Next week at the 2015 Los Angeles International Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz will be unveiling the mildly refreshed 2017 GLS Class (formerly GL Class). In an effort to realign their SUV lineup with their sedan lineup, Mercedes-Benz will market the GLS as the “S Class of SUVs.” This means the GLS will be the most luxurious 3-row SUV available on the market.
With the 2017 mid-cycle refresh, the GLS Class receives new front and rear bumpers, redesigned headlights and taillights, redesigned interior with upgraded materials, and technology.
There are new engine and transmission options, plus a new name badge.
On the outside, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class includes standard luxury features like chrome roof rails, under-guards, shoulder-line trim strips, luggage compartment handle, and side skirt trim. An optional Night package replaces the standard chrome trims with darker ones.
The Sport exterior package (available on the GLS 550 4MATIC), adds unique front and rear bumpers, side running boards, side flaps painted in body color, and 21-inch AMG light-alloy wheels. Mercedes-Benz will also offer a comprehensive range of new light-alloy wheels to further customize your new GLS.
All 2017 GLS models receive redesigned LED headlights and taillights, which should help with night time visibility. It gives the SUV a more streamlined look too.
Like all Mercedes-Benz products, the GLS Class will offer a variety of standard and optional paint finishes. The optional paint selection includes two colors from the Designo collection. The first choice is the popular Diamond White and the second one is Cardinal Red, which is new for the GLS Class.
Inside, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class has enough room to seat seven adults in utmost luxury and boasts ample elbow and headroom in all three rows of seats. The second row seats, with its diverse adjustment options, enables a high degree of flexibility inside and provides easy access to the third row seats.
The second row seats also feature a cargo position, which maximizes the luggage compartment space when the third row seats are folded.
Other interior highlights include a new 3-spoke, multi-function steering wheel in nappa leather, and a new instrument cluster with color media display. Other optional features include a wood and leather multi-function steering wheel and interior ambient lighting. Like the S Class, the GLS Class also features an air ionization system as an option.
For 2017, customers can personalize the interior of the GLS with five leather color schemes. The five leather color schemes include black, ginger beige/espresso brown, saddle brown/black, crystal gray/black, and ginger beige/black. The Designo exclusive nappa leather package adds heated comfort front seats with diamond quilted stitching.
The AMG line interior package adds sports seats in exclusive nappa leather, a 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel in black nappa leather, graduated instrument dials in a checkered flag design, and brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class will offer customers a choice of three gasoline engines and one diesel. New for 2017 are two gasoline engines and the diesel being backed by a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The base GLS 450 4MATIC will be powered by a 3.0 L BiTurbo V6 with direct injection, which produces 362 horsepower and 369 lb.ft. torque.
The mid-level GLS 550 4MATIC will carry over the BiTurbo 4.7 L V8 from last year, which produces 449 horsepowerand 516 lb.ft. torque.
The top-of-the-range GLS 63 AMG is powered by a hand-built, AMG BiTurbo 5.5 L V8, which produces 577 horsepower (up 20 compared to the 2016 model) and 561 lb.ft. torque.
The GLS 350d 4MATIC is powered by a 3.0 L BiTurbo diesel V6, which produces 255 horsepower and a whopping 455 lb.ft. torque.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS 350d 4MATIC, 450 4MATIC, and 550 4MATIC feature a new, nine-speed, 9G-TRONIC torque converter automatic transmission. The GLS 63 AMG features an AMG tuned seven-speed, 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. All 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS models send power to all four wheels via the 4MATIC, permanent all-wheel-drive system.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS Class will make its global debut at the 2015 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Customers can start ordering their new GLS models next month, with deliveries to the U.S. expected in March 2016.
*Rahul Raman is the author of the First Look series on Automoblog.net. He resides in the greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.