Seating & Cargo

The GL550's front seats have a litany of power adjustments, including adjustable stiffness for the side bolsters. Even with the bolsters and lumbar support dialed all the way back, the seats are too stiff. That's typical in German cars, but in a large SUV I prefer cushier seats. These hold you in place during spirited driving; expert road manners notwithstanding, I'm not sure many GL-Class drivers are going to carve corners.

I compared seating in a GL-Class, QX56, Escalade and Lexus LX 570 at an auto show, and the front seats of all three competitors suited me better. Second-row space in the GL550 seems on par with the competition Ч I'm about 6 feet tall, and I had no complaints Ч but it's the third row that 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 Lincoln Navigator is perhaps the only competitor that has as much third-row roominess. As craftsmanship goes, there is no competition: The GL550's third row boasts reading lights, overhead A/C vents, a fixed skylight and leather-wrapped armrests. It puts third-row décor in the other SUVs to shame.

All trim levels have a power-folding 50/50-split third row. It folds more or less flat, as does the second row, and the resulting load floor is free of any major gaps. Maximum cargo volume is 83.3 cubic feet, which considerably trails some of the GL's boxiest competitors.

    See also:

    Cleaning the display
    Ц Before cleaning the display, make sure that it is switched off and has cooled down. Ц Clean the display surface using a commercially-available microfiber cloth and TFT/LCD display cleaner. Ц ...

    Headlamp cleaning system
    The headlamps are cleaned automatically if the "Wipe with washer fluid" function is operated ten times while the lights are on and the engine is running. When you switch off the igni ...

    Fuse box in the cargo compartment
    Open the tailgate. To open: lift up trunk floor 2 (). Remove stowage compartment 1. Open cover 3 of fuse box downwards. ...