$34,754 - $83,149

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.5

Most critics praise the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE’s interior for its fit and finish and use of high-quality materials. With numerous types and shades of leather, woodgrain, and carbon fiber trim, the cabin design is an improvement over the M-Class, the model that it replaced in 2016. Although the standard leatherette seating is durable and comfortable, many luxury SUVs at this price point use genuine leather. There’s plenty of space throughout, but the rear seats in the Coupe have a little less room than those in the standard GLE SUV. The infotainment system is easy to use, with both touch-screen controls and a physical knob controller, but with so many functions, the system takes some getting used to. Cargo space is above average for the class.

  • "Some might find the GLE350's standard MB-Tex premium vinyl upholstery somewhat out of place on such a premium vehicle, despite breathing and wearing better than leather. Otherwise, though, materials quality and workmanship are excellent. In models fitted with any of the available grades of genuine leather, particularly the optional Designo diamond-quilted leather upholstery, and genuine burled wood trim, the interior's plushness is significantly elevated. Available multicontour front seats are highly adjustable and add several massage programs to the supremely comfortable thrones." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior appointments will not disappoint the three-pointed-star faithful, either. Fine leather and aluminum abound as usual, this time joined by large swaths of carbon fiber, and the latest in Mercedes-Benz infotainment is on tap alongside safety features like Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist, collision prevention assist, and attention assist." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
  • "The interior upgrade is rather more significant, primarily because the updated COMAND system places the control dial under a touch pad, à la 2015 C-class, while a large display screen stands prominently between two giant air vents. The rest of the dash and the door panels are unchanged, but between the new upper-dash components and the sumptuous materials, the cabin looks and feels more upscale than any M-class model's ever did." -- Car and Driver (2016)

Seating

The GLE seats five with standard leatherette upholstery. A power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a power tilt-and-telescoping Nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel also comes standard. Options include ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, sport seats with Nappa leather, heated rear seats, and built-in massagers for those in the front seat.

Seating is accommodating, in terms of comfort and space. In the Coupe body style, things are a bit tighter, but average-size adults shouldn’t have a problem getting comfortable.

Poor visibility is a drawback in the GLE Coupe. When reversing, you’ll need to rely on the rearview camera, because it’s hard to see out of the back. The rearview mirror doesn’t provide the best line of sight, which can turn otherwise-easy lane changes into a tricky affair.

For those with children, the GLE’s LATCH system includes lower anchors on both outboard rear seats and tether anchors on all three rear seats.

  • "Adults will find comfort and space no matter where they sit, as the tallish ride height means the transmission tunnel barely eats into the cabin." -- Edmunds
  • "… I use this term judiciously, visibility sucks. The sloping roof and high tail make rear vision so difficult the driver has to rely almost entirely on the rear camera to back up. The same applies for using the rear-view mirror, making lane changes and monitoring traffic behind you more dicey than in other standard SUVs. Out of the front, visibility is also limited due to wide A-pillars that tend to block the driver's line of sight." -- Yahoo Autos (2016)
  • "Compared to the standard GLE, the Coupe fulfills its mission as a racy SUV. Interior room is cozier, but at five-foot-eleven we have no problem with headroom in the rear, so long as nobody judges our posture." -- Autoblog (2016)

Interior Features

Inside the GLE, a standard infotainment system includes an 8-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth for streaming audio and taking phone calls, a USB port, and HD Radio. The GLE also comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a power sunroof, push-button start, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, a drowsiness monitor, and Mercedes-Benz Pre-Safe, which tightens the seatbelts, closes the windows, and locks the doors when the GLE senses a crash is imminent.

Optional features include blind spot monitoring, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Harman Kardon 13-speaker surround-sound stereo, a Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker audio system, satellite radio, navigation, lane keep assist, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled cup holders, a rear-seat entertainment system, tri-zone climate control, and a surround-view parking camera.

The infotainment system uses a large tabletlike touch screen that’s mounted centrally on the dash, in tandem with a proprietary COMAND controller, a large knob that’s located on the dashboard. Test drivers say this system works well, once you get accustomed to its many functions.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE specs and trims »

  • "Although billed as an all-new model when it was introduced last year, the 2017 Mercedes GLE-Class still shares its underlying bones with the now-defunct M-Class model. There's more than a passing resemblance inside and out, though Mercedes updated the cabin with a large, center-mounted display screen and the latest knob-based COMAND system with a redundant touch-sensitive pad for clicking and swiping. The infotainment system can be intimidating at first because of its myriad features and customization possibilities, but in practice it works fairly well. The availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is a nice addition, too." -- Edmunds
  • "Below the big screen are the infotainment and HVAC controls that we've been looking at since 2012. They feel really old now - perhaps because these same dials and buttons were in the E-Class sedan in mid-2009." -- Autoblog (2016)
  • "The large display screen at the top of the center stack is clean and looks like an iPad mounted nicely between two vents. The center console includes the easy to use COMAND controller to click through the different screens." -- Motor Trend (2016)

Cargo

At 38.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, expanding to 80.3 with them folded down, the GLE’s cargo space is above average for the class. It doesn’t provide as much room for your gear as the Land Rover LR4 or the Volvo XC90, both of which are class leaders in terms of cargo space.

Coupe models have a more cramped cargo hold. They start with 23 cubic feet of space and expand to 60.7 cubes when you collapse the 60/40 split-folding rear seats. That gives you about as much room as a Porsche Cayenne.

When you fold the GLE’s rear seats, you’ll have a flat cargo floor, which makes its cargo hold more usable. A power liftgate comes standard, and it makes loading and unloading easier. In the GLE550e, cargo capacity is hindered by the hybrid’s battery pack, which is common for these types of vehicles.

  • The two sections of the 60/40-split rear seatbacks fold easily to create a roomy cargo hold with a flat load floor. Cargo capacity stays the same, with 38.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 80.3 cubes with the seatbacks folded flat." -- Edmunds
  • "The downside of the GLE550e is its significantly compromised rear trunk capacity. Exact measurements aren't yet available for the plug-in (non-hybrid models have 38.2 cu ft of trunk space), but figure you'll be able to fit at least one fewer suitcase with the space occupied by the battery." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)

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