2020 Mercedes Benz GLS Class Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.What do you get with each? Find out below..
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Those who are looking for a budget-friendly SUV will have to look elsewhere because the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is all about high-end luxury design and power. Equip it just right, and you could easily spend $100,000. This also is not the vehicle for anyone wanting to get superb gas mileage. For its segment, it does well enough, but some of MB's entry-level vehicles are more fuel-friendly. This is, after all, the largest SUV that MB makes.
The GLS-Class is now entering its third generation with this year's total redesign. There is now a standard adjustable air suspension and a new mild hybrid powertrain. The MBUX infotainment system now comes standard and is one of the most well-liked systems on the market at the moment. The cargo areas is even more versatile than before with different storage configurations.
The biggest highlight on this line-up are the two powerful engine options. Each one is paired with a highly efficient automatic transmission, getting this massive SUV up to speed in an enviable amount of time.
Of course, there are a lot of other features that are worthy of discussion. That's why we will closely compare and contrast the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class's two trim levels: the GLS 450 SUV and the GLS 580 SUV. At the end of this trim level comparison review, we will let you know which trim level we think presents the best overall deal.
Compare the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 vs GLS 580. What is the difference?
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class' line-up starts with the GLS 450 SUV, a third-row SUV that can seat seven people (or six, if you decide you want the second-row captain's chairs). This trim level is powered by a 3.0-L inline-6 cylinder turbocharged engine with EQ Boost, and this gets paired up nicely with the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. Together, this powertrain delivers a smooth 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle has no problem with getting from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, and its fuel economy comes in at a respectable (for its segment) 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
If equipped with the optional Class IV trailer hitch, the GLS 450 can tow 7,7000 pounds. 4MATIC fully variable all-wheel drive comes standard, and there is a 4-wheel independent double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension with a self-leveling AIRMATIC and adaptive damping system. It rides atop 19-inch twin 5-spoke wheels with all-season tires and has a one-touch "car wash mode" that prepares the vehicle to enter a car wash facility.
Optional mechanical features on the 450 include the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL package (which scans the road surface ahead and adjusts its leveling, damping, and spring rate at every wheel), an underguard, the Class IV trailer hitch, and the EQ Boost Integrated Starter-Generator.
The GLS 580 beefs things up a lot when it comes to power, and for the nearly $100,000 price tag, you should expect a lot from this vehicle! It receives power from a 4.0-L bi-turbocharged V8 engine with EQ Boost, which is also paired with the 9G-TRONIC. It musters up a hefty 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Of course, the trade-off here is less fuel efficiency for more power. The GLS 580 gets just 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, but it does get from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 5.2 seconds. It does so atop 21-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels equipped with all-season tires. Also, the EQ Boost Integrated Starter-Generator comes standard. An off-roading package gets added to the list of options, which boosts the ride height and fording depth when going off the beaten path.
On the outside, these two trim levels look fairly similar, but there are some important differences. The 450 has sleek contouring along the sides and both fascias, and the chrome bumper inserts and polished roof rails speak to its sense of luxury. The wide grille distinguishes this SUV, and the chrome-lined window openings and horizontal LED taillights help it look sporty. There are side mirror logo projectors that look really cool, and the rear seat passengers get encased in deeply-tinted privacy glass. You can opt for a few 20- and 21-inch wheels and illuminated running boards.
The 580 has AMG body styling, so you will see nuances in its deepened front apron and bigger mesh grilles and sleek chrome detailing. And, of course, there are the color-keyed flared fenders. Options exist for 21- and 22-inch wheels and, of course, the well-loved Night Package that paints it black.
Many basic interior design elements are shared between these two trim levels. They both have a second row of seats that is a 40/20/40-split (unless you go for the 6-seater option) and a 50/50-split third row that can fit two adults without a problem. There is a Nappa multi-function steering wheel, 64-color ambient interior lighting, and grey linden wood trim. You can opt for a wood/leather-mix steering wheel, topstitched MB-Tex lower dash and upper door trim, topstitched Nappa upper dash and upper door trim, the Exclusive Package (which puts wood trim on the seatbacks and gives them MB-Tex covered map pockets), metal weave trim, and a black DINAMICA headliner.
When it comes to the list of standard safety features, even the GLS 450 is almost completely loaded. In fact, both trim levels come jam-packed with most of the same advanced driver aids. Standard features include active brake assist, Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, attention assist, LED daytime running lights and taillights, LED intelligent lights with ultra wide high beams, and adaptive high beam assist. You also get trailer stability, crosswind assist, blind spot assist with an exit warning function, a surround view camera, PRE-SAFE, PRE-SAFE Sound, downhill speed regulation, Smart Key with KEYLESS START, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and an auto-dimming function on the rear-view and driver's side mirrors. Optional add-ons include evasive steering, active distance assist DISTRONIC, speed limit assist, PRE-SAFE PLUS, and PRE-SAFE Impulse Side.
Luxury, of course, knows no bounds on these high-end SUVs. For the price, you know you should expect a lot. The GLS 450 is already generous enough with its cozy front seats that have standard heating, memory, and 4-way power lumbar support. The power liftgate and hands-free access make getting things in and out of the cargo area super easy. There are also 3 years of Mercedes me connect services, concierge services, KEYLESS GO, dual-zone automatic climate control, MB-Tex leather upholstery, a retractable luggage cover, a steering column that is tilting and telescoping, a 115-volt power outlet, the HomeLink universal garage door opener, and a brake HOLD feature.
On top of all that, you can choose to add on ventilated front seats, multi-contoured front seats with massage, heated armrests, heating for the second row, heated and cooled cup holders, a panoramic sunroof, black/magma grey Nappa leather upholstery, a heated and ventilated second row of seats, and the multi-contoured massaging seats for the second row.
On the GLS 580, you get everything that comes standard on the GLS 450 with several major additions. The front seats have standard ventilation added on as well as the massaging, multi-contoured seating. 5-zone automatic climate control gets swapped in, and the soft close doors and infrared-remote window open and close function make you feel like you are living in the lap of luxury. Optional features include rapid heating for the front seats and the Air Balance cabin air purification and fragrance systems.
For the most part, the multimedia features are the same across each trim level on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. The new MBUX infotainment system gets equipped, and even though it has a steeper learning curve than other systems, it is still hailed as one of the best on the market for the model year. It does everything you want, need, and expect it to do without giving much hassle. You can also say "Hey, Mercedes" as a keyword activation for searches. A 12.3-inch multimedia display comes standard, as does another 12.3-inch digital display cluster. There is, of course, a touchpad controller that you can use. MB Navigation is built into the vehicle, but you can also choose to use the navigation app on your smartphone when you sync it via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (which are standard).
In all, there are 9 USB-C ports to be found throughout the cabin, giving folks in each of the three rows the opportunity to access a port with ease. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and audio streaming come standard, as do HD Radio and a 6-month all access trial to SiriusXM Satellite Radio. To top it all off, there is a two-way in-car communication system that works as a PA system between you and your passengers. It definitely comes in handy when you need to tell your kids to quit screwing around in the third row!
Options that you can go for include the MBUX interior assistant, MBUX augmented video for navigation, the Burmester High-End 3D surround system, wireless charging for the second row of seats, an MBUX tablet for the second row passengers, WiFi hot spot connectivity, a head-up display, and TuneIn Radio.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class: Which Trim to Choose?
As is now quite clear, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is at the high end of luxury automotive technology without losing its appeal to everyday consumers. Both trim levels are insanely appealing, and both come with tons of merits. That is why some buyers will struggle with making a choice between the two.
Let's face it, if you are buying an MB, you probably have some money to throw around. You might be thinking about how awesome the line-topping GLS 580 sounds with its spiced-up engine and extra luxury features. But don't look past the GLS 450. In fact, the 450 is the better deal out of the two trim levels.
While the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 450 is not quite as powerful, it provides a better balance of power and fuel efficiency. You won't be heading to the gas pump as frequently and dumping as much money into the tank. The 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway that it gets is respectable for a third-row luxury SUV. The 19-inch wheels also give a slightly smoother ride due to their smaller size, and the standard suspension is a phenomenal one.
The GLS 580 is really all about the power boost and a few snazzy creature comforts. For the price jump, it is not going to be a worthwhile investment. You are better off going with the GLS 450 and outfitting it with some of the available packages and stand-alone options. There is plenty of room for customization there, and you can even delete that middle seat in the second row if you want easier access to the third row. The GLS 450 is definitely the way to go.
• Compare the 2019 Mercedes Benz GLS Class Trim Levels