Fitting for a luxury SUV that can cost more than $80,000, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class has lots of standard convenience and entertainment features even in base trim.
For starters, every GL-Class gets power front seats; a power-fold feature for the third-row seat; a glass sunroof over the rear two rows of seats; a COMAND controller for climate, audio and navigation systems; Bluetooth; and an AM/FM/six-DVD changer. The diesel GL350 BlueTEC has 20-inch rims, and the GL450 gets 19-inchers. Leather seating is not standard on the GL-Class; Mercedes says it's because some owners want cruelty-free upholstery, so be sure to tick the pricey option box if you're shopping.
Most of those features are made standard on the top-flight GL550, which also gets 21-inch wheels and tires.
The options list is extensive. An iPod interface, HD and satellite radio, and a hard-drive navigation system can be fitted to the GL350 and GL450, and are standard on the GL550. A 610-watt Harman Kardon Logic 7 audio system with surround sound, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with twin 8-inch screens and wireless headsets, are recommended options since the GL-Class' seven-passenger seating means kids will be frequent riders. An off-road package imbues the GL450 with most of the off-road talent and underbody protection you'd get in the military-grade G-Class.
Other GL-Class options include a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats on the GL350 and GL450. Ventilated seats are offered, and we'd take them every time--they're a great add-on in warmer climates.