It is Mercedes’ most luxurious SUV, with the Maybach variant sitting at the top. Our test car, the GLS 400d, was equipped with just about every equipment available, which made it the perfect car for touring around.

The GLS 400d is powered by a 3.0 litre inline 6 diesel engine with 330 hp combined with 700 Nm of torque. Sprint from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) is done in 6.3 seconds, while the top speed is limited to 238 km/h (148 mph). Here are 5 things we loved about it after driving around in it for a week.

The Looks

Completely in black, Obsidian black as Mercedes calls it. Of course there are other colors to choose from but we loved the road presence it presented in this particular spec. The overall look has also improved and one can easily tell this is a sophisticated luxury SUV just from the looks.

7 Seater

The most common feature of SUVs in this segment is the option for 7 seats or 3 rows. The GLS offers the 2 persons on the last row of seats, a pleasant sitting and comfortable position. A 1000 km drive as an adult might not be fully comfortable, but the GLS will do it better than rivals in this segment without compromising on luggage space. The total length of 5.34 meters is fully used in this way.

Parking in the city

You can’t possibly expect a car like this to park like an A Class. But it still surprised me how easily I could park it even in very small spaces. Of course this is made easier by the all-round 360° camera . Other than underground parking spaces with low roofs, the GLS will give you an easy time driving around in the city.

Going off-road

The real off-road work, up to the belly in the mud and more is rarely spent in a GLS, especially since our test car drove on normal street tires. But still we couldn’t resist a quick off-road detour. We chose a route filled with bunkers of world war 1 through Flanders. At no time did the GLS have any trouble with a hill, a ditch or other obstacles along the way. The suspension does a great job, to give you the most possible comfort.

Of course, we played it safe and brought a friend along who owns a Land Rover Defender. However, to our surprise…

The Defender got stuck, and we even had to call 3 friends each with a Defender to pull him back out. What an adventure and fun we had! As you can expect, the part where the Defender was stuck was not part of the route, but our friend wanted to prove what a Defender can do … mission failed if you ask me!

Pictures by Wouter Desmet

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