2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class


  • Spacious third-row seat can accommodate adults
  • Ample acceleration with any powertrain choice
  • Quiet cabin with luxurious trim
  • Available off-road package gives it true capability in the dirt


  • Large price jump from GLS 450 to GLS 550
  • Many desirable features don't come standard
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class years

Which GLS-Class does Edmunds recommend?

Most buyers will be well-served by the GLS 450. It delivers solid performance along with its luxurious cabin, plus it leaves room for customization with numerous options packages.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

The 2018 GLS-Class is Mercedes-Benz's flagship SUV. It's available with three engines, a twin-turbo V6 (362 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque) in the GLS 450; a twin-turbo V8 (449 hp, 516 lb-ft) in the GLS 550; and an even more powerful V8 (577 hp, 561 lb-ft) in the barnstorming GLS 63 AMG variant. The GLS 450 and GLS 550 are equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the GLS 63 AMG comes with a seven-speed automatic. All GLS models feature Mercedes-Benz's all-wheel-drive system called 4Matic.

Still, outright performance is not what the GLS is about. Rather, the GLS is designed to accommodate passengers and cargo with features such as second-row seats with adjustable recline. And, in a pinch, seats can be stowed and moved for flexible cargo requirements. With optional features, all of this can be done electronically at the touch of a button.

Thanks to its street-oriented suspension, the GLS rides smoothly over the road, giving drivers and passengers one of the most serene experiences in its class. And yet an available body roll control system and sport-oriented suspension can firm up the handling.

Some buyers may hesitate once they see the price, particularly if it's a well-equipped example. And others may find the size and dynamics too big and too soft, respectively. But the GLS is levels above the cutthroat midsize SUV and crossover market, and it dominates in the full-size segment by bringing an S-class to the SUV fight.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class as one of Edmunds' Best Luxury SUVs for this year.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class configurations

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is a seven-passenger, large luxury SUV that's offered in three models. The GLS 450 is the base model that's well equipped but doesn't include many of the higher-end features you might expect in an luxury SUV. The GLS 550, ups the power and includes many features that are optional on the GLS 450. Finally, performance aficionados will be drawn to the ultra-powerful AMG GLS 63. All three feature standard all-wheel drive.

The GLS 450 comes with a turbocharged V6 engine (362 hp, 369 lb-ft), 19-inch alloy wheels, a self-leveling air suspension, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, LED running lights and taillights, roof rails, a power liftgate and Mbrace Connect remote vehicle access (via smartphone app; includes remote start).

Interior highlights include premium vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, genuine wood trim and dual-zone automatic climate control. Technology highlights include the COMAND infotainment interface (with both a control knob and a touchpad), an 8-inch central display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, and a sound system that features HD radio and dual USB ports.

An available Premium package adds keyless entry and ignition, a power front passenger seat with memory settings, lighted door sills and multicolor ambient lighting, a navigation system with real-time traffic, voice controls, Apple CarPlay and satellite radio, as well as lane keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring.

The Lighting package bundles adaptive LED headlights and automatic high beams. The Parking Assist package adds front and rear parking sensors, an automated parallel parking system and a surround-view camera system. Also available are three-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with a CD/DVD player, an SD card reader, and multicontour front seats that add a massaging feature and adjustable side bolsters and shoulder supports.

The GLS 550 starts with all of the above as standard, but it uses a twin-turbo V8 engine (449 hp, 516 lb-ft). It also adds 21-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, sporty exterior styling cues, soft-close doors and upgraded interior trim (including wood steering-wheel inserts). The optional Night package throws in 21-inch black wheels and gloss-black exterior accents.

Optional items on both the GLS 450 and GLS 550 include a panoramic sunroof, heated second-row seats, diamond-quilted leather upholstery and the Driver Assistance package, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and front and rear collision mitigation. Also available is an Off-Road package that includes an upgraded multimode terrain selector, a dual-range transfer case and front underbody protection; on the GLS 450, it also adds the GLS 550's standard adaptive dampers.

The high-performance AMG GLS 63 starts with most of the above and adds an even more powerful turbocharged V8 (577 hp, 561 lb-ft), a sport exhaust, exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, adaptive stabilizer bars (the Active Curve System in Mercedes-speak), AMG-specific styling elements inside and out, enhanced bolstering for the front seats, upgraded leather upholstery and a flat-bottom sport steering wheel.

All three GL models can also be outfitted with a trailer hitch, a heated steering wheel, power-sliding second-row seats for improved third-row access, rear side-window sunshades, a rear entertainment system, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven a recent version of this vehicle, but we have limited experience with its predecessor. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.


Straight-line performance is admirable, but handling on twisty roads is less refined.


The GLS-Class is designed to deliver a luxurious feel and succeeds admirably. Virtually no noise or harshness enters the cabin.


Our test car was equipped with Mercedes' Designo leather interior that offers Bentley quality at about half the price. Truly terrific.


With the third row up, there's ample space in the GLS-Class. Thanks to folding second and third rows, the GLS is quite utilitarian.


The GLS includes a number of standard features, but the good stuff is optional. You'll pay extra for satellite radio, navigation, keyless entry, etc.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

Overall Consumer Rating

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Features & Specs

13 city / 18 hwy
Seats 7
7-speed shiftable automatic
577 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG features & specs


Our experts’ favorite GLS-Class safety features:

Crosswind Stabilization
Helps drivers keep their car going straight down the road by monitoring vehicle sensors and reacting to crosswinds.
Active Parking Assist
Lets you know when a parking spot is big enough for the car and helps the driver parallel park into the space.
Active Blind-Spot Assist
Warns you when a vehicle is in your blind spot. Can also help prevent accidents by steering back into the lane.

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More about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

Formerly known as the GL-Class, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class reflects the brand's belief that it's the S-Class of SUVs. Thanks to a bevy of year-over-year upgrades, the GLS-Class appears to have properly earned this designation, and it's one of the most desirable models Mercedes-Benz has to offer.

While styling cues and mechanical systems return unchanged, there's much more going on behind the scenes. The nine-speed automatic transmission available across the line (with the exception of the AMG version) is simply superb. There's also an upgraded infotainment system that features a large central display, a touchpad and an optional upgrade to Apple CarPlay.

The interior is typical GLS style, with premium vinyl upholstery and genuine wood trim and featuring a three-spoke steering wheel (a racy flat-bottomed version is available with the AMG model). The third row of the GLS-Class can even comfortably accommodate adult passengers. And thanks to smooth engines, and an even smoother suspension, the 2018 GLS is as quiet as GLs of the past.

The 2018 GLS-Class is available in three different trim levels, from the standard GLS 450 to the high-performance AMG GLS 63. In between lies the GLS 550, which adds the many premium options from the 450, then tacks on more — including wood steering-wheel inserts. There's even an Off-Road package available that, among other things, adds a dual-range transfer case and front underbody protection so you can choose the road less traveled.

Performance-wise, the GLS-Class drives with a considerable amount of agility, belying its massive size. The GLS 450's 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the GLS 550's 5.5-liter twin turbo V8 produces 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the AMG GLS 63 drives the big SUV with 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque and sport-tuned suspension.

The new GLS-Class is well deserving of the S-Class designation because there really is no other SUV like it when it comes to luxury, driving experience and technology. Edmunds will help you find the right trim and packages — and the right price — to make the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class yours.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG Overview

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG is offered in the following styles: GLS 63 AMG 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl Turbo 7A).

What do people think of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG featuring deep dives into trim levels including GLS 63 AMG, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG here.
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMGS are available in my area?

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG Listings and Inventory

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Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG for sale near you.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG and all available trim types: GLS 63 AMG. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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