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Mercedes GLS 350d 4MATIC Designo Line

What is it:

GLS is the new name, but this is a face-lifted version of the former GL-Class on sale since 2012. Can it live up to Mercedes’ claims that it’s the S-Class of the big SUV world? We hit the road to find out in the Mercedes GLS 350d 4MATIC Designo Line.

What’s hot?

  • Silky smooth and refined are how we’d describe the 258bhp 2,987cc V6 that powered our GLS test car. It boasts 620Nm of torque and 0-62 acceleration in 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 138mph. All well-matched to a new standard nine-speed automatic transmission.
Mercedes GLS 350d 4MATIC Designo Line

Cabin has acres of space

  • The Mercedes GLS has to be one of the largest and most practical SUVs on the market and this can be seen when you move inside, with the massive interior space and seven-seat practicality. Even the boot has a useable 295-litre volume.
  • With standard Airmatic air suspension, considering the sheer size of the GLS (it is longer than a Range Rover remember!) and the fact that our test car was fitted with 21-inch alloy wheels, the ride is mostly refined and relaxing. With the Designo Line’s anti-roll bars and responsive steering, despite the 2.5 tonne weight, it’s surprisingly easy to carry speed into corners and, with virtually no body roll, it remains a tidy handler too.

What’s not?

  • My goodness the GLS is big, in fact in our opinion it’s too big and unwieldy, when compared to more modern opposition in the form of the latest Audi Q7 and XC90. Plus, despite the new family nose, this new Mercedes looks a bit old and dated now.


GLS too big? Here’s something smaller

  • Like the exterior design the interior architecture is feeling a bit dated – after all it’s based on an original design that debuted back in 2012 and the game has moved on since then.
  • The ride might be good with the air-suspension system, but those massive 21-inch alloys tend to crash quite badly over pot holes.
  • In Designo Line trim the GLS is extravagantly-equipped, but at £78,095, the biggest Mercedes SUV is expensive.

Verdict on the Mercedes GLS 350d 4MATIC Designo Line:

If you need a big SUV, the GLS has to be one of the biggest, offering seven-seater practicality. However, once you get past all that space it’s hard to make a case for the GLS when compared to admittedly smaller rivals, when you find that the Mercedes isn’t as good to drive, feels dated inside and out and too expensive.

It is also difficult to make a business case for the GLS with the high 261g/km emissions and 37% company car tax band.

Mercedes GLS 350d 4MATIC Designo Line

The Low Down…..

Doors and body style Five-door SUV
Engine/gearbox: 2,987cc V6 diesel / Nine-speed automatic
CO2 Emissions: 261g/km
Economy: 37.2mpg
Power/torque: 258bhp/ 620Nm
0-62mph/top speed:  7.8secs/ 138mph
Insurance group:  50

…..and what it costs


P11D Value £77,550
Monthly business rental (ex VAT) From £751.42 (4yrs/60,000 miles)
Road tax (VED) M
Company Car Tax Bands 2016/17 to 2018/19 37%, 37%, 37%
Benefit in kind 2016/17 to 2018/19 £28,694, £28,694, £28,694
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%) £1,643 /£137
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%) £3,286 /£274
Annual/monthly company car tax (20%) £5,739 /£478
Annual/monthly company car tax (40%) £11,477/£956
Figures correct at time of posting June 2016
For latest figures Use our company car tax calculator
Mercedes GLS 350d 4MATIC Designo Line

The rear of the Mercedes GLS 350d 4MATIC Designo Line that’s bigger than a Range Rover




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