Finally! After making its world debut at the LA Auto Show last year, the Mercedes-Benz GLS was launched in India today at Rs. 80.38 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Pune). Mercedes claims that the GLS is the S-Class of SUVs, and for those not familiar with the new nomenclature, consider it as the new and better version of the GL-class. The GLS is one of the 12 launches planned by Mercedes-Benz in the country in the calendar year of 2016.
Roland Folger, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, was upbeat and confident of the GLS’ success in the Indian market. “Popularly known as the S-Class of SUVs, the introduction of the GLS underscores Mercedes-Benz’s dominance in the luxury SUV segment in India”, he said. “The GLS is the epitome of exemplary engineering that cleverly combines unmatched space, with delightful driving pleasure on any terrain. With the launch of the GLS, we are glad to provide the most comprehensive luxury SUV portfolio in the country to our discerning customers. India has a growing penchant for the SUVs and at 100% growth achieved in 2015, it was the highest growing segment for us.”
Among the changes to the car, the ones to the look and style are the most prominent. The GLS is blessed with an updated front fascia with revised grille and dual-slats, not to mention new alloy wheels and more body colour options. The car boasts sportier bumpers and a bigger logo, daytime running lights with LED fibre optics, LED intelligent light system, and aluminium-look running board with rubber studs.
Some minor changes have been made to the cabin as well. The car is a 7-seater, and has been redesigned to stay true to their claim of being the “S-Class among SUVs”. The well-designed new premium upholstery is blessed with high-grade Nappa leather, which is used to drape the new three-spoke steering wheel as well. Lastly, the car comes equipped with an 8.0-inch stick-out touchscreen infotainment display, with an easy to access touch pad on the centre console.
While the global model comes in one AMG and three regular (GLS550, GLS350D and GLS450) variants, the only Indian model offered (for now) is the 350D. The Indian version of the GLS is powered by a 3.0-litre, V6 diesel engine that is mated to a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. This engine is capable of pumping out 258 BHP worth of power at 3400 RPM and a mammoth torque of 620 Nm at 1600-2400 RPM, and makes the car go from 0-100 kmph in 7.8 seconds. Certainly not bad for such a gigantic SUV!
The GLS also boasts of some really great safety features, much like the GL-class. These include electronic all-wheel drive (AWD) traction control with 4ETS, brake assist, crosswind assist, ESP, prevention assist and attention assist. A driver-assistance package is an added option to those who are still not satisfied with the security features on board. It has features such as DISTRONIC PLUS with steering assist, active lane keeping assist, pre-safe brake with pedestrian detection, active blind spot assist, to name a few.
For the Indian market, the GLS will be locally manufactured at the Pune production facility. If luxury, style and size is what you desire, then your search probably ends here.
Image source: Tech Guru Daily