The interior of the new GLE derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious, elegant ambience of a Mercedes-Benz luxury saloon and the robust, progressive features of an SUV.
The central element in the dashboard’s design is a sporty, stylish cockpit unit embedded in a striking dashboard support. The dashboard support flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element likewise extends around the driver and front passenger to meet 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 free-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 flee-floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the centre console. They are lined with leather, and not only provide a firm grip but are also pleasant to the touch. 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 are in a new design. 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 impressive appearance of the SUV's interior.
The door panels exude calm with a harmonious transition from the dashboard and accentuated horizontal design lines. The interplay between the powerfully sculptured armrest and the discreet, recessed door trim creates a dramatic contrast. The closing handle carries the iconic, stylised miniature seat as a hallmark Mercedes-Benz seat adjustment control feature. The closing handles of the doors blend into the shape of the armrest, whose front end houses the controls for the windows and exterior mirrors. The result is a homogeneous design unit that harmonises with the grab handles on the centre console.
With its geometrical structure, the design of the seats accentuates the striking character of the SUV's interior. The backrest with its wave-like surface divisions is heavily reminiscent of the typical design found in the E-Class, but with a decidedly SUV-specific interpretation.
Colours and materials: attractive and varied choice
The different equipment lines have a wide range of materials and colours, from modern and luxurious to extremely sporty. Inspired by colour shades from architecture and fashion, bicolor interiors such as magma grey/macchiato beige, magma grey/espresso brown or the cool combination of black/tartufo were developed.
In the Exclusive line, the off-road character is accentuated by a rougher natural leather structure. This can be harmoniously combined with natural, open-pored wood trim. Trim surfaces in aluminium or with interwoven stainless steel are more progressive and sporty, with the black/white colour scheme adding a particularly sporty emphasis.
Other special features include the following:
- the combination of "Lugano" leather with the new "Locarno" rough leather, which in the Exclusive line is used on the seat side bolsters and head restraints as an SUV characteristic. This only applies when the dark colours black and espresso brown are specified. Light colours such as macchiato are in "Lugano" throughout,
- the new hand-crafted finish for the designo seat in nappa leather, with multiple box pleats,
- a choice of mostly new, open-pored, linear wood such as: plain anthracite oak, brown American walnut and black sectioned ash wood.