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The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class may be one of the cheaper models the German company produces, but you wouldn't suspect that by the way it looks, feels and drives. Close one of the doors or drive over a set of railroad tracks and feel the sense of over-engineered solidity that permeates every inch of this compact luxury SUV. Indeed, it's this innate Benz quality that sets the GLK apart from the other crossovers in its class.
However, there are now more members of that class than ever. Most match the GLK in terms of available equipment and performance, yet also offer a roomier backseat and cargo area. In this way, the GLK probably isn't the most family-friendly choice. Even so, that unmistakable Mercedes-Benz engineering and craftsmanship makes the GLK-Class worth a look.
Current Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is a five-passenger premium crossover SUV offered in two basic styles: the rear-drive GLK350 and the GLK350 4Matic all-wheel-drive variant. Both models are powered by Mercedes' familiar 3.5-liter V6 that develops 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard.
GLKs come standard with dual-zone climate control, power front seats, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker CD/MP3 audio system. Optional luxuries include a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, a rearview camera and a premium surround-sound audio system. Buyers can also opt for rear-seat DVD entertainment, full leather seating, bi-xenon headlights, rear parking sensors and a multitude of cosmetic appearance options. Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes, stability control and a full complement of airbags, including those that protect the driver's knees and the hips of the front passenger.
Drive the GLK350 back to back with a C350 sedan and you're bound to notice similarities. The two cars' steering feel and ride quality are remarkably similar, and the GLK's interior has many identical controls. Both have impressive materials and fit and finish. To go along with its blocky exterior styling, however, the look of the GLK's interior is more austere and upright. In back, rear seat space is surprisingly good for two adults, though getting in and out can be a squeeze. Maximum cargo capacity is noticeably less than what's provided by most other luxury competitors.
On the road, the Mercedes-Benz GLK's V6 delivers smooth and snappy performance, with 0-60-mph sprints in the low 7-second range. While not the equal of more agile rivals like the BMW X3 or Infiniti EX35, the GLK350's handling is certainly capable and confidence-inspiring around corners. Its ride is firm in typical Germanic fashion, but it absorbs rutted bumps easily and masters even rough highways without the slightest hint of harshness or chatter. In such conditions, the cabin also remains practically tomb-like, with very little wind or road noise.
Used Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Models
The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class was introduced for 2010. In that first year, the GLK lacked the current car's driver's knee and front side hip airbags. The AMG Sport package was also not available.
Read the most recent 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class page.