It was inevitable really: SUVs are fast replacing conventional saloons and estates in all the smaller mainstream classes, so it was only a matter of time before it happened to the largest of them all. This new Mercedes-Benz GLS is larger in every dimension than its predecessor and is so clearly trying to be the S-class of the SUV world that those exact words form the tagline with which it will be marketed.
Unlike a Range Rover, Rolls, Bentley or Lamborghini SUV, there’s not just space for seven in here, but space to spare. Given its aspirations I expected it to be luxurious and comfortable, refined and laden with gadgets. What I absolutely did not expect was for it to be quite so good to drive.
At present only two versions are earmarked for the UK, the as-yet-unseen 600-plus horsepower AMG 63, and this 325bhp 3-litre 400d model. The motor is smooth, punchy and works wonderfully well with its nine-speed gearbox, but it’s the chassis that’s the real surprise. OK, this is no Lotus Elan, but the car is wieldy in a way you’d just not expect of one so high and heavy. It is genuinely pleasurable to drive yet ride quality has not been compromised.
Letters from Readers, March 1966
A Hudson-Essex Discovery Sir, I am sure you will be pleased to hear that another vintage car has been saved from its grave. A chance remark to a garage mechanic…
Sir, What a pity and what a great disappointment to see that in your September issue you could not see fit to examine and road-test my 1897 Daimler, which is…
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