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View Poll Results: Which Benz?
GLS 39 19.31%
S-Class 163 80.69%
Voters: 202. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:02   #1
GTO
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Default Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Guys,

Asking for a friend who owns an old W221 S-Class and is confused between the SUV and mega-sedan. Please advise. Requirements:

● Only Mercedes because he is happy with his W221 and has an excellent equation with the dealership. Won't consider any other brand.

● Please advise on the pros & cons.

● Highway is entirely self-driven. City is a 50 : 50 mix of chauffeur vs self driven.

● His W221 was late into the generation and he is fine with the W222 as well for the same reason (late model = better reliability + all niggles sorted out). Plus, regardless of the impending launch of the next gen car, the W222 is a massive upgrade over the W221.

● He is open to waiting for the W223 S-Class' launch, although I have told him to avoid the 1st or 2nd year of an entirely new generation as he owns factories out of town, and highway reliability is very important. Remember that he bought the W221 once it had matured.

● Although the GLS is cheaper, that won't sway his decision.

● After discussing this with him yesterday, will say that the GLS has some notable advantages (usual SUV stuff like higher GC). But then, the S-Class is an S-Class!

● Petrol or diesel between the two? We have traditionally been turbo-diesel fans in German cars, yet the new generation turbo-petrols are very tempting. Anyone driven the 6-cylinder petrol motor? How is it?

Thanks a ton!

Last edited by GTO : 2nd May 2021 at 09:09.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:15   #2
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
He is open to waiting for the W223 S-Class' launch, although I have told him to avoid the 1st or 2nd year of an entirely new generation as he owns factories out of town, and highway reliability is very important.
If he can wait, this will be my pick. It's going to be expensive for sure and buying premium cars without discounts sucks but with the kind of upgrades it's getting, I will wait. Don't know what all will make to India but no use in going with the current.



If he has concerns about the budget or cannot wait, GLS will be the second better option. It's brand new though he may miss the comfort features on the rear when in the city (cooled/ massage rear seats) besides the overall recline/ comfort is better in S. But when he is driving, he may love the higher position in the GLS.

A wild suggestion, MB had some great offers on Maybach in past. It gets a V8 and some amazing interiors and a super nice Burmester Audio.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:16   #3
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

As much as MBIL tries to pitch the glS as the S class SUV. It is no where in that league of comfort, finesse and quality of the S. Heck is doesn’t even have genuine leather!

The S back seat is in a whole other level, it literally pampers you with all its creature comforts like calf support, seat recline, massage, seat ventilation, etc etc. While the GLS has a great commanding position to drive, it feels heavy and large. Almost like a super refined truck. The S is butter smooth and far more agile if I may say.

The above is based on my observations since we own the previous gen GLS (although new one is wayyy better) and the w222 S in the family. Both even have the same 350 engine and you can literally feel it gasp for breathe in the GLS compared to the S where power delivery is smooth and prompt.

My suggestion is he should go for the w223 in a petrol turbo hopefully comes with a EQ boost option.

I beg to differ on the reliability front of early gen purchases. Those days are long gone.
My w222 was one of the first CKD units and I have not had any major reliability issues.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:29   #4
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

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Last edited by GTO : 2nd May 2021 at 11:15.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:33   #5
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

If it's luxury, then it has to be S-Class sedan only. For someone who is happy with the previous gen sedan, I am sure he won't have a problem with the new one. GLS doesn't command the same respect at all.

And I am assuming he would have a SUV in the garage for those rough weather days. Even a basic one would do for use if and when the need arises.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 10:36   #6
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

The S class, anytime, it is special, it still is less a commodity products compared to the lesser Mercs.

The GLS is competent but it ain't special. it can no doubt do 80% of what a Range Rover can do off road. However, interiors are boring and functional.

I see no off road use and besides fellow bhpian, Androdev has had no problems with the W221 on rough roads at anytime.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 12:28   #7
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Since he is considering S class, offroading (even mild) doesnt seem to be his necessity. Assuming that the car is only expected to handle highways and bad/broken roads, S class should be his choice over GLS for better comfort, luxury, driving experience and also the prestige value.

And if he has liked the GLS so much, he should buy both and use them as per his mood and requirements! Afterall, someone who can afford a S class, can afford S class + GLS combo also.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 12:40   #8
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Going from an S-Class to GLS, ironically, would be step down (pun-intended). S-Class is called the best car in the world for a reason.

Considering he is already happy with W221, high GC or 7 seats are not necessarily priorities. For everything else, the S-class is simply the one to go for.

A family friend upgraded to a W222 S-class (from W221), which shares the garage with the G05 X5 and the latest-gen Range Rover Sport. He is super-happy with W222 and always prefers to drive the S class over other cars from his garage.

Last edited by hridaygandhi : 2nd May 2021 at 12:41.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 13:11   #9
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

I have perfect clarity on what your friend should do :-)

Don't entertain the idea of GLS replacing an S-Class. It is a truly go-anywhere sedan and one doesn't have to opt for an SUV unless it is the SUV image one is after. Even then GLS is not the SUV to buy if someone wants to match the quality and prestige of an S-Class.

Most German manufactures develop a new platform and use it for two generations with minor improvements (that is two new launches plus two facelifts). Of course, there is continuous improvement but I am talking about "the platform". Porsche 911 is the best example I can give: 996 & 997 are essentially the same car. 991 & 992 are also the same platform. There are significant changes across these models but you can see the pattern of using the same platform for two generations of cars. In that sense I feel W221 and W222 belong to the same era. For a discerning buyer who is limited by funds to buy every new launch, upgrading from W221 to W222 doesn't make a lot of sense given the cost involved.

Here is what I suggest depending on the budget and timeframe:

1. Buy W223. Best option if waiting is not possible. It's not a Tata/Mahindra product to have new car niggles but I agree there is still some risk. MB support is pretty good these days, I trust the brand.

2. Flog W221 till W223 facelift. Very sensible option if waiting till then is an option. LCI/face-lifts are the best versions to buy.

3. Look at a different brand before getting back to S-Class in future. Like 7 series to experience a different brand, especially he prefers to drive it himself. I only mention this because W221 to W222 would be underwhelming in relation to the cost involved.

4. If he is in total love with the design of W222 and will appreciate it so much to give up the choice of owning a W223, he can consider a full-loaded W222 and enjoy it. But still not convincing enough for a W221 owner. This is how I ended up buying an old Porsche 997 even though newer models were not outside of reach, but this was my first 911 and not an upgrade from say 996.

Last edited by SDP : 3rd May 2021 at 09:31. Reason: Minor typo
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Old 2nd May 2021, 14:42   #10
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Voted for S class, no doubt about that !

The S class is a brand of it's own. The car is a statement and has an aura around it on the roads and should not be compared to the GLS. I am pretty sure practicality is not what one is after while buying a car in this category. The real question here is whether one should go with the W222 or W223 !

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Old 2nd May 2021, 17:14   #11
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Having driven every available avatar of the 223, I can say it is a no brainer against the GLS. The diesel S class isnt a scorcher, but provides excellent refinement levels and a respectable economy. The petrol on the other hand will make you forget the massiveness of the car and will launch ahead when needed along with the electric assistance from the motor. The GLS is a generation older in terms of architecture, and somehow isnt my favourite(the GLE isnt either). Even its high speed ride and refinement levels is nowhere against the S class. The only advantage it provides is that road presence of the SUV and ground clearance.

But, I believe when the 223 is launched, its pricing will be nowhere close to the GLS. Hence that itself is going to make this comparison invalid. The only real alternative to the S is a GLS Maybach if thats available in similar price range. The GLS is just an overgrown GLE to suit the taste of the Americans and is never an S Class SUV.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 19:23   #12
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
● Petrol or diesel between the two? We have traditionally been turbo-diesel fans in German cars, yet the new generation turbo-petrols are very tempting. Anyone driven the 6-cylinder petrol motor? How is it?
I've not driven the diesel models so cannot compare the two. I've not just driven, but also worked on the new 6 Cylinder inline petrol engine . Was even lucky to drive around those tracks in Immendingen . The new 6 cylinder petrol comes in several power configurations, 270 kW is still not it's highest power rating, and then there are AMG Versions of this motor in different drivetrain combinations. The petrol engine is great fun to drive.

I would wait a bit for the BR223.

Spike

Last edited by SPIKE ARRESTOR : 2nd May 2021 at 19:25.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 09:21   #13
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

If hes managed with the W221 without complaints, then why an SUV? I'm sure he will have other vehicles with higher GC for rougher use.

In this case, as you mentioned, an S class is an S class. The W223 I believe will come out at a much higher price point, and its a bit of an unknown as to what we will get here.

But the W222 is currently available with discounts of more than 25l, which puts the pricing maybe a bit lower than the GLS. In that case its a no brainer for me. And they've added the front memory seats which was a deal breaker for me.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 11:24   #14
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Thanks a ton, guys! I have forwarded this link to him & his wife. The votes are overwhelmingly in favour of the S-Class. Based on the discounts on the current-gen (Akshay's post) and the expected price increase of the W223, I would say that the price difference between the two generations could be 50 lakhs. Or more?? For the differential money alone, you could buy another very competent car (Fortuner, Carnival, 330i).

But more than the price, my advice to him is to either buy the matured W222 right now, or wait for the W223 Facelift (as Androdev suggested). I'd personally NEVER recommend anyone to buy the first year model of a brand-new complex German car.

I think Mercedes has done a "W140" with the 222 and it will go on to achieve legendary status. Newer generations might get more tech, but in terms of design, this is pure master-class . So classy, so timeless:

Mercedes GLS vs S-Class-1.jpg

Mercedes GLS vs S-Class-2.jpg

Mercedes GLS vs S-Class-3.jpg
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Old 5th May 2021, 10:43   #15
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Default Re: Mercedes GLS vs S-Class

Nothing can beat an S class period. For someone that is used to the W221, an upgrade to even a W222 with the current mouthwatering prices being offered, another 7-8 years of bliss would be guaranteed. Later generation vehicle means almost all niggles shall be sorted out by now.
Although the GLS is nice and all that, it can't hold a candle to even the W221 in terms of sheer ride comfort specially on our roads. It boils down to plain physics. Just bit the bullet and upgraded our w221 to the new 222 and can vouch that the GLS simply cannot compare to the ride comfort anymore, tested the GLS extensively prior to the purchase and it just did not match up.
Just have a look at the poll numbers!
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