2020 GLS450W4 First Impressions


New member
Key Largo, FL, USA
Purchased the GLS to do more comfortable road trips from S.FL to VA due to family concerns. It is replacing a pretty good highway cruiser, a 2014 Ram truck (ecodiesel outdoorsman). I’ve only got 50 city miles so far, but thought I’d share my thoughts thus far on the new SUV.
  1. Ride quality is outstanding. In city driving, I have tended to use sport & luxury modes depending on traffic -both are extremely satisfying. Sport mode is snappier & the 48 v hybrid assist works great with the inline 6 (until the turbo spools) for great acceleration from stops and merging onto highways. The softer feeling luxury mode keeps the rpm’s lower than when in sport mode and the ride is sublime -allowing the Burmester audio to really shine. It’s a very tranquil cabin.
  2. Build quality. Seems appropriate for the price. I purchased a ‘base’ model with just a few options because I was afraid of reliability issues with many of the upgrades. Haven’t noticed anything I to be upset over.
  3. Ergonomics. While I like the seat, cabin aesthetic, and ride quality, I feel that more attention could have been placed on perfecting ergonomics. For instance, there is minimal storage available -especially with such a large console between the seats (small door pocket, none near the leg area of the console, very small console cubby (& positioned too far back), and one glove box. There are 3 redundant entertainment control systems: the touchscreen, the console trackpad, and the steering wheel. I find the wheel controls most useable & would’ve omitted the track pad in favor of another bin. The other storage areas are the pockets of the front seats for the back seat passengers & the little bit of room within the spare tire compartment. Also, the seating position is a little low & isn’t adjustable much unless you fool the system & change your height (you don’t get full vertical travel by the door controls). I’m 6’ tall and my door armrest, although comfortable, leaves me wanting it & the seat higher occasionally. My wife stated she wished that there were an A pillar hand grab to help her enter when stepping over a small puddle by the car. One last nit -the running boards. They aren’t really necessary given the sill height & the seat height. They keep your legs a little farther away from the seat than I’d like & find myself stepping over them getting into/out of the vehicle.
I’ll post up some pics soon.