The GLS550, the S-Class of Mercedes-Benz’s utility lineup, is one of the most able and elegant SUVs on the market. Powered by a 449 hp biturbo V-8 and engineered with adjustable driving modes, the GLS550 can tackle treacherous snowy mountain roads and wide-open highways with equal aplomb. And wherever it’s traveling, it cradles occupants in the utmost comfort. The heated seats can be wrapped in optional Designo quilted leather, and the cabin’s available open-pore wood trim is especially alluring.
The GLS, which eventually will be available in four variants, replaces the outgoing GL-Class.
Seating in the GLS550 accommodates seven passengers, and when the third row is folded down, the SUV offers nearly 50 cubic feet of cargo space.
The high-performance variant, the AMG GLS63 (starting at $124,100), is powered by a 577 hp biturbo V-8. (It wasn’t available for testing before the Best of the Best deadline.)
Mercedes-Benz, mbusa.com (starting at $93,850)