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#3

in 2009 Luxury Large SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $27,668 - $36,754
Original MSRP: $58,200 - $81,300
MPG: 13 City / 18 Hwy
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2009 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

While it is possible to outfit a GL with a total-luxury interior, it will cost a bundle. Things that are standard for the rest of the class, like leather seats, cost extra on the GL. However, buyers who spring for the extra won't be disappointed.

  • "High-quality materials, including standard real-wood trim, give the cabin a premium feel, though leather upholstery is standard only on the GL550. Controls adjust with a weighted, precise feel." -- Consumer Guide
  • "If the cockpit in a Cadillac Escalade or Infiniti QX56 feels like a roomy lounge, the GL550's cabin is eminently more carlike." -- Cars.com
  • "The GL's cabin is comfortable and luxuriously appointed." -- Edmunds
  • "incredibly quiet interior lets you forget you are in an SUV" -- Boston Globe
  • "Handsome bird's-eye maple trim, leather with neat stitching and a two-tone instrument panel highlight the rich interior." -- New York Times

Seating

Every reviewer found the seats and passenger comfort to be up to Mercedes standards, with generous legroom in all three rows of seats.

  • "The GL's bucket seats are well-shaped and supportive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The front seats have a litany of power adjustments, including optional side-bolster adjustments. Even with the bolsters and lumbar support dialed all the way back, I found the seats stiff." -- Cars.com
  • "Seats are exceptionally supportive and headroom and legroom are ample in nearly every position." -- Edmunds
  • "Mercedes offers some of the industry's most comfortable and supportive seats, and the GL's optional multicontour chairs are no exception. The range of lumbar support seems almost limitless." -- New York Times
  • The third row "offers a commodious 34.0 inches of legroom, nearly nine more than in the [Cadillac Escalade]." -- Motor Trend

Interior Features

Standard features on the GL include dual-zone climate control, four power outlets, and a front center console with a padded armrest. If only two people are present in the second row, the center section can become an armrest and storage compartment as well. The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class also uses Mercedes' "COMAND" system for one-screen control of the climate controls, stereo, and optional navigational system. Many other options, such as a hands-free communication system using Bluetooth linked to the steering wheel, are available but can significantly add to the GL-Classes price.

  • "However, even though the GL has an updated COMAND interface this year, we've still found it finicky to use. It employs awkward push-buttons on a center-stack-mounted circular control pad instead of the console-mounted control wheel used in the C-Class and S-Class." -- Edmunds
  • "Gauges are large and easy to read. Most controls are logically placed, but some have cryptic markings and the navigation system absorbs most audio functions, complicating their use." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We remain undecided regarding the shift lever being mounted to the steering column; it does provide for a clean, uninterrupted console, but is less-than-intuitive in its operation." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The center controls look and feel high-quality, and it's nice to see Mercedes has stuck with black plastic where other carmakers have painted theirs a tacky-looking silver. " -- Cars.com
  • "The DVD player is inconveniently located under the right-side second-row seat. The system, which features screens in the front-seat headrests, is operated by a remote control, but cannot be operated by the driver, so if mom is alone with the kids she must stop the car and crawl back there to change the movie." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Cargo

Cargo space is slightly less in the Mercedes Benz GL than in some other luxury SUVs. A motorized third row seat makes expanding the cargo area simple -- the seats fold into the floor at the touch of a button. If this doesn't make accessing the cargo space easy enough, Mercedes also offers an optional power lift gate.

  • "With the second- and third-row seats lowered, 83 cubic feet of cargo volume are available -- that's far fewer cubes than in competing models like the Escalade, but it's likely sufficient for most buyers." -- Edmunds
  • "For people who need a seven-passenger vehicle that can also haul a lot of stuff, Mercedes makes it easy." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Next Steps: 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

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