No one will feel cramped in the front of a GLE; it’s a fairly wide car so there’s no chance you’ll be clashing elbows with the person sitting next to you. Even if you add the optional panoramic glass roof (part of the Premium Plus Package) there's plenty of head room.
In addition, there are lots of useful cubbyholes dotted about the place, along with good-sized door pockets.
Seven seats are standard in the GLE unless you go for the entry-level 300d, in which case you'll need to pay extra to get them.
Unfortunately, space back there on the third row isn't very generous. Taller adults will feel very cramped, much more so than they would in an Audi Q7 (let alone a Land Rover Discovery or BMW X7), and access isn't great, either.
More positively, the second row of seats is surprisingly roomy – there's more leg room than in a Discovery or a Q7, for example, so tall adults can really stretch out and relax. There are just two Isofix mounts in the GLE, though; rivals, including the Q7, have up to six.
Seat folding and flexibility
Split-folding second-row seats (in a 40/20/40 configuration) are standard on the GLE, regardless of whether you choose a five or a seven-seat version. However, while the third row seats in some rivals, including the Q7, can be raised and lowered electrically, in the GLE this job requires bicep power.
Another handy feature on all seven-seat models is electric adjustment for the middle row. The seats can be moved forwards and backwards, and the backrest angle can also be adjusted – a nice luxury for back-seat passengers.
In five-seat versions (or with the rearmost seats folded away) boot space is reasonable rather than exceptional. There's certainly more space than in a BMW X5, but in our tests the GLE could swallow only eight carry-on suitcases below its parcel shelf. The Land Rover Discovery managed nine cases, while the Audi Q7 took 10.
The loadbay is usefully square in shape, though, with little wheel arch encroachment. Plus, even with the third-row seats in use, you can still squeeze a useful amount of luggage in there. For trips to the tip, or when taking your eldest back to uni, there is of course the option of two-seat mode, which gives you the carrying capacity of a small van.