Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Mercedes-Benz GLS: behind the wheel

  • Dashboard shared with the GLE
  • Simple design, but high-tech feel
  • Large screens and intuitive controls

The GLS’ dashboard shares its design with the smaller GLE, but there are some higher-quality touches to make it feel more expensive – mainly leather on the dashboard and doors, as well as the option to spec plusher leather chairs like the kind you’ll find in an S-Class.

You sit behind to vast screens housing the firm’s MBUX infotainment system, with a large centre console with protruding grab handles making it feel more SUV-like. The controls for the media system are located here with a large touchpad and wrist-rest, but you can also use touch or voice to make commands. It’s an excellent system that now beats BMW’s infotainment for usability.

Mercedes-Benz GLS: comfort and driving position

  • Excellent comfort on all GLS models
  • Highly adjustable driving position
  • Leather chairs have offer excellent support

You’ll find an interior that’s reminiscent of an upmarket luxury saloon in the new GLS, with only elements such as the substantial grab handles and wide centre console giving away the 4x4 game. Even the entry-level AMG Line Premium specification comes with masses of kit, too, including a Burmester surround-sound system.

It's easy to get comfortable, too, thanks to electric adjustment of both front seats and the steering wheel (as well as the middle row). You may find you’ll want the seat quite high because the GLS is such a big car (and so you can see over the bonnet), but there’s scope for any driver to get comfortable behind the wheel.

It helps that the seats themselves are very comfortable, with heated and cooling function available, as well as massage and higher quality leather if you pay extra. You can even recline the seats in the back to boost comfort (not the third row), while a rear-seat entertainment package offers TV screens and a tablet to emanate S-Class levels of luxury.

Refinement is impressive too, keeping the cabin nice and quiet. The engines can be heard when accelerating quickly, but it’s still hushed and relaxed as you surge forwards. Even on rough roads the GLS doesn’t kick up much road noise (even on the largest 23inch alloys), and there isn’t too much wind noise to compete with either. And if it does get noisy, there’s a speaker system that relays your voice to those in the third row, and vice versa.