Reviews

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Walk Around

Both rugged-looking and contemporary, the GL-Class continues to emphasize traditional SUV design, shunning the chrome and glitter that identify some luxury utility vehicles. Bodywork melds just enough soft curves, extended creases, and incisive angles into an SUV design that could hardly be any cleaner.

The familiar Mercedes-Benz grille is especially pronounced on the GL-Class. A long silhouette enhances the wedge shape that stems from bodyside character lines. Overall, the GL-Class is more subdued in appearance than many competitive full-size SUVs. Front and rear ends have LED lighting. The GL550 adds flared wheel arches and 21-inch wheels, while the GL63 AMG gets its own look.

Interior

Within the rugged GL body is an immense, comfortable cabin, nearly as versatile as a minivan’s. High-quality materials appear throughout, including an upholstered dashboard and soft-touch surfaces.

Leather upholstery and wood trim impart a warm, rich glow. Upper-trim interiors feature olive ash wood and perforated leather.

Front passengers in upper models can ride on ventilated seats with a massage function. Second-row seats may be heated. Power-folding third-row seats stow to add cargo space, while optional power assistance can tuck away the second-row seats. Even adults will fit into the third row, which is split 50/50.

Cargo volume can expand from modest to practically cavernous. With the third row up, cargo space totals 16 cubic feet. Flip them forward, and you have 49.4 cubic feet. With the second row folded forward, space grows to 93.8 cubic feet.

Passengers don’t have to step high to get aboard. Second-row seats benefit from wide door openings. An Easy-Entry feature improves access to the third row. A power control can slide front seats forward, but its motor is noisier than expected.

A console knob operates the COMAND infotainment system, which has a 7-inch screen but isn’t as easy or intuitive as those in rival SUVs.

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