Because last year’s Mercedes GLS450 created the ideal combination of luxury, performance and fuel economy, it comes to no surprise that this year, Mercedes has decided against changing things up drastically. However, there are a couple of notable tweaks to the GLS450 this year: the new transmission and infotainment display.
This year’s GLS450 has a new transmission, the 9G-Tronic Automatic. You can thank the 9G-Tronic for being responsible for the GLS450’s improved fuel economy. This new nine-gear transmission keeps revs low to save fuel, while still being able to shift quickly between gears.
The 9G-tronic in combination with the 362 hp 3.0-liter twin- turbocharged V6, lends for a combined fuel economy of 19 mpg. Even with nine gears to choose from, you will find that all of them provide a smooth, responsive ride.
When considering this SUV’s large size, its ability to make you feel well-connected to the road is pleasantly surprising. In addition, this year’s GLS450 can sprint to reach 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. The 2017 GLS450’s sprightliness can be attributed to its weight. Which, thanks to the shedding of optional extras, is 207 pounds less than the 2015 model.
Inside this elegant SUV, you can seat up to seven people when you fold up the back row. Although it is more comfortable than most third row seating, its best to leave this section for children or teenagers — larger adults would likely find it a bit crammed.
Otherwise, there is abundant legroom throughout the cabin and especially comfortable seating for the driver and their passenger. If you are not frequently hauling seven passengers, the back row is best left folded down to increase the cargo room from 16 cubic feet to a much more convenient 49.4 cubic feet. Throughout the interior, the GLS450 is lined with attractive brown leather and trimmed with wood accents.
The GLS450 also boasts respectable amount of standard features. These features include, but are not limited to: power tilt and sliding sunroof, rearview camera, heated front seats, privacy glass, manual easy-entry to third row seats, Embrace Connect, remote start, power liftgate and of course, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. As for safety, the GLS450 comes with crosswind assist, 24-hour roadside assistant, anti-lock breaks and a pre-safe predictive occupant protection system, to name a few features.
Also worth mentioning is the GLS450’s new touchpad controller for the updated command infotainment display. The infotainment is controlled much like a smartphone and allows you to handwrite text — a pretty neat feature.
Although large, the 2017 GLS450 is anything but cumbersome. On the road, this full-sized SUV feels well connected and responsive in all of its nine gears. And thanks to its new transmission, the GLS450’s fuel economy remains reasonable. In this high-end SUV, you and your six passengers will feel comfortable with plenty of room to go around. Made with fine materials and boasting several technology features, Mercedes ensures that this year’s GLS450 is luxurious while remaining practical.
The MSRP for the 2017 Mercedes GLS450 starts at $68,700.