Mercedes-Benz's largest SUV is now available in four model grades: the entry-level GL350 BlueTEC Limited Edition; GL350 BlueTEC Edition S; GL500 Edition S; and flagship GL63 AMG. There are no images of the new models yet, but buyers can see them in showrooms in the coming weeks.
The entry-level diesel GL350 model has been updated with new gear such as metallic paint, a Harman Kardon stereo system with DAB digital radio, keyless entry and push-button start, a new 20-inch wheel design, and a new-look wood interior finish. Along with the new goodies, the price has dropped by a huge $14,645 to $114,900 plus on-road costs.
It retains the same 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel engine with 190kW and 620Nm. Power goes to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
Previously there were no Edition S models, and those variants are designed to add to the sporting appeal of the large seven-seat SUV ahead of an updated model's arrival, possibly in 2016. That model will be known as the GLS-Class under the brand's new naming structure.
The new GL350 Edition S adds $20K to the price but uses the same diesel drivetrain. Its sporty additions include an AMG Sports Package with a body kit, flared wheel arches, 19-inch brakes (perforated front) and 21-inch alloy wheels finished in matt black.
This model also has Benz's Active Curve system, which is said to "markedly" enhance ride comfort by adapting the stabiliser bars when cornering, lessening body roll.
The newly named GL500 Edition S remains powered by the brand's 4.7-litre V8 petrol engine, which pumps out 320kW and 700Nm, and it also has permanent four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
Equipment highlights - aside from the new AMG Sports Package and 21-inch rims - include a panoramic sunroof, rear sunblinds, digital TV tuner, and temperature controlled cupholders for this model, which has seen a price jump over the existing GL500 of $5355 - now $159,900.
The flagship GL63 AMG version - powered by a 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 with 410kW/760Nm - now gets the AMG Drivers Package, which sees its top speed raised to 270km/h. Other new bits for this model include heated and cooled front seats, microfibre headlining, and a new high-grade designo leather trim that used to cost $5000 as an option.
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class pricing, plus on-road costs:
GL350 BlueTEC Limited Edition - $114,900
GL350 BlueTEC Edition S - $134,900
GL500 Edition S - $159,900
GL63 AMG - $214,900