In the Driver’s Seat of a 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580

The lap of luxury, technology, and cachet.

2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS 4MATIC (European Model Shown)

When it was introduced in 2019, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS (known as the GL for the first two generations) sounded the death knell for executive-class sedans around the world. The reasoning goes something like this: If you want an ultraluxurious and prestige-laden vehicle for your driveway, why not select something that offers everything the executive-class sedan offers and more?

Such as more passenger seating, more cupholders, more smartphone charging ports, more legroom, more headspace, more cargo space, more visibility, and more ground clearance for tackling the occasional cottage road.

You get the picture.




The fact that the modern executive-class SUV also offers arguably better inclement weather capability and similar fuel efficiency as the average executive-class sedan for, give-or-take, a similar amount of money makes this particular comparison a one-sided affair. This is for sure the case with the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580, the middle child in a revised lineup that also includes the entry-level GLS 450 and the high-output AMG GLS 63. (The fleet also extends to include the truly ostentatious Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600—rapper Drake owns one.)

After driving the third-generation version at an event in Utah in 2019 and then sampling the 2024 edition in a snowless Toronto this winter, one thing is clear: there’s very little to fault with the design or the engineering. For sure, you can profess not to like any three-row SUVs, and that preference will have some merit. But if you’re looking for a workhorse that can transport up to seven people in supreme comfort, the GLS is worth considering.


Mercedes-Benz GLS


Mercedes-Benz GLS


Let’s look at the details.

The GLS 580 features a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V-8 engine that generates 510 horsepower and a towing capacity of 7,716 pounds (3,500 kilograms)—roughly enough to haul a 30-foot boat or a lightweight camper. The V-8 also incorporates a mild hybrid system that draws power from a 48-volt lithium-ion battery to provide an extra boost when needed. When not held back by a trailer or a boat, this Mercedes can move: 0-100 kilometres per hour comes up in just 4.9 seconds, and top speed hovers around 210 kilometres per hour. Having said that, the GLS 580 is built more for comfort than for speed.



The standard all-wheel-drive system and air suspension system help deliver a cossetted yet responsive ride in a range of driving conditions. The panoramic sunroof bathes all three rows of seating in light. The multicontour front seats offer heating, cooling, and a massage function that’s among the best in the business.


Mercedes-Benz GLS


Mercedes-Benz GLS



The configurable digital instrument panel and centre console screen, measuring 12.3 inches wide each, house all sorts of controls that are relatively quick to master. A standard Burmester surround sound system has the power to transform the passenger cabin into a concert hall.

Behind the wheel, the GLS feels incredibly solid, stable, and luxurious. The elevated ride height and large glass area provide a commanding view of the road ahead. Features such as the standard surround-view camera system and heads-up display make safer driving a snap.

All in all, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 is simply an highly enjoyable place to spend your time.