Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Clamber aboard the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and immediately the familiarity to other models in the range is evident. Not only is the dashboard layout similar to other Mercedes models, the switchgear, controls and dials are the same as other cars wearing the three-pointed star badge.

While the ergonomics of the cabin work well, that commonality between the parts used means some aspects of the GL’s interior feel a little inferior to how you might otherwise expect a £60,000 and upwards car to be.

Compare the interior to that of an Audi Q7 and its immediately apparent – the latest Discovery models also feel more premium.

There are no real vices in the way the dashboard is laid out although those new to the brand may find the steering column stalks (left for lights, wipers and indicators, right for the automatic gear selector) take a few journeys to get used to.

That said, although the quality of some of the plastics disappoints, the high level of assembly makes the GL’s interior feel robust and built to last, so it should cope with the rigours of family life that it’s likely to be subjected to.

Being sat so high, the view of the road ahead and to the sides is excellent, although the door mirrors feel a little too square rather than rectangular, restricting rearward vision somewhat. A reversing camera comes as standard, with 360 degree vision cameras available as an option – the birdseye view when parking is incredibly useful.

There’s no doubt that Mercedes-Benz GL-Class comfort levels are high but rippled road surfaces make it good rather than waftingly brilliant.

Unusually for a seven-seater, there’s space in each position for adults to get comfortable, although those who are particularly tall are likely to find the rearmost row a little short of headroom.

Under most conditions the air suspension system works well, balancing the various weights of the people and cargo on board, minimising the porpoising nature that many softly-sprung cars suffer. It’s tighter, better controlled and subsequently passengers are much less likely to feel queasy.

It’s in this quest to maintain a level of control that some firmness intrudes the cabin, upsetting the comfort equilibrium. Long undulations and even pot holes are dealt with effectively but smaller ripples and ruts, the sort more frequently experienced on urban routes, are felt in the cabin. Passengers are unlikely to complain but test drive a Discovery and you’ll feel the difference.

That aside, the GL-Class performs well from a cossetting perspective. The standard seats, trimmed in faux leather, are comfortable and supportive, with a wide range of adjustment for those in the front. Should you need a massage on the move, special seats can be added at additional cost.

Access to all three rows of seats is easy too, the middle row folding electrically out of the way to aid egress and ingress to the rearmost seats, while the car itself squats at rest to reduce the overall height, again improving ease of entry and exit.