Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Dashboard largely shared with the GLE
  • Simple design, but high-tech feel
  • Large screens and intuitive controls

While the GLS’s dashboard shares its design essentials with the smaller GLE, 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.

Black 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 400 d dashboard

Opt for the plus Maybach GLS and its the same again, but more so with even more leather, fancier wood, but the same graphics for the display screens, whereas the Maybach S-Class has a bespoke interface.

Those screens dominate the dashboard, but it doesn’t seem over the top, especially as you can vary the degree of information shown as well as the layout of that key information. This is all supplemented by an excellent head-up display (HUD) system that clearly and colourfully projects various pieces of driving data straight onto the windscreen.

Black 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 400 d multimedia touchpad and driving mode selector

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.

With a large centre console with protruding grab handles, you’re never not aware that you’re in an SUV, something emphasised by the commanding views outside thanks to the the elevated driving position. There’s an enormous range of adjustment available for the driver’s seat and steering wheel, so you will be very unlucky not to feel ideally positioned for driving.

Superb comfort on offer

  • Excellent comfort on all GLS models
  • Amplified further on Maybach versions
  • Leather chairs have offer excellent support

Even the entry-level GLS 400 d AMG Line Premium models come with masses of kit that will help boost comfort, including a high quality Burmester surround-sound system, air suspension where the softness of the ride can be adapted, leather upholstery, a glazed panoramic roof and ambient interior lighting that shnes in various combinations of 64 colours..

Black 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 400 d third-row seats

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).

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 emulate S-Class levels of luxury.

Grey 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 400 d side elevation driving

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.

AMG models are sportier, but remain comfortable, but its the Maybach GLS that ramps up the luxury factor. Out go the usual five rear seats, and in comes bench that’s shaped in such a way as to maximise comfort for the outer two passengers. If that’s still not enough, the First Class model swaps that seating arrangement out again for a pair of luxurious chairs, separated by a large divding console with space for a fridge and somewhere to rest your champagne flutes.

Red and grey 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 First Class rear seats