Just before the quarantine, online searches for big SUVs (i.e. Range Rover, G-Class, etc.) became quite popular as people were suddenly looking for "bug out" vehicles to make their great escape.
If you're looking for something big, capable, and luxurious, then their latest addition to the local Mercedes-Benz SUV range might fit the bill. The Auto Nation Group, the exclusive distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the Philippines, has just introduced the all-new GLS... albeit the current situation has shut down all auto dealers.
Nevertheless, the GLS is the biggest SUV in the Mercedes-Benz line-up, even bigger in every direction than the already sizeable G-Class SUV. At a hair over 5.2 meters long (5,207 mm), it's over a foot and half longer (482 mm) than the boxy G-Class. For the Philippines, the spec we get is the GLS 350d AMG Line.
As the local GLS 350d comes with the AMG Line, it comes with a unique set of front and rear bumpers. It then rides on a set of 21-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke light alloy wheels. Illumination comes courtesy of Multibeam LED headlights.
Inside, there is seating for seven and even the second-row seats are electronically adjustable for convenience. As one would expect in a luxury vehicle, the third-row seats also fold (and raise) with a touch of a button. If that's not enough, the GLS 350d even comes with five-zone climate control. That's individual air-conditioning controls for the driver, front passenger, the two rear passengers, and for the third-row occupants.
Move to the front and drivers are greeted by the now familiar widescreen arrangement seen in newer Mercedes-Benz models. The instrument cluster and infotainment screen are held in one panel. Each of the screens measure 12.3 inches wide and combined, it's a whopping 24.6 inches. For the benefit of the driver, the GLS 350d also comes with a heads-up display to minimize eye movement while behind the wheel.
Infotainment, on the other hand, uses the MBUX system which includes LINGUATRONIC voice commands, Dual Phone Mode, Internet radio, Bluetooth telephony /audio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All passengers benefit from its upgraded Burmester 3D surround sound system.
On to safety, and the GLS 350d comes standard with Lane Tracking Package, which includes Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. Meanwhile, PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist allows this lengthy crossover the ability to park itself. There's also 360-degree camera, Active Brake Assist, and Attention Assist.
With the 'd' affixed to its name, powering the GLS 350d is a 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel. It's good for 286 PS and a hefty 600 Nm of torque. It then shifts via a nine-speed automatic transmission which Mercedes-Benz calls 9G-Tronic. All GLS 350d units that will be offered here will come with 4Matic all-wheel drive. It then rides on Airmatic air suspension with Adaptive Damping System or ADS.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 350d AMG Line retails for Php 8,990,000 and you can peruse it at your nearest Mercedes-Benz dealership once the quarantine comes to an end.