The ground-shaking GLS 400 4Matic is big, powerful and unstoppable. A bit like a battleship
SINGAPORE — If you felt the ground shake today, it might be because a Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class had just rolled by. The enormous, seven-seater Sports Utility Vehicle has joined the Mercedes price list in Singapore. Only one version, the GLS 400 4Matic, is available. The Singapore price? $445,888 with COE.
That buys you a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 under with 333hp and 480Nm. Even though it’s a heavy thing that weighs more than 2.4 tonnes, the GLS 400 is decently quick, galloping to 100k/h in 6.6 seconds.
The GLS-Class is essentially a heavy facelift of the GL-Class, with the “S” tacked on as part of Merc’s current naming system. The “GL” part tells you it’s an off-roader, while the “S” lets you know it’s roughly in the same size and category as an S-Class.
No S-Class has seven seats, though, which is something the GLS boasts. Thanks to an enormous booty, it also has an enormous boot.
Cargo capacity is 680 litres with five seats in place (that is, the third row folded flat), rising to 2,800 litres when you fold the second and third row seating — enough to haul a small moon around.
As with the smaller GLE-Class, there’s an optional bit of kit called the Off-Road Engineering package for $9,100. It adds an under-engine guard (though you can have that separately for just $600) and a bit of extra mud-plugging tech in the form of an Off-Road+ driving mode, which alters the transmission’s settings to maximise traction in the rough.
It also enables the air suspension to raise the big Mercedes until it has 306mm of ground clearance. That’s enough to wade through floods 60cm deep.
Chances are you’ll stick to tarmac, however, in which case you’ll appreciate the active dampers (which can vary their stiffness depending on how comfy or sporty you want your GLS to be). There’s also something called “Active Curve System”, which combats body roll.
Those are standard features, thankfully. Just because the GLS 400 is as big as a battleship, it doesn’t mean its occupants should put up with seasickness.
Leow Ju-Len has covered cars and the car industry since 1995. If it has an engine and wheels, you can count on him to be all over it like a monkey on a banana. Ju-Len believes in rear-wheel drive, V8s and world peace.
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