Just one engine is on offer at the moment, but there are three trim levels.
The £73,995 ticket price buys you the ‘entry-level’ AMG Line Premium version, which comes with the brand’s MBUX on-board connectivity and infotainment system, as well as Airmatic air suspension, a Burmeister surround-sound system and 22-inch AMG alloy wheels. The kit list also stretches to a 360-degree parking camera, a head-up display and a panoramic sunroof, not to mention the aluminium-look running boards and keyless entry.
But if there’s a little more money in your bank account, you can splash out on the mid-range AMG Line Premium Plus model. That comes with augmented reality navigation, which uses a camera to display an image of the road on the infotainment system, then overlay directions on the screen. The Premium Plus also comes with heated and cooled front seats with massage functions, a rear-seat entertainment system and heated arm rests. There’s even a temperature-controlled cup holder allowing owners to keep hot drinks warm for longer.
If you’ve got even more money burning a hole in your pocket, though, you can choose the AMG Line Premium Plus Executive version. Featuring all of the above, plus a heated steering wheel, rear-seat massaging tech and heated seats for the third row, it’s the pinnacle of the GLS range. There’s even a tablet for those in the rear to operate various in-car functions, and electric sunblinds in the rear doors, while the whole thing is marked out by its enormous 23-inch alloy wheels.
All three versions come with the same 3-litre diesel engine. It wears the ‘400 d’ badge, and it achieves wholly respectable outputs of 326 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque. By way of a comparison, a Porsche 718 Cayman only produces 299 bhp, while a Lamborghini Huracan Performante will only pump out 443 lb-ft of torque. Even with a mere 3-litre diesel on board, then, the GLS offers a 6.3-second sprint from 0-62 mph and a top speed of 148 mph. And Mercedes claims the huge seven-seat 4x4 will return up to 35.8 mpg if it’s driven gently.
Other engines are expected to arrive over the coming year or so, but for the time being, the 400 d is the only option. That doesn’t mean drivers have little in the way of choice, though, because like most Mercedes models, the GLS is available with optional extras.
One such goody is the £1,495 Off Road Package, which includes fully-variable all-wheel drive and low-range transmission, as well as inter-axle locking, hill descent control and an off-road anti-lock braking setting, which is specially optimised for rough surfaces.