Comfort and Quality » 9
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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
accommodations are posh
Car and Driver
issues with visibility and control usability sour the well-tailored cabin
Headroom and legroom are ample
quiet on the highway, with minimal wind and road noise
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class seats seven in relative luxury, and available amenities leave little to be desired. There are some minor areas that need improvement, however.
All 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUVs seat seven in a 2-3-2 configuration. While the GL550 edition gets standard leather seats, the GL320 and GL450 come with vinyl seats, and leather is an option. It’s an unusual omission in a vehicle that’s pitched against the Land Rover Range Rover.
In reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, seat comfort opinions are mixed: Cars.com feels "the seats are too stiff," while ConsumerGuideAuto thinks "the seats are supportive and generously sized" and Kelley Blue Book calls them "well-shaped and supportive."
Regarding driver area comfort and quality in the 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Kelley Blue Book "remain[s] undecided regarding the shift lever being mounted to the steering column; it...is less-than-intuitive in its operation." Cars.com likes that the "wraparound dash and narrower seats could pass for those in a luxury sedan" and "the center controls look and feel high-quality," but adds "Mercedes' COMAND interface...is an earlier generation with second-rate graphics."
In the 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Mercedes-Benz has designed a third row that is more comfortable than the competition. Cars.com describes it thusly: "the third row shines. Legroom and headroom are leagues better than the others', and the GL's seats sit high enough that passengers aren't watching their knees." The GL550's third row "boasts reading lights, overhead A/C vents, a fixed skylight and leather-wrapped armrests." Edmunds.com appreciates that "third-row access is also well thought-out." Consumer Guide Auto notes, "only the right-side section of the second row slides forward for third row access, though it does create a large passageway." Finally, Cars.com says the third row "folds more or less flat, as does the second row, and the resulting load floor is free of any major gaps." Cargo volume "trails some of the GL's boxiest competitors [at 83.3 cubic feet]."
Some reviewers griped about the small details, though. The Detroit News says, “the third row has ridiculously small cupholders that you can't adjust. You load the DVDs for the entertainment system into a slot located under the right passenger's seat in the second row. And some of the seat controls are located in a panel that juts out from the bottoms of the front seats.”
Cars.com points out that Mercedes-Benz "touts the presence of cupholders designed to withstand the mass of 44 oz. drinks." Good to know, if that's important to you. Thoughtful touches include leather-wrapped upper dash surfaces and "nearly every surface is soft to the touch, including areas...knees might knock against." Still, Cars.com found two unsightly fit and finish gaps: "one around the glove compartment, the other bordering the steering wheel hub." They also noted that "staffers...thought the tiny side mirrors were a joke."
On the road, "the GL is exceptionally quiet," feels Car and Driver. The same sentiment is shared by Edmunds.com, which writes, "[it's] quiet on the highway, with minimal wind and road noise."
While not perfect, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class boasts comfortable seating for seven. Strangely, it has standard vinyl seats.