$40,219 - $72,427

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Interior Review

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


Interior: 8.6

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS features high-quality materials throughout a cabin that looks sleek and modern. The interior stays quiet at highway speeds, and you'll have great visibility from the comfortable front seats. Second- and third-row occupants will have plenty of space, and both rows fold down to increase cargo capacity if necessary.

The GLS doesn't have a lengthy list of standard features the way some competitors do, but many advanced tech features, including a user-friendly infotainment system, are available. There are also plenty of standard and available active safety features.

  • "… the interior gets a serious upgrade, incorporating a new 3-spoke steering wheel, and an all-new dash panel that includes a larger infotainment screen mounted much higher for better visibility. The gauges now incorporate a full-color info screen, and the interior is available in a wide variety of design schemes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Materials and assembly quality in the GLS cabin are top notch." -- Consumer Guide
  • Materials and design aren't quite in the S-Class league overall, particularly if you focus on the area between the climate controls and the dashboard display, where a flat plastic panel with a number of small buttons makes for a somewhat dated look. Make no mistake, though. This is an exceptionally nice interior by segment standards. The standard MB-Tex vinyl upholstery on GLS350d and GLS450 models does seem a bit low-budget for a vehicle at this price, but you'd probably be hard-pressed to tell it apart from the real leather of some other brands. Moreover, the availability of multiple wood inlays and even diamond-quilted leather upholstery make it easy to add an even higher-end look and feel." -- Edmunds


The GLS seats seven and comes standard with leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver's seat. Available seating features include a power-adjustable passenger seat, massaging front seats, ventilated front seats, Nappa leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated and cooled front cup holders.

As you probably expect in this class, the front seats have plenty of space and ample legroom for taller passengers. You'll have excellent visibility while driving thanks to the large windows, and the quiet cabin lets you talk with your passengers without shouting. The fully upgraded seats, which are heated and ventilated and have a massage function, supply supreme comfort.

The second and third rows of seats provide a good amount of space as well. That's not a given for a 3-row SUV, even among luxury brands. The split-folding (and available power-folding) second-row seats make it easy to access the third row. The back row is a little tighter than the middle row, and taller adults may not want to sit there on long trips, but in general, adults can ride comfortably anywhere in the GLS.

Both the second and third rows can easily accommodate two child car seats, with two full sets of LATCH systems in both rows. There is enough room to install the car seats into both rows, but the large opening in the seat for the lower anchor can make installation a bit difficult at times.

  • "Nobody ever complained or yelled 'shotgun' to stay out of the rear seats—there's actually really decent legroom back there (I tried the seats myself—while parked). And getting back there is easy, especially with the optional power-folding second row (at just $400, a must-have). " -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Seats are comfortable and headroom is ample throughout the cabin. Legroom is best in front and gets gradually tighter in succeeding rows. Indeed, the third row may not be all that adult friendly—but the 60/40-split middle-row seats fold and pivot to ease access to the third row, and there's a fast-acting optional power assist to make this even easier. The cabin is quiet, and large windows enhance all-around driver vision. Shorter passengers may find that they have to stretch just a little bit to climb in or out of the vehicle." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Of course, the GLS's calling card is its roomy adult-size accommodations in all three rows. The standard front seats are agreeable enough, but the optional 'multicontour' seats with heating, ventilation and massage functions are unquestionably the way to go if you can stomach the added cost. While the GLS550 and AMG GLS63 both come standard with the multicontour chairs, the latter gets an upgraded set with aggressive sport bolstering that underscores the added performance. Second-row passengers have plenty of room to stretch out, and although 6-footers will feel a bit cramped in the third row, everyone else should be just fine back there. It's one of the more accommodating third-row seats you'll find in any crossover." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Standard features in the GLS include a sunroof, Bluetooth, two USB ports, HD Radio, an 8-inch display screen, and mbrace Connect, which allows you to lock and unlock your doors, send an address to the navigation system, or start the vehicle from the smartphone app. Standard driver assistance features include active brake assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, crosswind assist, a rearview camera, and Pre-Safe.

Optional features include three additional mbrace packages, dual- and tri-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a DVD player, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, and the COMAND infotainment system with touchpad controller.

Available driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, cross traffic alert, speed limit assist, parallel and perpendicular park assist, a surround-view camera system, and Pre-Safe Plus.

You might be surprised by the relative dearth of standard features in the GLS. It comes with a few connectivity options and a display screen, but features like automatic climate control and an infotainment system – though standard in many rivals – are options.

If you spring for the COMAND infotainment system, you'll get a user-friendly way to control many of the GLS' tech functions. The menus are easy to decipher, and the touchpad controller provides multiple ways to make selections. Unfortunately, using the controller is something of a process, so it may be difficult to use while driving.

The GLS has plenty of driver assistance technology as well. Active brake assist, which comes standard, helps you avoid collisions by providing the ideal braking pressure if you're coming up on a slow-moving or stopped vehicle. Mercedes' Pre-Safe is also standard. It helps protect you and your passengers by detecting imminent collisions or rollovers and preemptively tightening seat belts, rolling up the windows, and closing the sunroof.

The GLS comes standard with other advanced features that you won't find in every class rival, including driver drowsiness monitoring and crosswind assist. However, some features that are standard in competitors are optional in the GLS, including adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. Furthermore, the GLS' versions of these systems are less precise than in other luxury SUVs.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS specs »

  • "The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class will look pretty familiar inside if you've spent time in the latest GL. There's a smattering of updates, however, including a redesigned instrument panel and a new three-spoke steering wheel. Most notably, the infotainment system gets an improved 8-inch display screen (an inch larger than last year) and a touchpad that works in tandem with the default console-mounted control knob. This system continues to be one of our favorites due to its user-friendly menu structure and quick responses." -- Edmunds
  • The redesigned interior includes a new center screen mounted on top of the dash. The look is modern and trendy, but not everyone loved it. Controlling the screen through the standard COMAND system is easy, as it offers both a scrolling wheel and a touchpad for simple inputs. Also visible are the terrain setting controller and air suspension controls, and both are easy to use." -- Truck Trend
  • "There's no getting around the fact that the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is a big SUV, but getting around in a GLS-Class is easier thanks to the available Surround View system, which gives you a 360-degree bird's-eye view of your surroundings." -- Kelley Blue Book


The GLS has 16 cubic feet of cargo space. That expands to 49.4 cubic feet with the third row folded and 93.8 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. The GLS doesn't have the largest cargo hold in the class, but it has more space than some rivals. A power liftgate and power-folding third-row seats are standard, which make it easy to access and expand the cargo area. If you need the most space possible, power-folding second-row seats are available. The seats fold flat, giving you a nice, level cargo floor, and there a few small-item storage spaces throughout the cabin.

  • There's less room in the cargo area of the GLS than you'll find in a Cadillac Escalade ESV, but there's still more than enough room for most folks. The 3rd-row seat backs fold flush with the load floor, while the 2nd-row backs come close. Not being one of the lumbering giants of its class, the GLS doesn't have the cargo space of its largest competitors. With the power-folding 50/50 third-row seats down, there's pretty good flat-floored storage space available. Second-row seats retract for even more room when needed, but they don't fold completely flat, and they leave a small gap in the load surface." -- Consumer Guide
  • "There's not a huge amount of cargo space behind the third row, but fold the seats and it opens up tremendously." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Cargo space is compromised when the power-folding third row is deployed, but when the seat is hidden, there's more than enough room for a family of five's belongings." -- Truck Trend

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