$16,199 - $20,210

2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class was new.


Interior: 8.2

The interior on the 2011 GL-Class is appointed in true Mercedes quality. However, some features that would be standard in nearly every other luxury SUV are options on the GL. For instance, leather will run buyers $1,930, but on other luxury SUVs like the Lexus LX, leather seating comes standard. Reviewers agree that the GL-Class can be pricey, even at its base trim, but say that the GL’s interior quality and comfort are worth the price premium.

  • "I love the authoritative view of the road from behind the wheel--there is definitely a feeling of being in command. And it's so quiet out on the freeway. Stow the third row of seats and there is just a ton of cargo room, which was helpful over the weekend break. The power tailgate worked perfectly and was also helpful.” -- AutoWeek
  • "These are among the quietest large SUVs. The GL550 has more tire noise than other GLs, and its exhaust note is prominent, but even the diesel is quiet at cruise. Wind rush is particularly well controlled.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL's cabin is comfortable and luxuriously appointed. Fit and finish are superb, the seats are exceptionally supportive and headroom and legroom are ample in nearly every position." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2011 GL-Class may look off-the-rack on the outside, but inside, it’s pure Mercedes." -- Car Gurus


Reviewers found the seating in the GL-Class to meet their expectations for a Mercedes-Benz SUV. Most importantly, some found the third-row seats in the GL-Class to be comfortable for adults, a rarity in the class.

  • "The GL is one of the most spacious luxury crossovers on the market, as its third row is big enough to seat two average-sized adults in comfort -- something the Audi Q7 can't claim." -- Edmunds
  • "The front buckets are firm and comfortable and the interior uses high-quality materials." -- AutoWeek
  • "Outboard passengers have ample headroom and legroom and good seat support. But a relatively narrow cabin and low-hanging ceiling vents limit the center position to occasional use. Smaller adults fit in the third row, but only kids will be happy there on a long trip. Only the right-side section of the 2nd-row bench seat slides forward for 3rd-row access, though it does create a large passageway.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "There are four seating positions with the LATCH system for kids' car seats. Unfortunately, you'd have a tough time getting to the two children in the back row, but if your kids are old enough to buckle themselves, the GL-class makes a solid ritzy alternative to a minivan." -- Automobile Magazine

Interior Features

Reviewers mention that the 2011 GL-Class’s interior is typical Mercedes, with high-quality fit and finish and luxurious materials. However, Mercedes’ COMAND system, which controls climate, stereo, and optional navigation, merits nearly unanimous mention as being complicated and finicky.

The Mercedes GL’s list of standard features is relatively short compared to other large SUVs in its price range. A rear view camera, leather seats, and push-button start all cost extra. The base Cadillac Escalade comes standard with leather seats, navigation, a rearview camera, and power lift gate, and costs $63,160. Outfitting the GL to match the Escalade would bump the price up to $67,160, costing an even $4,000 more.

  • "Gauges are large and easy to read. Most controls are logically placed, but some have cryptic markings and the navigation system absorbs most audio functions, complicating their use.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The center console is a bit busy, but I got used to it (though I still think it takes too many steps to get from, say, AM to FM or from FM to satellite radio).” -- AutoWeek
  • "The COMAND electronics interface is finicky to use, employing awkward push-buttons on a center-stack-mounted circular control pad instead of the preferred console-mounted control wheel used in more recently introduced Mercedes-Benz models.” -- Edmunds


Reviewers are disappointed at the relatively small cargo space offered in the GL – 83.1 cubic feet  with the second and third rows down and 14.3 with all seats in use –  a lot less than what other luxury large SUVs. However, a standard power-folding third row and optional power liftgate ease the loading process.

  • "The GL provides 83 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume, which falls below competing SUVs like the Infiniti QX56 and Land Rover LR4." -- Edmunds
  • "Just a few grocery bags fit behind the 3rd row. A low floor height and 2nd- and 3rd-row seat backs that fold flush with the deck ease loading and unloading. Relatively tight dimensions limit overall volume, however, and the rounded hatch opening limits cargo-item size. Numerous cabin storage areas, but none are generously sized." -- Consumer Guide

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