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2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.5

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS has an upscale interior with premium materials and a high-end design. This SUV offers plenty of spacious seating, a good amount of cargo room, and a long list of intuitive features.

  • "Luxury abounds in the GLS-Class, from the large infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to the numerous leathers, colors and Designo selections allowing for a level of individualized customization increasingly hard to find these days." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • 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 … 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." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Materials and assembly quality in the GLS cabin are top notch. … Soft-to-the-touch surfaces are well distributed. The GLS450 comes with imitation-leather upholstery. Bright-metal highlights and eucalyptus-wood dash trim impart a luxury look that is complemented by top-flight assembly." -- Consumer Guide (2017)

Seating

The Mercedes-Benz GLS seats seven people on standard synthetic leather upholstery. It comes standard with a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat and heated front seats. Options include a 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat, leather upholstery, Nappa leather, a heated steering wheel, a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel, multicontour and massaging front seats, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a power-operated second row.

The GLS has four complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors and a tether anchor for the second-row middle seat. The lower anchors are hard to find and access, while the tether anchors are more user-friendly.

The GLS offers plenty of space for passengers in every row, though taller adults may feel slightly cramped in the third row. The standard front seats are comfortable, and the optional multicontour front seats are a distinct upgrade.

  • "To its credit, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class doesn’t jam in a child-size 3rd-row seat to claim 7-passenger seating. No sir, there is ample room for adults in all three rows." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Each seating row is legitimately adult-friendly, which is more than many 3-row crossovers can claim." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "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. ... 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 (2017)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2019 GLS include dual-zone automatic climate control, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, push-button start, a sunroof, Bluetooth, HD Radio, and a 7-inch display screen. Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, driver attention and drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Optional features include proximity keyless entry, navigation, soft-close doors, second-row sunshades, a panoramic roof, tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch infotainment screen, satellite radio, voice command activation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Harman Kardon stereo, a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, and a rear-seat entertainment system. Available active safety features include adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, active steering assist, pedestrian detection, Pre Safe Plus, speed limit assist, automatic parking assist, and a surround-view camera.

The GLS has straightforward infotainment controls highlighted by a controller knob on the center console. However, some critics note that the COMAND system requires significant attention from the driver to use.

See 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS specs »

  • The COMAND system responded quickly to inputs during our tests, beating the response times of popular smartphones. The competition is serious in this class, though, so COMAND's strong performance does not set it apart from the crowd." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • "The center screen adopts the modern, mounted-tablet look, standing out from the dashboard rather than being integrated into it. It's a change this author likes very much, but others on the trip criticized the iPad-inspired styling, and admittedly, we wonder how long such a trend will be in style. Will the dash tablet look as dated in 20 years as car phones do today? It's possible." -- Truck Trend (2017)
  • What shows up on the screen is controlled by a console dial. This tester never has been all that fond of any of the various one-dial control systems that have sprung up in a number of makes (primarily luxury brands). While Comand seems to have gotten a little easier and more intuitive to use, it still requires a lot of attention from a driver. There's no complaint about the clarity of the screen display, however, and climate controls remain separate with a mix of dials for temperature and buttons for function." -- Consumer Guide (2017)

Cargo

The Mercedes-Benz GLS has 16 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row, 49.4 cubic feet with the last row folded down, and a maximum of 93.8 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded. All of those values are about average for the class. A power-folding third row and a power tailgate are standard.

  • The price paid for such a spacious third-row seat is precious little cargo room behind it, but when it is folded the GLS has ample space for luggage, groceries or gear." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Depending on which seats are deployed, the GLS's cargo area is either cavernous or cramped. With all three rows in use, we could only squeeze three carry-on bags into the luggage compartment. With the second and third rows folded, we stuffed 34 carry-ons behind the front seats. Despite the limitations of the cargo area in the GLS-class, few similar vehicles offer much more space behind the third row." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • "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 (2017)
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