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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Interior Review


Interior: 6.9

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS has a handsome cabin full of quality materials, including real wood trim. Passenger and cargo space are decent, and there are tons of features, although mastering the infotainment system’s controls can take some time.

  • "Elsewhere in the interior, the Benz gets off-road-optimized grab handles on the center console, excellent materials throughout (even down low, where your fingers rarely touch), and smooth and graceful styling that matches the exterior." -- Truck Trend
  • "The GLS' cabin materials are of expectedly high quality. From the dash to the third-row seats, the leather feels durable, and the wood and metal trim is well-integrated into the design." -- Edmunds
  • The interior design itself hews closely to the current Mercedes corporate look, in particular the new GLE class – handsome, clean and typically German, though the ultra-wide instrument cluster/infotainment screen isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. The materials are both pretty to look at and a pleasure to touch, with leather, wood and metal covering nearly every surface save for the headliner. Even the shifter and turn signal stocks have received some attention, so it doesn't look like a parts bin special inside. If you've been in any recent Mercedes product, it will all be immediately familiar, but no less impressive for it." -- Autoblog


The GLS seats seven people, though you can reduce capacity to six by getting captain’s chairs for the second row. Synthetic leather upholstery is standard, as are heated and power-adjustable front seats. Several features are available, including genuine leather upholstery, massaging and ventilated front and second-row seats, heated second- and third-row seats, heated and cooled cup holders for the first two rows, heated armrests for the first two rows, and a heated steering wheel.

The first two rows have plenty of space for adults. Critics are mixed about roominess in the third row, but most agree that taller passengers will be OK there for short trips. Entering the third row is easy thanks to Mercedes’ Easy Entry function, which lets you push a button to slide the second row forward.

For securing child safety seats, the GLS has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the second- and third-row seats.

  • "Most three-row SUVs aren't actually designed to accommodate even one full-size adult in the third row, but the GLS is different. Available in either a six- or seven-seat configuration, the GLS can comfortably seat adults in all three rows." -- Edmunds
  • "Thanks to a more than two-inch increase in wheelbase, the GLS's second-row seats are conspicuously roomy. And for the first time, the GLS is offered with second-row captain's chairs for easier access to the standard third row, which, while tight for tall folks, is considerably roomier than the BMW X7's." -- Car and Driver
  • The second row is spacious, and new captain's chairs are an option–a first for the GLS. This option not only makes the second row less crowded, it also eases access to the third row. Should you opt for the second-row bench seat, access to the third row can be a bit difficult for those who are 6 feet tall (like myself). When we sat in the third row with someone else sitting in the second row, I had enough legroom for short drives, but the third row does feel cramped. To access the third row, you have to hold a button located on the second-row seatback, which tilts the bench seat and slides it forward to provide more room." -- Motor Trend

Interior Features

The base GLS features the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touch screen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, wireless device charging, Bluetooth, nine USB ports, a 13-speaker Burmester surround-sound stereo, satellite radio, and HD Radio.

While the MBUX infotainment system works well enough, critics expressed their displeasure with its learning curve and its sheer amount of physical controls.

Also standard are dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and a sunroof. Standard safety features include blind spot monitoring, automatic park assist, a surround-view parking camera system, crosswind assist, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and a driver condition monitor.

A 7-inch tablet that controls the MBUX system from the rear is available. Other optional features include second-row wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 26-speaker Burmester stereo, five-zone automatic climate control, and gesture-based controls for the infotainment system.

A suite of safety features is available too. Some of these include lane keep assist, lane departure warning, lane change assist, a head-up display, a following distance indicator, and adaptive cruise control.

See 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS specs »

  • "Inside, the GLS gets Benz's now-common flatscreen infotainment/instrument display consisting of two 12.3-inch widescreen elements. Both are extensively reconfigurable, and dash graphics are beautiful and modern. Not everyone loves the floating-tablet look, but we think Mercedes does it better than most." -- Truck Trend
  • I've tested a smaller version of the MBUX system in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class where it impressed me with a much more intuitive interface and much smarter menu organization than the S-Class' older COMAND system. In the GLS, MBUX continues to showcase smart features like augmented reality navigation, 'Hey Mercedes' natural language voice command and a version of Benz' Energizing Comfort cabin control system." -- CNET
  • The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS features the German brand's latest infotainment system dubbed MBUX. This system is advanced and integrates very neatly into the vehicle. The learning curve is somewhat steep, as MBUX requires some degree of knowledge to reap the most rewards of ownership." -- Edmunds


The GLS has 17.4 cubic feet of space with all of its seats up, which is a good amount for a luxury large SUV. There’s between 42.7 and 48.7 cubic feet of space behind the second row, depending on how the seats are positioned. Fold down the second and third rows, and you’ll open a maximum of 84.7 cubic feet of space, which is average for the class.

A hands-free power liftgate comes standard.

  • "Lay that third row down (as 99 percent of owners will do 99 percent of the time) and there’s abundant cargo room … whether you choose the bench-seat second row of the seven-passenger trim, or the dual captain’s chairs of the six-seater." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The new model is a little longer and wider, which adds legroom to both the second and third rows and a little extra something to the cargo area." -- Edmunds
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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

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