The three-row posh crossover wars are real – but the new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS is battle ready. The fully revamped, third-gen, three-row not only looks better, but with two new engines, tons of tech, and a Manhattan-sized apartment's worth of space inside, it's much improved all-around from its predecessor. It's making its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
At launch in the UK the new GLS comes with only one engine. The 400d model uses the same 2.9-litre inline-six diesel engine as the previous model, producing 325 bhp and 516 pound-feet of torque. Combined fuel consumption is 7.9-7.6 l/100 km or an equivalent of 37.2 mpg; combined CO2 emissions: 208-201 g/km. The engine already complies with the Euro 6d- standard, which does not come into force until 1 January 2020. The GLS comes paired to the same nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
Like the smaller GLE, the GLS gets E-Active Body Control as an option. The 48-volt, battery-aided, hydropneumatic suspension gives the three-row crossover the ability to scan roads and pre-determine damping, as well as "jump" itself out of tough off-road situations like sand, mud, and rock, as seen here in this GLE video.
GLS also shares a lot in common with the GLE visually, especially up front. The same dual chrome grille bars and centrally located Mercedes-Benz logo carry over.
The new GLS is longer by up to 75 mm over the previous model. For 2020, the GLS stretches out to 5,207 mm and has a wheelbase of 3,135 mm and a width of 1,956 mm. All that extra space means room for up to seven, with the option of a six-seat layout when equipped with the second-row captain's chairs, and a massive panoramic roof with a 50-percent larger viewing area.
At the disposal of the driver is Mercedes's new MBUX infotainment system with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch central touchscreen with navigation, all standard. Other standard features include a Burmester surround sound system, inductive wireless charging, 64-colour ambient lighting, nine USB ports, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, naturally. If you want heated and cooled cupholders, a head-up display, or the "Energising Comfort" massage function, that'll cost extra.
Safety also stands out, with standard equipment like automatic emergency braking, active parking assist with a bird's eye view camera, and even car-to-car communication. The highly advanced Driver Assistance package with radar cruise stop-and-go technology, steering assist, speed limit assist, evasive steering, and tons of other features, is an option, as is augment video for navigation.
The 2020 GLS doesn’t have a price yet, but we expect the crossover on sale in Western Europe in the third quarter of 2019.