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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.4

The interior of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE receives high marks for its opulent materials, comfort, and advanced technology. Adults will find relaxing accommodations in both the front and second-row seats, and an available third-row seat squeezes in two extra passengers in a pinch. Standard features include a well-equipped, high-tech infotainment system and a few impressive advanced safety systems.

  • "Materials quality is top-notch; there's no cost-cutting here. Everything you touch feels expensive." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The inside of this luxury SUV is impeccably assembled, with everything you could conceivably touch feeling delightful. The leather is plush, the controls operate with a satisfying click-click and the various optional wood veneers all look wonderful." -- CNET
  • "… the GLE's interior is the vehicle's best feature. It's an evolution of current Mercedes design, which, at its core, features a pair of giant screens atop a low dashboard with many little air vents, delicate-looking switches and loads of wood, leather and ambient lighting. … The craftsmanship is typical Mercedes with superb fitment and wonderful materials." -- Autoblog

Seating

The GLE comes standard with five seats. An available third-row can hold two extra passengers. This midsize SUV doesn't disappoint when it comes to passenger comfort, and adults will delight in riding in the front and middle rows. For an extra-sumptuous experience, options such as massaging front seats, power-adjustable second-row seats, and four-zone automatic climate control are available. The optional third-row seat can house medium-sized adults for a quick journey or small children for a bit longer.

For attaching child safety seats, the GLE comes with two complete sets of LATCH connectors on the second-row outboard seats and a tether anchor on the second row's middle seat.

  • "Not only is the GLE-Class interior beautiful, it's vast, particularly in the second row. Even with front occupants in comfortable seating positions, rear seat legroom rivals that of standard wheelbase full-size sedans like the BMW 7 Series or Mercedes' own S-Class. … For the first time in the model's history, the GLE-Class also has an optional third-row seat, though it's certainly a lot tighter than the second row." -- Autoblog
  • "Back-seat room is generous enough that, with the front seat adjusted to how I normally drive, I can still lounge out. Because the new GLE has a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase, there's an extra 2.5 inches of second-row legroom. Power-reclining second-row seats are available as an option -- an incredibly luxurious option that will undoubtedly spoil your children. The available panoramic sunroof has a larger glass area than before, helping keep the cabin bright and airy." -- CNET
  • "The third-row seat was also a surprise, offering enough comfort for even a six-foot-tall adult to ride back there for short distances. While a long road trip would probably be out of the question for anyone (even small kids), the third row offers more space and comfort than that of the Lexus RX 350 L or Acura MDX. It also folds flat and out of the way, maximizing luggage room when not in use." -- Truck Trend

Interior Features

The GLE is equipped with lots of high-tech safety and infotainment features. It comes with the all-new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, which can be controlled by a touch screen, buttons on the steering wheel, controls on the center console, talking to it, or optional gesture controls. Early adopters who relish the latest technology will likely find MBUX slick, convenient, and responsive. However, between its countless layers of menus and hit-or-miss voice-control system, some users may find MBUX overly complicated and a distraction to use while driving.

Standard features in the GLE include a 12.3-inch screen for the driver's display, a 12.3-inch touch screen for the infotainment display, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, five USB ports, proximity key entry, push-button start, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, active brake assist, and driver attention monitoring. The standard active parking assist can automatically steer the SUV into parallel parking spaces. Also included is Mercedes' Pre-Safe system. If it senses an impending collision, Pre-Safe readies the cabin with actions such as tightening seat belts, closing windows, and emitting a harmless noise to protect hearing.

Optional features includes gesture controls, an enhanced video-based navigation system, wireless charging for enabled smartphones, quad-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, an in-cabin air fragrance system, a Burmester surround-sound system, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, active steering assist, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian and bicyclist monitoring, lane change assist, and speed limit assist.

See 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE specs »

  • The [infotainment] screen and touch sensors are all quite responsive, and the system runs smoothly and quickly. The natural speech recognition control system, which is being rolled out with each redesigned Mercedes, is easy to use and responsive. … It's a little oversensitive, though. … That was the only technical hiccup we found with the infotainment, but then there's the issue of just how complex the whole system is. There are menus upon menus, and they are tucked away in all directions. Scroll left, right, up or down, you'll find more menus. It's not always blatantly obvious where these menus are hiding. This can be really distracting if you're looking for a less common adjustment like the sound equalizer." -- Autoblog
  • … MBUX works incredibly well. Its displays are gorgeously rendered and bright, its responses to any input near-instantaneous. The navigation even offers a cool augmented-reality display that overlays street signs, direction arrows and even house numbers over a view ahead of the car -- eliminating that, 'Is it this junction or the next?' conversation when using the nav in unfamiliar areas. Perhaps the only demerit to MBUX is that there are so many menus, buttons and settings that one could spend hours sitting in the driveway simply configuring (and finding) the many functions." -- CNET
  • "… the infotainment display is surprisingly easy to operate. We rarely used the touchpad to change settings because 'Hey Mercedes' works so well that we could change interior temperature, turn on multi-contour massaging seats, or tune the radio simply by asking the car to do it for us. … For a system with so much functionality, MBUX is surprisingly distraction-free." -- Truck Trend

Cargo

Though Mercedes has not yet announced the GLE's cargo dimensions, professional reviewers say it has an agreeable amount of cargo space for a luxury midsize SUV. A power liftgate and a 40/20/40 split-folding second row are standard.

  •  +"Configured as a five-seater, though, the GLE has a lot of cargo space as befits a family truckster." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "With all seats folded the cargo floor lays flat and offers plentiful space, about 73-cubic feet." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Cargo space is plentiful, too, with a power liftgate making for easier access." -- CNET
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