29 April 2021
29 April 2021
It has been described as “a business-class tour-de-force” and now the new Mercedes-Benz GLS has won ‘Best Upper Large Luxury SUV’ in the Drive Car of the Year 2021 Awards.
The GLS emerged top of its field following an exhaustive judging process by Drive’s panel of experts, who tested and analysed 80 vehicles in 25 categories at Sydney’s Luddenham Raceway.
“The GLS achieves the goal of being ‘the S-Class of SUVs’. It offers the functionality and usability you want from a multi-role vehicle, without compromising on the quality and luxury that the Mercedes badge represents,” said James Ward, director of content at Drive.
Vehicles were assessed on driver technology, comfort, safety, ongoing running costs, performance and handling.
The GLS has a standard seven-seat configuration across three rows, which the judges praised as an accomplished mix of luxury, technology and practicality, with “acres of usable space” in “a cohesive and complete luxury package”.
The panel was particularly impressed with the GLS 450 4MATIC model’s 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder petrol engine (270 kW/500 Nm) coupled with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, declaring it “an excellent combination of power and refinement” with impressive touring fuel consumption “for a car of this size”.
When paired with the adjustable air suspension, and drive assistance technology, it makes the Mercedes-Benz GLS an exceptional long-distance cruiser,” they said.
The judges also noted a learning curve for some of the technology given the depth and breadth of the systems. “But it works well as a holistic technology platform which engages with the whole car,” they surmised.
The 15th annual Drive Car of the Year Awards comes at the end of a year in which Drive’s team drove, reviewed, compared and lived with almost 600 vehicles, said Drive Managing Editor and award judge Trent Nikolic.
“The Drive Car of the Year testing week is the culmination of a year of reviewing, comparing, testing and debating everything the Australian automotive market has to offer in order to deliver the best of the best with Australia’s most relevant motoring awards,” he said.
Get on board the “business class tour-de-force” and book a test drive of the GLS today.
By Steve Colquhoun