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It's All In How You Look At It: The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 front 3/4 view

A $100,000-plus Mercedes full-size SUV normally wouldn't be considered the "middle" of any known measurement.

But the Mercedes GLS is a machine that can be equipped many ways. A little over a year ago, I reviewed the GLS 450, an inline six-powered trim level that stickers for about the same money as a loaded Chevy Tahoe.

A little over two years ago, I reviewed the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, an all-out luxury AWD limo with (among many, many other things) a 550-horsepower twin-turbo V8, a refrigerator and crystal flutes for your wine and an as-tested price tag perilously close to $200,000.

So, from that perspective, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580, with a starting price of $106,150, including destination, is someone's "happy medium."

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 hood up

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 engine

The GLS 580 is also powered by a twin-turbo V8, this one with a mild hybrid, making 483 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Even though the GLS is a big, heavy SUV, this results in some serious performance, with zero to 60 runs of 5.2 seconds. It's fast, but smooth and controlled. The EPA fuel economy estimate is 16 city/21 highway/18 combined.

Also part of the package, a nine-speed automatic transmission, 4MATIC all-wheel drive, and AIRMATIC air suspension.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 rear liftgate open

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 interior

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 rear seats

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 front seats

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 front seat detail

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 instrument panel

For your $106,150, you get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power-folding side mirrors, LED side mirror logo projectors, a panoramic roof, ambient lighting, heated and ventilated front seats with massage function, a Burmester Surround Sound system, a SiriusXM Platinum Plan trial, five-zone automatic climate control, illuminated running boards and soft-close doors, as well as some active safety features (active brake assist, blind spot assist, active parking assist, adaptive high beam assist).

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 center console

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 center stack

There were extra-cost options on our test vehicle and before we stray too far from the mention of active safety features, let's start there.

To equip your GLS 580 with adaptive cruise control, active steering assist and some other features I consider essential requires buying the Driver Assistance Package Plus for $1,950. I remember when Mercedes not only felt duty-bound to include safety tech in their cars as standard equipment, but when they would give safety equipment or tech they developed to automakers for free in the interests of overall vehicle safety. There are cars in the $20,000 price range with adaptive cruise. Mercedes really should do better, and if it needs the $1,950, hike the base price of the vehicle. There shouldn't be one built without it. Beyond that, the MANUFAKTUR natural-grain black wood trim cost $850, wheel locking bolts were $160, a body-color roof spoiler added $685, a chrome load sill guard is $175, the 23-inch AMG twin five-spoke wheels with black accents are $3,150, power second-row sunshades are $580, heated and cooled front cupholders cost $180, a trailer hitch is $600, heated rear seats $500, the Warmth and Comfort Package (heated front armrests and door panels with heated armrest in the rear) is $1,450 and the Night Package (black front splitter, grille trim, rear diffuser, side mirrors, window trim and roof rails) adds $400.

And that brings the bottom line of the window sticker to $116,865.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 front view

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 side view

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 rear view

The GLS 580 is a terrific luxury SUV, for those who want more than the GLS 450 offers and would prefer not to spend the extra $75,000-plus to get to the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600.


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