Mercedes-Benz is working on a mid-life refresh of the GLS-Class, its full-sized luxury SUV. Prototypes have been spied undergoing testing and previews many design changes for this upcoming rival of the BMW X7, which was also recently updated.
The current generation of GLS-Class came out in 2019 as a 2020 model. It’s a well-established German-badged alternative in this traditionally American market where the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator also operate. However, we expect the 2024 GLC-Class is mostly trying to compete with the refreshed X7 while also offering the highest level of luxury and tech possible.
The GLS-Class comes in many different versions, and many have their own design elements. That’s why a base X167 model doesn’t look like the Maybach GLS 600, which in turn won’t resemble the AMG GLS 63, even though they all ride on the same chassis.
With these renderings, we’re trying to preview the look of a normal GLS-Class. Based on recent spy photos, Kolesa was able to piece together images of the 2024 SUV from both the front and rear 3/4 angle. As you can see, the Germans are planning an all-new bumper design.
We didn’t like the base GLS before. Just like the normal GLE, it looks way too cheap because of the unsophisticated black plastic trim in the bumper. There’s usually a bit of chrome, and that looks cheap as well. But the 2024 GLS will have sharper trim with an air vent type of design which appears to be channeling air down the side, even though its aerodynamic impact is minimal.
The fender flares are also painted the same color as the body, making the design appear even more upmarket. Now, we’ve also seen this trick on the 2023 GLC-Class, but the front end obviously resembles the EQS SUV. That’s a logical move considering the EQS and GLS share the last letter and are thus supposed to be kindred spirits of the S-Class.
There could be changes under the hood as well. As you’ve probably seen, Mercedes is taking those emissions restrictions very seriously and has even downsized the C63 from a V8 to a four-cylinder with, we might add, the coolest F1-inspired hybrid system. We know that a GLS with a four-cylinder sounds stage, which is why we predict the advanced hybrid tech will come with the inline-6 instead.
However, given most GLS sales are coming from the United States, where the SUV is also made, it’s possible that the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 will survive in a mild-hybrid configuration. When it comes to the interior, we’ve seen the dashboard of the next-gen E-Class, and that’s got something new and intriguing. Basically, instead of the two long screens, you now get one large one leaning back on top of the dash, similar to the EQS, but integrated flat. There’s a picture below that explains everything, plus the latest spy video to back everything up.