Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 BMW X7 Interior Only Feels More Expensive Than That of the Mercedes-Benz GLS 580

The common cliché goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” You also can’t adequately judge a vehicle based on its exterior. Plenty of vehicles look impressive on the outside yet feel dull on the inside. When it comes to interiors, you might think you get what you pay for. But one notable exception is the 2020 BMW X7.

The brand’s largest SUV boasts a beautiful interior for less money than one of its German rivals. Let’s take a look at how the 2020 BMW X7 compares to the Mercedes-Benz GLS 580.

BMW X7 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLS 580

Analyses pitting these two popular luxury SUVs against each other are often close, including a recent one from MotorTrend. Both offer three rows of comfortable seating, advanced technology features, and attractive aesthetics. So the 2020 BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 seem like natural competitors for shares of the full-size-SUV segment.

But overall, MotorTrend chose the Benz. However, the X7 made a strong case for itself. This is especially true when it comes to the interior. 

BMW X7 interior

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If you want the inside of your full-size SUV to feel like a living room outfitted with premium-leather couches, the 2020 BMW X7 may be the vehicle for you. Its interior is striking, especially in the walnut-brown color. The seats’ waveform pattern commands attention, and the trim in any color looks luxe and refined. 

MotorTrend’s reviewers noted the BMW X7’s interior feels and sounds much quieter than the Mercedes-Benz GLS 580, a major selling point for the Beemer. Another important feature for a full-size SUV is roomy, comfortable seating in all three rows, and the BMW X7 achieves this feat. However, MotorTrend knocked the “painfully slow” sliding seats.

Another area where the BMW X7 presents noticeable problems is its frustrating and distracting infotainment system. The controls to operate much of the vehicle’s functions look too similar, so you’d have to stare at the controls before choosing an option. This isn’t particularly feasible or safe while driving. This issue has also plagued other BMW models, so let’s hope the manufacturer makes the necessary changes to improve the infotainment system. 

According to the BMW website, this X7 starts at $74,900. 

Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 interior

Although MotorTrend deemed the BMW X7 the winner in the interior head-to-head, the Mercedes-Benz SUV still has a lot going for it. The GLS 580 also offers a beautiful interior overall, though some idiosyncrasies might turn you off. For example, the front vents below the infotainment center look cheap and tacky, especially for a vehicle approaching $100,000. The speakers’ visual design also seems like a gimmick, though it might appeal to some prospective buyers. 

But the GLS 580’s interior offers plenty of legroom for everyone in all three rows to feel comfortable and supported. However, MotorTrend reports this vehicle is definitely louder on the inside while driving than the BMW X7. The Benz also doesn’t have the edge over the X7 in terms of its distracting infotainment system. Both vehicles suffer from unintuitive controls and a steep learning curve that might take you a few hours to master.

According to U.S. News, the 2020 GLS 580 starts around $97,800, a significant price jump over the 2020 BMW X7. And the 2021 GLS 580 starts at $98,850 per the Mercedes-Benz website.

Those MSRPs might seem reasonable for Mercedes-Benz fans, especially because the GLS 580 is widely considered the superior vehicle overall. However, if you’re a BMW fan or the interior is the most important thing to you, the 2020 X7 is the way to go.