Big and luxurious - Top-tier rivals Merc's new GLS will face in SA

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• The Mercedes-Benz GLS faces several rivals in South Africa.

• Among those challengers are the Lexus LX and Maserati Levante.

• The GLS is powered by a choice of two engines.

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Mercedes-Benz had a massive product offensive at the start of November 2020, launching six new SUVs in the South African market. Part of the launch arsenal was the automaker's revised luxury SUV, the GLS. Dubbed as the S-Class of SUVs, the new GLS comes to market with several luxury features and technologies that should make it a real contender in its segment.

Two models make up the range, one petrol and one diesel, with pricing starting at R1 842 000 for the GLS 400d 4Matic and R2 025 000 for the GLS 580 4Matic. The 580 is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine and the 400d by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine. Both motors are turbocharged.

The GLS comes up against formidable rivals in the South African market that competes against it in terms of price and trim levels.

Mercedes-Benz GLS
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS (MotorPress)

The new kids

Audi's new Q8 and BMW's new X7 are among the latest luxury SUVs in our market, yet each model is insanely competent in their respective tasks. Each SUV sit at the top of their respective line-ups, with engine options making up six-cylinders, in both petrol and diesel guises. These two SUVs can take on the established GLS without having to worry about offering an inferior package.

A strange option in the rivals' list is the Maserati Levante. Launched in South Africa for the first time in 2017, the SUV has gone on to become the Italian automaker's most successful model in terms of sales and is a rather exclusive offering. Buyers can choose between petrol and diesel options, with a new Trofeo model headlining the range.

READ: Mercedes-Benz launches new GLS luxury SUV in SA - Dropping 'class' on its segment

The two remaining rivals in our list compete against the GLS in terms of size. The GLS is a rather big vehicle, putting it up against the Lexus LX and Range Rover. Both these SUVs are big and will take up plenty of space at your nearest shopping centre, yet they come with a substantial amount of curb appeal and road presence. Both SUVs are equipped with large capacity engines, including V8 options - like the GLS 580.

Audi Q8 45 TDI Quattro
2020 Audi Q8 45 TDI Quattro (Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond)
2020 BMW X7 (PressClub / BMW)
Maserati Levante
2020 Maserati Levante (Maserati Media)
Lexus LX
2020 Lexus LX (MotorPress)
range rover sport
2021 Range Rover Sport (MotorPress)
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