The latest iteration of Mercedes-Benz's largest SUV is now on sale in Malaysia. And with a starting price of RM899,888, the all-new GLS 450 4Matic isn't even the most expensive offering in its size-obsessed segment, which also includes the big-grilled BMW X7 and recently updated Lexus LX570 - the latter is the priciest of the lot by a significant margin at RM1.3 million.
While RM900k is still a lot of money for what is ultimately a seven-seat utiltiy vehicle endowed with the luxuries associated with the three-pointed star, the new GLS is still a lot of car for the money it commands. Measuring 5,207mm long and 1,956mm wide, its footprint is nearly identical to that of a long-wheelbase W222 S-Class, which is rather hefty for an SUV as tall as an NBA basketball player. Its 3,135mm wheelbase is 60mm longer than before, and it's largely responsible for the 87mm increase in legroom and colossal 2,400-litre boot with the rear seats stowed away.
Other examples of excess that try to justify the GLS's lofty price tag include Multibeam LED headlights fitted with 112 individual LEDs per lamp, 22-inch AMG alloys and a pair of 11.6-inch touchscreens for rear passengers as part of Merc's MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System which also includes two wireless headsets for good measure.
Performance-wise, the Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 4Matic gets the same three-litre straight-six powertrain as the GLE 450 which delivers 367hp and 500Nm of twist to all four wheels via a nine-speed 9G Tronic automatic. And as per the standard for SUVs in this price range, Merc's Airmatic adaptive air suspension is also part of the new GLS's Malaysian-spec package.