Comfort and Quality » 9
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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
the seats are supportive and generously sized
“the third row has ridiculously small cupholders that you can't adjust”
issues with visibility and control usability sour the well-tailored cabin
While not perfect, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class boasts comfortable seating for seven. Strangely, while the GL550 edition gets standard leather seats, the GL320 and GL450 come with vinyl seat. In a vehicle that’s pitched against the Land Rover Range Rover, leather seating is an unusual omission.
Seating comfort is a mixed bag, according to reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. Cars.com feels "the seats are too stiff," but ConsumerGuide thinks "the seats are supportive and generously sized" and Kelley Blue Book calls them "well-shaped and supportive." All 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUVs seat seven in a 2-3-2 configuration.
In regard to third-row seating, 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." ConsumerGuide 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]."
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.”
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class provides average hospitality to its driver. 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.”
Cars.com finds two unsightly fit and finish gaps: "one around the glove compartment, the other bordering the steering wheel hub." They also note that "staffers...thought the tiny side mirrors were a joke." Cars.com also points out that Mercedes-Benz "touts the presence of cupholders designed to withstand the mass of 44 oz. drinks." That's good to know, if it'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."
Edmunds.com reports that on the road, the GL is "quiet on the highway, with minimal wind and road noise,” and Car and Driver echoes the sentiment, saying "the GL is exceptionally quiet.”
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class seats seven in relative luxury, and available amenities leave little to be desired.