2020 mercedes-benz GLS: an off-roading utopia in utah

2020 mercedes-benz GLS: an off-roading utopia in utah

with the 2020 GLS, mercedes-benz shaped an automotive utopia in utah, usa. curving through the canyons, gliding by the shores and climbing the mountains that surround salt lake city, designboom tested the car in an ideal rugged and ever-shifting natural setting. the GLS has more everything, even in comparison to its little brother, the GLE. it is the brand’s largest and most luxurious SUV to date, and we explored just how the model merges modern luxury with the character of an off-roader.

all images courtesy of daimler



like the expansive state of utah, there is only one place to start when describing the mercedes-benz GLS: its size. with an additional 77mm in length and 22mm in width, it measures 5,207mm long and 1,956mm wide with a 60mm increase in wheelbase, too. this adds even more spaciousness to the interior and helps define a confident road presence. its harmonious proportions, though, ensures the design neither looks as large as it naturally is or feels as big to drive.



as the biggest hint to its real size, the GLS’s side profile best distinguishes it in comparison to mercedes-benz’s other SUVs. the nearly vertical windscreen paired with a long, continuous greenhouse of glass evokes a vision of elegance. the brand’s renowned sensual purity philosophy continues to shape the car by removing edges in favour for sculpted surfaces. at the front, this is apparent in combination with an upright radiator grille in an octagonal graphic, prominent chromed skid plate and new MULTIBEAM LED headlamps. the design is complete with two powerful domes on the bonnet that adds dynamism to the road view for the driver.



like the exterior, the interior design intertwines luxury and comfort with details of robustness. luxurious appointments of leather lavish the spacious cabin, especially at the front. here, a huge touchscreen unit – sized appropriately to match that of the car – appears to float above a band of open-pore wood that spans the width of the interior. the luxury experience then continues into the rear with an optional ‘biggest panoramic sunroof in the market’.



as with the front seats, the second and third row seats are all fully electrically adjustable. with the second row folded flat and then the third row lowered into the floor, the boot space offers up 2,400 liters of space to hold anything you could possible imagine to carry, from our luggage to camping gear and more. two 11.6 inch touchscreens as well as a separate tablet ensures comfort, climate and entertainment can be controlled directly from and for the rear seats, and even for the two fully fledged seats in the third row.




on the road, the GLS effortlessly glides along with ease and comfort, whether on curving mountain paths or straight highways. the top model, the 580 4MATIC, has a V8 petrol engine that delivers 489 hp and 700 Nm of torque – with another 22 hp and 250 Nm of torque on tap via the EQ boost. the smooth ride is enhanced with many leading driver assist technologies, most notably the active distance assist distronic that uses route-based traffic information to adapt the speed when cruising. for those who are not familiar with towing, the car also has a trailer manoeuvring assist for parking.



when leaving the freeways and climbing up rocky mountainsides, the GLS also grants great agility off-road. a highlight is the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL active suspension that whether on- or off-road offers outstanding comfort, agility and handling for the driver at all times. this is further enhanced with the advanced AIRMATIC air suspensions system that uses a highly complex sensor system to detect and adapt the damping characteristics in real time. the results balance the car to constantly provide a smooth ride and ultimate control, even on the most rugged of terrains.






product info:


brand: mercedes-benz

model: GLS

year: 2020

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