The interior of the new GLS is all about luxuriously elegant aesthetics, as evidenced straight away by the leather appointments, which come as standard. They combine the comfort of a Mercedes-Benz luxury saloon with the robustly progressive detailing of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard's design is an impressively sized screen unit embedded in an energetic, distinctively styled instrument panel. The instrument panel flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element likewise extends into the doors.
As in the luxury-class saloons, this greatly accentuates the impression of width while conveying security and elegance. At the same time, it creates the impression that the upper cockpit section is floating. The instrument cluster and media display (2 x 12.3-inch as standard) are housed behind a shared continuous glass surface to form a large free-standing screen. There is a touchpad in the centre console as a further means of controlling many vehicle functions. The ambience lighting impressively illuminates the dashboard, with optical fibres coursing throughout the cockpit. The four rectangular air vents are prominently embedded in the trim element.
The prominent, raised centre console creates a robust contrast with the free-floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the centre console. They are trimmed with ARTICO man-made leather. The modern, luxurious impression is rounded off by the flowing leather surface behind them, the large trim element and the flush-fitted roller blind.
All the controls and displays were designed from scratch to be shared by the GLE and the GLS. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block. Very fine chiselling and pyramid structures show the desire for perfection and craftsmanship. The new sport steering wheel with its striking, sculptured spoke design accentuates the off-road-heavy appearance of the SUV's interior and caresses the hands with its soft nappa leather rim.
The door panels exude calm with a harmonious transition from the dashboard and accentuated horizontal design lines. The interplay between the sculptured armrest and the smoothly recessed door trim creates a dramatic contrast. The door trim houses the miniature seat for the seat adjustment typical for Mercedes-Benz, and the memory buttons. The closing handles of the doors blend into the shape of the armrest. It harmonises with the handles on the centre console and also houses the control for the windows and side mirrors.
Colours and materials: high quality and stylish
With its geometrical structure, the design of the seats accentuates the striking character of the SUV's interior. Customers can choose between a combination of smooth and suede leather, the latter on the seat side bolsters and head restraints, and smooth leather only for the standard-fit leather upholstery. The off-road character is portrayed by a coarser natural leather structure. In addition, there is a choice of plain black or espresso brown leather and two-tone appointments such as magma grey/macchiato beige, magma grey/espresso brown and black/tartufo.
With the EXCLUSIVE interior, the lower section of the instrument panel and the beltlines come trimmed in ARTICO man-made leather. The trim elements, including the roller cover of the cup holders, are made of wood. The appointments further include the airbag cover in nappa leather, stainless steel speaker grilles and velour floor mats.