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That the GLS retained not just competitiveness but supremacy throughout its extended life cycle speaks to just how fundamentally excellent it was to start, and maybe a little bit that, until the recent arrival of the BMW X7 , most of its competitors were based on underpinnings donated from pickup trucks.
But its winning blend of luxurious and sophisticated comportment and three rows of generous passenger space caused it to nibble away at the stranglehold that the General Motors brutes— the Cadillac Escalade , Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC Yukon—had on the segment.
Initial models available are the GLS, powered by the excellent hp turbo 3. Both get a nine-speed automatic transmission. Available as a seven-seater with a three-across second row or, for the first time, as a six-seater with middle bucket seats, the GLS now offers an S-class-like executive rear-seat package that adds a foldable center console, a tablet to control the infotainment, plus multi-adjustable heated and ventilated seats.
The sunroof is 50 percent larger, and five-zone climate control is available. There's an easy-entry function that powers the second row forward to enable better access to the third row, and all seats can be folded down simultaneously by the push of a button. And there's also a new carwash mode.
Mercedes hasn't yet provided interior dimensions, so it's not clear how the GLS's three-inch stretch in overall length, 2. Front and rear lamps morph toward the shapes seen on the GLE. But it stays on the path of stately elegance, leaving ostentation to others in the segment. Considering that the GLS is underpinned by the same architecture as the smaller GLE which gained a third-row option in its recent redesign , it's no surprise that the interior looks identical. As in the GLE and others, dual It's powered by Mercedes's now familiar MBUX system, which can be controlled by voice, touchscreen, or touchpad, in addition to dash and steering-wheel controls.