It's probably safe to say the new Mercedes-Benz GLS is one of the most technologically advanced SUVs on the market today. It has revised and more efficient engine range, an imposing overall appearance, and smart off-road technologies like the optional E-Active Body Control shared with the new GLE. It uses a 48-volt, battery-aided, hydropneumatic suspension that gives the three-row crossover the ability to scan roads and pre-determine damping. Even more impressively, it allows the massive seven-seat SUV to "jump" itself out of tough off-road situations like sand, mud, and rock.
We know it's not something entirely new in the industry but it's really impressive to see such a heavy and large vehicle bounce itself out of a sand trap. The video at the top of this article shows a fleet of GLS vehicles performing different kinds of off-road exercises. If you jump to the 3:00-minute mark, you'll see a black example of the SUV getting stuck in the sand. A few seconds later, the driver activates the rocking mode of the E-Active Body Control system and the vehicle begins to raise and lower its suspension level several times. Finally, the GLS rocks itself free.
The demonstration continues with another interesting feature. The German luxury sport utility vehicle has a system that allows the driver to individually adjust the spring and damping forces at each wheel. In this case, the driver lowers the left side of the vehicle and raises the right wheels through the infotainment screen on the center console. You can use this off-road function, for example, when one wheel is stuck in a ditch or a wheel spring is fully contracted.
The new GLS will go on sale in the United States by the end of 2019 with prices starting at $75,200 without $995 in destination charges. This is the price of the entry-level GLS 450, which will be joined by the V8-powered GLS 580 later this year.