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2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

The GLK's interior never struck us as particularly spartan, but it did have a lot of hard plastic. The quality of that plastic, and of the interior's styling, improved last year. The wide band of trim across the dash has swelled into a more organic shape, and it's trimmed in wood or a metallic plastic, and studded by gimballed vents for an upscale look. The dash cap is padded, leaving only the sides of the center console that run along the transmission tunnel covered in tougher stuff.

On the spec sheet, you'll see standard vinyl upholstery, but leather is an option. The ersatz stuff is good enough that only you and your auto-loan underwriter will know the difference.

Rated to seat five, the two front-seat passengers have the most space in the GLK. Tailored and bolstered for long-distance support, the firm chairs offer plenty of room for tall drivers to find a good driving position. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes on all versions--power-actuated on some--and with good visibility all around, it's simple to find an ideal driving position. We wouldn't mind a little softer bottom cushion, though, and the GLK's sunroof trims some of the headroom from what on first glance looks like soaring space.

The cargo hold is on the small side, but four adults will find plenty of space and comfort in the GLK.

The second-row seats offer up enough knee room and three children will fit across the bench seat. No third-row seat is offered, but the rear seat folds and splits to expand the storage area. Sometimes, that's a necessity, because the GLK's cargo area is smaller than that in some competitive crossovers, like the Volvo XC60. With the back seat up the GLK has 23.3 cubic feet of room to load--a 28-inch suitcase will just fit lengthwise--and it's handily outpaced by the 30-plus cubic feet of space in the Volvo. With the rear seat down, the GLK has a cargo area of 54.7 cubic feet, and an almost perfectly flat load floor measuring nearly 66 inches long.

The cargo space is a bit shy of that in other luxury crossovers, but for passengers, the GLK's cabin is roomy, with firm seats and an interior spruced up with a better grade of trim and more small-item storage.

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