s fast, too. 0-62 is dispensed within a matter of 4.9 seconds, and you feel all of its 550bhp as you power through tougher roads.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate review.
On The Road
There is always a danger with a car as big and as powerful as this that it’s going to drive like a mad bull. With 550bhp available on tap, it’s an absolute crusher of an SUV. However, despite the sheer bombast of its twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine and its elevated height, it’s actually a good handler.
As far as 4×4 seven-seater’s go, this is one of the best in terms of how it holds the road. Sure, you’re aware of how gargantuan it is, but the sense of scale doesn’t act as a distraction. In fact, it’s easy to feel as though you’re sat in a comfortable armchair as you pilot the GLS AMG.
Air suspension is standard, and keeping it in Comfort setting keeps the ride nice and soft while reducing body roll around bends. Switch to Sport mode and the responses are sharpened up.
However, you still need to be careful when taking bends. It’s not a sports car and shouldn’t be driven with a devil-may-care attitude. However, to make you feel secure and confident, Mercedes have added super strong brakes and calipers which ensure that it’s easy to reign in the car’s speed when you need to.
Active Curve System is also standard. When taking a corner, it automatically stops the wheels on the inside of the curve as fast as the ones on the outside. This lets you take a bend quicker.
In terms of its performance, there is a lot to get excited about. The V8 engine does 0-62 in 4.9 seconds, and can keep going until 155mph. If you need even more speed, you can add the AMG Driver’s Package and extend its top speed to 174mph.
As expected, the engine is an uproarious one which is always in full voice. It’s a bit over-the-top, but who would want it any other way?
Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate Interior, Design & Build
Recent Mercedes interiors aren’t always hitting the sweet spot with buyers, and we reckon this one is another that you’ll either take or leave. It’s similar to a few other recent models, which again is either a good thing or a bad thing. What’s impossible to deny is that build quality is excellent, and the switch-gear is easy to get used to.
Comfort is another objective fact. The Mercedes GLS AMG Estate is a high-performance machine, but it looks after you well, even from broken road. Airmatic suspension is standard, and this ensures that the car feels comfortable at all times.
Everything works well, too. The buttons and controls are sturdy, the surfaces durable, and the levers feel strong and robust. It’s a cabin that’s built to last.
The dashboard is coated in faux leather upholstery for the most part. And while some buyers will want the real deal, we think the fake stuff here looks close enough to the real deal to be super convincing. We think buyers will also appreciate the in-car entertainment systems, such as DVD players and TV tuners.
A minor criticism is the door mirrors. They are too small – especially for a 4×4.
In terms of how practical it is, you won’t find many seven seaters that offer this much room for everyone. Adults can even take their place on the third row of seats, although there is a bit less head and legroom back there. The front two rows offer supportive and heated seats, though, so perhaps your passengers will have to keep swapping between the second and third rows on longer journeys. It’s only fair.
With all seven seats up, the boot measures 295-litres. Fold the third row and you can extend it to 680. Fold the second row too, and you can increase its capacity to 2,300-litres. These are impressive figures. As a bonus, the tailgate is electronically operated.
Equipment & Safety Of The Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate
The amount of standard kit available is excellent. Included in the listing price are electric windows, a full AMG body kit, active park assist, 21” AMG alloys, electrically operated third-row seats, embossed AMG leather sports seats, Bluetooth, COMAND infotainment system, and sat-nav.
A Nappa leather steering wheel is an optional extra that we like, as are comfort ventilated front seats. However, these are a pure luxury, and since the standard seats are heated, they’re hardly necessary.
Euro NCAP hasn’t crash tested it yet, but we’d expect it to bag all five stars. Moreover, Mercedes have been generous with their standard safety kit to reassure you that this is a secure vehicle. Included is four-wheel-drive, traction control, and a collision avoidance system.
Costs Of The Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate
Prices for the new car go as high as almost £105,000. If you want to lease the car, you can pick up a deal from as little as £305 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, this is a Hulk of a car that’s powered by a V8 petrol engine, so economy was never going to be reasonable. The GLS 63 AMG can subsequently return 23mpg at best, and emits 288g/km of CO2 into the atmosphere. This means you’ll be liable to pay a £505 yearly tax bill – the highest possible.
Pros and Cons Of The Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate
It’s a lump of a car that develops a whopping 585bhp of power. But it holds the road like a boat holds the water.
Despite its gargantuan frame, the Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate always feels smooth and relaxed.
Not only are there seven seats available, but each one offers more room than most vehicles of this type. It’s awash with space, which is great for comfort.
It costs as much as £104,900 to buy outright, will average around 15mpg economy and demands a £505 yearly tax bill.
It holds the roads well, but never does it feel exciting.
Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate vs Porsche Cayenne vs Land Rover Range Rover
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate review.
Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate vs Porsche Cayenne
The new Porsche Cayenne is a huge high-performance car that boasts a massive boot and lots of power. It’s also been smartened up.
It might weigh a tonne, but it handles like a sports car. The Cayenne defies its weight with pinpoint steering and frankly insane speeds. Even the entry level diesel model can do 0-62 in just 7.3 seconds. For a hatchback, that’s fast. For a large Estate? It’s astonishing.
The bigger diesel engine develops 380bhp, and devours 0-62 in 5.4 seconds. An abundance of shove is available at all times, and you don’t need to work the engine hard to get the most out of it.
If you’ve got money to burn, you can look at the petrol engines without keeping one eye on the frightening running costs. The Cayenne S is powered by a V6 petrol engine that produces 414bhp, and which can get you swiftly from rest to 62mph in 5.5 seconds. The bigger Turbo model benefits from a V8 4.8-litre all-action engine that covers the same distance in 4.5 seconds before maxing out at 155mph.
The GTS will probably be more palatable to most buyers, however. It packs 434bhp, and can do 0-62 in 5.2 seconds. It also comes with a sports exhaust that emits an exciting note.
In terms of how it drives, there is barely any body lean while four-wheel-drive helps with composure. It’s comfortable on winding roads, and if you want to enhance the experience you can choose from a number of optional extras.
Running costs are an area of weakness, with even the diesels struggling. The Diesel S returns 35.3mpg at best, and emits over 200g/km of CO2. Even the entry level diesel struggles, and can only average 42.8mpg economy.
The petrols are significantly thirstier, with the Cayenne S returning just under 30mpg, while, the Porsche Cayenne GTS returns 28.8mpg.
Inside, the Cayenne is well-appointed, and there are a number of luxurious touches. The dash wraps around the driver to continue with the sports car feel, the leather seats are supportive and comfortable, and the switches are exquisitely made.
It’s a lot more car-like than some rivals, but it feels as well-built as a proper SUV. Moreover, it’s practical. It might not have the option of a third row of seats like the Mercedes, but five adults are well accommodated for. The Cayenne is longer than last time, the rear seats can slide back and forwards, and headroom is good.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 670-litres with all the seats up. Fold them down and you can extend it to 1,728. The boot sports a wide opening and its load lip is smooth.
Mercedes – £104,900
Porsche – £53,900 – £121,500
Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate vs Land Rover Range Rover
The new Land Rover Range Rover is basically the Titanic fit for land. It’s positively gargantuan and would probably win a fight with an iceberg. For the purpose of this review, we’re focusing on the range-topping 5.0-litre V8 petrol version.
V8 engine’s always get us a bit giddy. When they power two-tonne vehicles like this, we can’t contain ourselves. This particular one is supercharged for extra access, and develops a frankly insane 543bhp. It roars like a lion, can do 0-62 in 5.1 seconds and feels exactly as fast as that.
It’s surprisingly smooth, too, and is the same engine as you’ll find in the Range Rover Sport SVR. Top speed, meanwhile, is 155mph.
As expected, you’re aware of its weight at all times. However, Land Rover has modified the suspension for this range-topping model, and combined with the lowered ride height you can still approach corners with speed.
Predictably, the V8 engine is not cheap to run. But did you hope it would return better than 22.1mpg?! Worse still, that’s just Land Rover’s claimed number. In reality, you’ll be averaging around 15mpg. It’s also not cheap to insure, and sits in the highest insurance group there is.
Step inside, though, and you might decide that those running costs are manageable. This is a beautiful interior that’s awash with luxury. Fit and finish are excellent, the design is elegant, and the controls are super easy to use.
Land Rover hasn’t forgotten the original use for these vehicles either, and the controls are still big enough to be operated with gloves on.
However, it’s the sheer quality of the cabin that will spellbind buyers. The dashboard sports a futuristic look, you get a 10” touchscreen screen, as well as the latest version of the brand’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. Wood veneer inserts are a highlight, too.
It’s also supremely practical. The boot measures 909-litres with all seats up and over 2,000 with the rear seats folded. A rear camera and an automatic parking system are standard, the mirrors and windows are large, and the four-seat variant means all adults have lots of room to stretch out.
Land Rover – £76,800 – £167,300
Verdict Of Our 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate
Okay, it’s expensive. But while some buyers will be laser-focused on its 585bhp and 0-62 time of 4.9 seconds, what we feel is more eye-catching about this car is its usefulness for families.
There are seven seats available as standard, and all offer an amazing amount of space. The boot measures 680-litres when you fold the third row of seats, while comfort is assured by Airmatic suspension and in-car entertainment systems.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG Estate is a powerful, beautiful, and prestigious road warrior.
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