From its "base" versions to the fully loaded models costing more than $80,000, the Mercedes-Benz GL Class loads up on standard features, with provisions for lots more luxury--and room for a quirk or two.
All GL Class utes come with standard power windows, locks and mirrors; power front seats; a power-folding third-row seat; a rear-seat sunroof; Bluetooth; an AM/FM/DVD player; and COMAND control over the GPS, phone and audio functions.
You may have noticed that leather upholstery isn't standard. It's a specific choice, Mercedes says, because some of its owners want "cruelty-free" upholstery. In practice, it's highly unlikely you'll ever find one of these vinyl-outfitted trucks on the lot, since U.S. dealers like to sell highly optioned vehicles.
On the options list, at least for the GL 350 and GL 450, are features like HD and satellite radio; a navigation system; an iPod interface; a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. They're standard on the GL 550.
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's seven-passenger seating means kids will be frequent riders. An off-road package imbues the GL 450 with most of the off-road talent and underbody protection you'd get in the military-grade G-Class.
Other GL Class options include ventilated seats, and we'd take them every time--they're a great add-on in warmer climates.