This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (13-15) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The clean, user-friendly and upmarket feel of the cabin is similar to that of the M-Class and R-Class. But that's hardly a surprise as, under the skin, all three cars are very similar and are even built alongside each other at the same factory. There’s plenty of chrome and leather (synthetic hide is also available), smart switchgear and an emphasis on quality, with subtle detailing and attractive trimming.

All cars have a smooth seven-speed automatic gearbox that’s operated by a column-mounted stick. It’s simple to use, and there are rocker switches behind the steering wheel for manual changes. As you may expect from a car of this size, visibility isn't great. Although the commanding driving position gives a good view of the road ahead, the thick pillars at the back of the car restrict the rearward view.

It means that reversing, or attempting a three-point turn, can be tricky, while the door mirrors are small and at times obstructed. But you do get Mercedes-Benz’s excellent Parktronic parking sensor system as standard.

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class comfort is pretty impressive. The firm has made sure that all seven on board get a comfortable trip with excellent head and shoulder room and enough legroom to take the pain out of longer tips. There's plenty of room in the second row of seats, while the rearmost two seats are fine for children and acceptable for adults on shorter trips.

All models get climate control, while it's available in the rear for the GL420 and GL500. The smooth ride and minimal engine and wind noise make it a relaxing long distance car.