For 2013, Mercedes-Benz's large SUV gets redesigned with all-new styling outside and a roomier cabin inside. The GL-Class has plenty of space for seven passengers, and an extra set of exposed Latch anchors in the third row made for easy installation of our child-safety seats. For the Car Seat Check, we tested the 550-horsepower GL63 AMG.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, but three almost fit.
How many car seats fit in the third row? Two
What We Like
- The Latch and tether anchors are accessible and very easy to use. There are two sets of Latch anchors in the second row just within the seat bight and another two sets in the third row, which are exposed.
- The buckles in both rows are on stable bases, so kids should be able to buckle up independently.
- There was plenty of room for the infant seat in the second row; we did not have to move the front-passenger seat forward to accommodate it.
- Installing the rear-facing convertible was easy, but we had to move the front-passenger seat forward a bit. Taller occupants might need more room to be comfortable.
What We Don't
- Third-row access could be better. Although the power-tumbling second row flips forward with ease, the step in is very high. Also, you have to manually tumble the seats back into place, which isn't easy because they're heavy.
- The head restraints throughout the SUV are adjustable, but not removable. In both rows, they pushed our high-back booster and forward-facing convertible off the seatback, making it tough to get a snug fit.
- Third-row occupants don't have much legroom. Kids in forward-facing convertibles will likely be kicking the seat in front of them because the fixed head restraint pushes the car seat forward.
A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn't impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.
B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row.
C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row.
D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.