2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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
Other years
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class for Sale
List Price Range
$43,997 - $87,900

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2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class appraisal values can range from $40,630 - $49,388.
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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 2018.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class models

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 Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Simply amazing. Test drive it and you will know.
GLS 550 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A)
Is this a car or a magic carpet? Truly it’s like an escalator that effortlessly lifts you along. We test drove and put a deposit on an Audi Q7. We didn’t want the stigma of a Mercedes and to hear comments from family or neighbors. My wife just wasn’t in love with the idea of the Q7 and neither was I. It was too small and lacked a spare tire. We finally said the heck with it and test drove the Benz. We knew immediately it was the right car for us and cancelled the Q7 order. I drive a Dodge Durango that is built on the same platform as the GLS. There is no comparison, the interior or the Benz is smaller because the body is made with more high-strength steel. This car is a vault and safety is my highest priority. I’m a cheapskate. But I will spend money for safety. Everything about this car is impeccable. The LED headlights amazing. Air suspension amazing, go off road and it raises the car 5 inches. Put it in sport mode and it keeps the car flat on winding roads. My wife is amazed by this car. She feels confident and assured. The only thing I don’t care for is the electronic interface and that is just a matter of reading the manual. I have no other complaints. It was expensive. But it is worth it to protect my family and to reward my wife for putting up with me. Test drive this car before you buy anything else. It is so easy and fun to drive.
Great ride, but tech lacking for the price point
Mr. Savage,11/01/2018
GLS 450 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A)
After one year, my review below still applies, and based upon the loaner I received, it equally applies to the 2019 GLS450 as well as my 2018 ride. Overall the GLS450 is the best riding large SUV out there, looks great inside and out. While on paper the horsepower is the same, the V6 does not seem as gutsy as the V8 in the 2013 GL, but it is much quieter when the 9 speed is keeping RMPs down. MPG basically the same as the old V8, which is surprising. For the size of the vehicle, the glove box and center consul are surprisingly small. The new display screen is nice, much larger than the 2013, but why not make it touch screen. The 360 degree cameras are very nice, with the larger display they make maneuvering a breeze. The crazy touch pad over the control knob is clunky at best, and really a waste of effort by their engineers, just use the knob (or, make the screen a touch screen). This thing gets so hot it will burn your hand (when it was 90F the pad was 178F!). Apparently MB engineers do not realise metal to skin conducts pretty fast After two long road trips, a touch screen is must, if KIA has them MB should be embarrassed they do not. The command touch pad is like looking for a lost cursor at 80 MPH. Hoping the 2018 is as reliable as the 2013 GL which went 100K+ with only minor issues. (The car did eat tires, but it could be as much the driver as the wheel and tire package : ) ) After 6 months of ownership, the lack of technology is maddening. USB ports in the console is stupid, the touch pad is an absolute waste of effort make the console bigger and scrap that junk, the auto off is a lot of expense for nothing. I must say if they do not fix this before my next purchase I would most likely not get another MB no matter how solid the ride is. Which I must say is still great.
Best Road Trip SUV
CW Kearney ,05/23/2018
GLS 550 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A)
This big SUV drives so easily and you don’t realize how big it is. Comfort and handling are the best. Safety systems work great. The amount of room for seven is great. With third and second row seats down you have a cavern! Have had it for one year and would not want anything but it on a long trip! After several thousand miles, still love this big SUV. Have ordered GLS580.
Early days, but love the GLS550
Matt M,05/22/2018
GLS 550 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A)
Drives like a quick sedan, super comfortable, great interior and exterior looks. Downside of gas mileage on the 550 and I don’t know about reliability as it’s still early days.


Our experts like the GLS-Class models:

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.

More about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Overview

The Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is offered in the following submodels: GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG, GLS-Class SUV. Available styles include GLS 450 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A), GLS 550 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A), and GLS 63 AMG 4dr SUV AWD (5.5L 8cyl Turbo 7A). Pre-owned Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class models are available with a 3.0 L-liter gas engine or a 4.7 L-liter gas engine or a 5.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 577 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 9-speed shiftable automatic, 7-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 450 4MATIC is priced between $43,997 and$61,999 with odometer readings between 16225 and60000 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 550 4MATIC is priced between $52,995 and$74,995 with odometer readings between 15611 and78213 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class GLS 63 AMG is priced between $86,997 and$87,900 with odometer readings between 17948 and29117 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used 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 used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Classes are available in my area?

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 for sale near. There are currently 40 used and CPO 2018 GLS-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $43,997 and mileage as low as 15611 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

Can't find a used 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $20,433.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 2 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $10,868.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $17,927.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $16,158.

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.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class lease specials