The GLS450 receives mildly updated front and rear fascias, a new nine-speed automatic transmission, and additional settings for its selectable driving mode system. To emphasis these changes, the series name has been changed from GL to GLS.
As in previous years, the GLS450 is powered by a 3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that develops 362 horsepower. All-wheel drive and the new nine-speed automatic transmission come standard. A self-leveling air suspension assures a luxurious ride. Tow capacity tops out at 7,500 pounds, about the same as a truck-based SUV.
The GLS450 offers the usual driving modes (Comfort, Normal, Sport), plus a customizable Individual setting and an Off-Road mode. With room for seven adults and up to 94 cubic feet of cargo space, the GLS450 is one of the largest crossovers you can buy.
Standard features include a power-folding third row, heated power front seats, wood or aluminum interior trim, a rearview camera, a sunroof, a power tailgate, automatic wipers, HD radio, and a touchpad controller for the infotainment system. Seats are clad in leather-like MB Tex upholstery, although most buyers will want to upgrade to one of the available leathers.
The available Premium package adds driver and passenger memory, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, keyless ignition, ambient interior lighting, satellite radio, smartphone integration, and a navigation system. Models so equipped can also get a Driver Assistance package with adaptive cruise control, and front and rear collision mitigation with automatic braking and pedestrian detection. There’s also a Parking Assist package with an automated parking system and surround-view cameras.
For enhanced handling, Mercedes-Benz offers the Active Curve System package, which minimizes body lean during cornering. Models with this feature can also get an Off-Road package with low-range gearing, an Off-Road Plus driving mode, and a front skid plate.
Turning to the exterior, you can order up an Appearance package (special 20-inch wheels and lighted running boards) and a Lighting package (adaptive LED headlamps with automatic high beams).
It’s impossible to overstate the variety individual options, from a 900-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system to diamond-cut washer nozzles embedded in the wipers. Some of the more practical choices include tri-zone climate control, a power-folding second row, ventilated front seats, and panoramic sunroof.