The inside of the Mercedes GL will have real appeal. It’s bright and airy inside, thanks to the car’s conventional proportions and a large glass area. 

Sit in one of the big, electrically adjustable leather front chairs and the side window extends from comfortably below your shoulder to above head height. And although the window line rises slowly towards the GL’s rear, it’s still not claustrophobic even in the rear pair of chairs.

The GL seats seven adults in more comfort than any SUV rival

That’s not just down to the general airiness, though. The GL can seat seven adults properly, each one in comfort. Even the rear pair of chairs has good head and legroom and they’re also a doddle to raise and fold (flat into the boot floor) because they’re electrically operated.

A touch of a button will fold either – or both – seats to provide a flat cargo space. And they’re fast folding, going from 0-to-flat in under five seconds. Flip forward the middle row and the load area becomes cavernous, with a capacity of up to 2300 litres and a platform that measures over 2100mm in length. 

There are a couple of shopping-bag hooks in the boot, too, and a load bay cover that can be fixed behind either the middle or rear row of seats. The GL’s is a cleverly designed interior.

And there’s another benefit to that large glass area. Despite the GL’s size, it’s easier to negotiate around car parks and tight roads than a Q7. With its square sides and good mirrors, it’s easy to get a fix on its width. It’s tougher to gauge accurately where it ends, though, so you’ll still seek out the biggest parking spaces on offer. The GL, like many of its rivals, may work in the US and Middle East, but it’s less at home in Europe.

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