Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Red and grey 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 rear three-quarter

Should you buy a Mercedes-Benz GLS SUV?

Your choices are fairly limited if you want a luxurious SUV with space for seven. The good news is that the Mercedes GLS is an excellent option if you want something with more luxury than a Land Rover Discovery, and more cohesive looks than the BMW X7. On the road it doesn’t feel quite as agile as the BMW – which in turn makes it less manoeuvrable than its German rival – but the Mercedes has a more attractive interior. Quality matches the BMW, but it feels more techy but with a cleaner design.

It’s very comfortable in any specification and, while the optional trim packs do cost a lot of money, you then get a car that’s absolutely rammed to the roof with advanced kit. As ever, safety credentials are excellent, and there’s genuinely space for seven (plus a big boot), and the GLS 400 d is an excellent option – the best option for most.

It’s very easy to drive on larger, faster roads, but it becomes a little trickier when you enter a town or take yourself down a smaller lane. That’s where the GLS begins to feel its size, and where you begin to realise it’s a car that sells in far larger numbers in the USA (where it’s built). That said, if you need the extra versatility over a Range Rover and don’t like the look of the BMW, the GLS is hard to fault as a luxurious family holdall.

Just be prepared for it to cost quite a bit to run. While the 400 d is relatively economical, servicing and maintenance won’t be cheap, and replacing the tyres on a car with alloys up to 23 inches in size won’t come cheap… 

Which version to go for is entirely down to pragmatism: the GLS 400 d makes the most sense, but that won't stop a large proportion of sales going to the AMG, with the Maybach remaining the most exclusive.

Further reading:

  • We rate the best seven-seater SUVs
  • How do Parkers' star ratings work?
  • Find out how much your current car is worth

Black 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 400 d tailgate badge detail