Mercedes-Benz says it’s the S-Class of all SUVs and is the pinnacle of serenity – we have no reason to doubt it cause it even comes with a Discreet drive mode. Other drive modes include Modern Classic, Sport, Supersport, Trail and Sand.
These modes regulate how the 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 engine behind the largest front grille in any AMG model behaves. It’s got over 612 hp and 850 Nm which can be sent fully to the rear, or distributed equally (50:50) between the front and rear wheels.
With an additional 22 hp from the EQ Boost starter-alternator, the GLS can take on most sportscars with a claimed 0 to 100 km/h time of just 4.2 seconds.
Top speed may be unlocked from 250 km/h to 280 km/h through the optional AMG Driver’s Package. All that fury is tamed by 6-pot caliper brakes in the front, clamping on to massive 400 mm discs.
The 7-seater GLS has a significantly longer wheelbase than its predecessor, which as a result benefits the second row passengers in particular with an additional 87 mm of legroom.
The usual fixtures in an AMG cabin are all present with lettering on the floor mats, door sills, instrument cluster and such. Driver and front passenger seats gets climate control while heated second row seats are standard.
But that’s not what makes it the “S-Class” of SUVs. Instead, it’s all in the suspension. It’s standard fitted with an air suspension system with an Adaptive Damping System so you can still read your papers or reply emails while your driver is going through a roundabout completely sideways.
Neither ends of the GLS would dip either regardless of vehicle load with its self-levelling system. Ride height can be lowered by 10 mm either manually or automatically according to speeds.
For better the unsavoury driving surfaces, a push of a button will get you additional 55 mm of ground clearance – not that the GLS would ever be driven beyond the tarmac.