Ministry of Interior Affairs: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580

a car parked on the side of a road: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580

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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580

Welcome to Ministry of Interior Affairs, a new feature that highlights the interior design and functionality of some of the most popular vehicles available in Canada.

Here’s a bold claim: I think that what we’re looking at here, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS, might just be the most beautiful interior you’ll find in any three-row SUV on the market.

Of course, this comes with some caveats. Number one: at a list price of $133,500 with options, it’s certainly not for the faint of wallet. Number two: every single one of the men who looked at this disagreed with me. The leather fitted here is a gorgeous, rich dark grey as opposed to black, the laser-cut Burmester speaker grilles are some of the prettiest you’ll find anywhere, and vast expanses of open-pore wood are far classier than glossy finishes, but these details were lost on them. They like lots of contrasting colours and shiny things, it seems.

In a lower-priced SUV, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, mainly because the alternative tends to be a bland black-on-black motif. But by the time I’m spending six figures on a vehicle, I want it to feel like arm candy, like an attractive man in a well-fitted suit. And the redesigned, third-generation GLS fits the bill.

But just as importantly, it also happens to make good use of its ample space and translates it into practicality. In the rearward cargo area, 355 litres will fit behind the third-row seats, which is just enough to position our trusty jogging stroller upright and still get the hatch closed. Beneath the load floor, there’s a spare tire and a convenient spot for tonneau cover storage. Two sets of buttons drop both of the rear rows at once or each individually: doing the latter opens up 1,380 litres of space behind the second row and 2,400 litres behind the first. While the third-row seats fold nicely flat, the second-row seats don’t get to quite as tight a fit.

The third row is easy to access, as long as you’re patient with power function while holding down the button on the second-row seatback. These seats are meant to shift with an installed child seat in place; we found this finicky in our testing as the car seat’s high back kept catching on the headrest, so car seat design could be a factor here.

Once you’re into the third row, you’ll find two comfortable and roomy seats with plenty of head room, each with a cupholder and not one but two USB-C connections. The leg room back there worked for me, but our taller observers banged their knees somewhat. Both third-row positions have the hardware necessary to install forward-facing LATCH-equipped child seats, meaning that the GLS can support up to four car seats in total.

This test unit has the $5,600 Premium Rear Seat package equipped, which turns the second row into elite seating. With this add-on, both second-row outboard seats are heated, ventilated, and

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House Foreign Affairs chairman subpoenas U.S. global media chief

Sept. 19 (UPI) — House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel has subpoenaed U.S. global media chief Michael Pack amid fears of bias.

Democrats fear Pack, the CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media since June, an appointee of President Donald Trump, and close ally of former Trump aide Steve Bannon, will move to reshape the leadership and independence of news organizations, such as Voice of America, to be biased in favor of Trump.

The House Affairs panel called Pack to testify after a series of firings in June, Pack’s first month on the job, including the heads of three international broadcast networks for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Critics fear Pack will jeopardize the independence of broadcast networks, charged with objectively reporting about the United States and its foreign policy to an international audience of 350 million people.

Engel, D-N.Y., said Friday Pack planned to back out on his commitment to appear at a Sept. 24 hearing.

“His office failed to provide any reasonable alternative dates and his excuse for breaking his commitment is not acceptable,” Engle said in a statement.

Pack has insisted the firings were a routine part of new leadership at the organization and a U.S. Agency for Global Media spokesperson said Friday that Pack couldn’t attend due to a scheduling conflict.

“Michael Pack is disappointed that the Committee has decided to escalate the situation,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Pack is eager to testify before the Committee to talk about the critical work of USAGM and to answer members’ questions.”

Senate Republicans pushed through the conservative filmmaker’s confirmation to the U.S. Agency for Global Media back in June despite objections from Democrats, who said that the process should be stalled pending the District of Columbia attorney general’s investigation into whether he illegally funneled money from his nonprofit group to his for-profit film company.

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