Does it look different enough from its predecessor?
One of the big reveals at the 2019 New York auto show was the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, the brand’s largest utility vehicle. The redesigned model sports an evolutionary design, featuring softer lines and more rounded corners than its predecessor. Although its overall profile hasn’t changed much, the 2020 GLS-Class features enough updates that you won’t need a magnifying glass to see what’s different. The softer lines also don’t take away from its imposing looks.
The first thing you’ll notice looking at the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is its massive grille that juts out and dons a large three-pointed star. In certain configurations, the openings in the lower front fascia are thinner, further drawing your eye to the oversize grille and logo. The rounded headlights feature a cool pattern and appear narrower compared to the old car’s more angular ones that flank a smaller, shield-shaped radiator grille.
From the side, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the 2020 GLS-Class for the outgoing vehicle thanks to a similarly upright greenhouse. But take a closer look and you’ll notice the lack of character lines and the disappearance of the upward kink on the rearmost side windows. Like the outgoing model, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class looks like a stretched GLE-Class when viewed from the side, hinting at the shared underpinnings between the two vehicles. Out back, the similarities with the outgoing GLS continue with the slab-sided look. Only the taillights and exhausts are different, with the new one sporting thinner ones and squared off exhaust tips.
Move inside and you’ll immediately see the model has a new screen layout for the MBUX interface. The new model also ditches its predecessor’s vertical layout in favor of a horizontal one with flowing lines, fewer buttons, and a cleaner look. You still get slabs of wood and/or metal trim all over the cabin along with lovely mood lighting to make the cabin feel a little more special. Unlike the outgoing generation, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class also gets optional second-row captain’s chairs, reducing capacity to six passengers.
When it goes on sale by the end of the year, the new GLS will come with mild hybrid powertrains in the GLS 450 and GLS 580. Mercedes’ new E-Active Body Control, which first debuted on the 2020 GLE Class, will also be available. An AMG and Maybach-badged model should follow, likely powered by the now ubiquitous 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that’s found in everything from the C 63 to the AMG GT sports car.