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#1

in 2011 Luxury Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $25,012 - $26,813
Original MSRP: $35,500 - $37,500
MPG: 16 City / 22 Hwy
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2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers have varied opinions on the interior of the 2011 GLK-Class. Some praise its long list of equipment, while others complain about materials quality. For the most part, reviewers aren't entirely impressed with the GLK's cargo capabilities and rear seats.

  • "The interior is what you'd expect from Mercedes with clean simple lines and monochromatic color scheme. All the touch points are solid and easy to reach. Gauges and controls are simple yet attractive, and I particularly appreciate the digital info screen housed within the speedometer." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "The GLK's interior basically repackages the features found on the C350 in a blocky, chunky package that is more than a little retrospective of Mercedes-Benz dashboards from the 1980s-upright and full of 45-degree angles-and although some found it cheap-looking, just as many of us thought it looked pretty cool." -- Car and Driver
  • "The GLK's interior is solidly assembled from handsome materials. The standard upholstery is vinyl, but leather is available." -- Consumer Guide
  • "I'm not normally a fan of all-black interiors, but surprise, surprise: the GLK's cabin looks fantastic thanks to liberal use of brushed-aluminum trim. It's much nicer than I expected given the sub-$35k price." -- About.com

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Seating

The GLK-Class is made for five passengers, but reviewers say it can't comfortably deliver on that promise. While the front seats are comfortable and roomy, the rear seats leave much to be desired -- a common complaint in the compact SUV class. Many reviewers find them cramped for even average-size adults.

Competitors with more spacious rear seats include the Volvo XC60 and BMW X3. A big plus for families in the GLK, however, is the standard MB-TEX front and rear upholstery. It's a vinyl material that looks and feels like leather, but holds up better over time and is easy to clean. Full leather is optional, though pricey -- it costs $1,780.

  • "The driver's seat is well-bolstered and offers a commanding view of the road ahead." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The [front] seats are supportive and comfortable, even for larger adults. Headroom and legroom are ample for six footers, and the tilt and telescopic steering wheel helps fine tune the driving position. Easy entry and exit." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The GLK's rear seat isn't huge, but there is enough room for the backpack-toting children to get into their bulky safety seats easily, and space for me to lean in and buckle their seatbelts without feeling cramped." -- Wall Street Journal
  • "The back seat was a surprise, but not a good one. I found just enough room for my knees and little space under the front seats for my toes -- and that was with the front seats adjusted for my 5'6" frame. With taller folks up front, no one over age 10 is going to find the back seat very comfortable (or even habitable)." -- About.com

Interior Features

Considering its sub-$40K base price, reviewers are impressed with the equipment inside the GLK. They even say that the COMAND control system, which uses a single knob to control entrainment and information systems, is easy enough to learn and use. Reviewers tend to complain mightily about similar systems on the competition. For families with children, a rear-seat entertainment system is optional for $1,910 and provides two eight-inch LCD screens.

  • "Simple audio functions are governed by a conventional knob and buttons, but other functions are accessed through a console-mounted controller and a dashtop screen that also serves the optional navigation system. The low-mounted turn signal stalk can take some time to get used to."-- Consumer Guide
  • "Standard equipment is fairly lavish, with dual-zone climate control, eight-way power front seats, an eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, a vast panoramic sunroof, and a multifunction, leather-wrapped steering wheel." -- Car and Driver
  • "While the COMAND control knob operates much like BMW's iDrive, the system is more user-friendly. Unfortunately, Mercedes has placed the knob at an odd angle behind the gear select lever, requiring an uncomfortable reach. Moving it just an inch farther forward, away from the edge of the armrest, would help immensely." -- Truck Trend
  • "The Germans aren't much for simple controls, but the GLK's climate controls are fairly straightforward and the dial that operates the stereo and (optional) navigation system is easy enough once you get the hang of it." -- About.com

Cargo

Reviewers have mixed opinions on the GLK's cargo capabilities. It provides 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in use and 54.7 cubic feet with the rear row folded down. These capacities pale in comparison to major competitors, including the BMW X3 and Acura RDX. There isn't much small-item storage, either. A plus is the optional power liftgate, which could be a big help when you're juggling grocery bags and kids. However, you'll have to shell out for the $3,200 Premium I package to get it.

  • "The well-finished cargo area offers good room behind the rear seat, and the seat backs easily fold flat to provide plentiful space. Interior small-item storage is unexceptional." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Surprisingly, up front the GLK is short on storage cubbies and shelves for stashing your cell phone and other small cargo; they're relegated to the center console cup holders, which your passengers may not appreciate." -- Truck Trend
  • "The GLK offers 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space, less than most of its rivals but useful enough. The back seat folds down to yield a flat load floor and 54.7 cubic feet of space." -- About.com

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