2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class SUV

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Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

  • The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 might not boast class-leading cabin space or fuel mileage, but nothing tops the compact crossover's robust structure and layers of technology.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Solid feel; impressive ride and handling; impeccably crafted cabin; high-tech options.

  • Cons

    Difficult rear seat access; less interior space than competitors; more expensive than the Japanese rivals.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class remains largely unchanged. A driver-side knee airbag and lower front-seat side airbags have been added. On the options list there's a new AMG Sport package.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

7 of 26 people found this review helpful

A 2-wheel gas guzzler!

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class GLK350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

Leased a 2-wheel drive 2011 GLK-350 from Caliber Motors w/bad lease tuin April this year to replace the 2008 E350 due to too many unsafe blind spots. After driven 3 months of the GLK-350, here are my personal driving experience of this half-breed SUV:Pros:Not too high, not to low, the height is just about right, not too many blind spots as the 2008 E350, better visibility, quiet, good chairs, maneuverability okay Cons:A terrible 2-wheel drive GAS GUZZLER!Gas consumption worse than E350, worse than 1999 ML320.Soft brakes, hesitant accelerating, ugly side mirrors,rear blind spots,worst turning radius, stupid GPS navigator,knob control,small screen,a German JOKE! Bad heat penetrating moon roof

7 of 55 people found this review helpful

Better than our former 2008

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class GLK350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

We just returned and terminated our 3-year leased 2008 E350 5 months earlier last week and decided to lease this 2-wheel drive GLK-350. We have driven the E350 for the 3rd year but could never get used to it, because every time we got into it, we felt cramped and always got the phobia with lot of blind spots all around, its wheel base is too long to make easy turns into any shopping center entrance opening, as the right rear wheel would often hit and ride on the curb and keep damaging the wheel rim and the tire. The E350 drive side rear-view mirror is equipped with a dark auto-dim film, so it makes the driving at night often impaired and dangerous, and it's a very stupid over-killed fixture.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

Autobahn crusing (in real life)

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class GLK350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

Picked up a GLK 350 2WD on overseas delivery in Stuttgart in late March and drove it around southern Germany for a week. Autobahn crusing was effortless, but had to keep it down for breakin mileage. Car was quiet as a vault, controls were intuitive and easy to use. Visibility and comfort were remarkable. Rear luggage area was large enough on the floor for two HUGE suitcases (loaded to maximum airline capacity). Cannot wait for the car to arrive at the dealer. Would highly recommend overseas delivery. 2 for 1 Lufthansa airfare, 7% off the sticker, no destination charge, 2 free nights in $300 plus/night true luxury hotels, 15 days free insurance, full tank of gas, tour of factory, etc. Great.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

This benz is a babe

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class GLK350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

First, I am not into labels, so the MB brand name was not top of mind when I discovered this gem. It has an incomparably smooth ride, is very pleasing on the eye and is loaded with great features at a reasonable price (as far as luxury vehicles go). Just got back from the desert and on a very windy day, this solid vehicle didn't sway or feel pushed. It has good pick- up and I can't wait to finish reading the manuals to learn all the gadgets. Looking forward to a long relationship.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Glk tank

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class GLK350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I've only had it for a short time but so far it is a blast to drive. It feels very solid, handles like a sports car, reeks of quality and durability, and is actually not too bad on gas. Not as good as my Eclass, but still decent for a truck. I wanted an SUV type of a vehicle but not a vehicle that was too big or too clumsy. This is the perfect car for me and just makes sense. The utility of an SUV with the handling of a sports car and not a major gas hog like other larger SUVs. The cabin is extremely quiet while driving in varied road conditions, and that's even with the 20 inch AMG wheel package. The navigation is easy to use and the sound system is fantastic.

First mercedes

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class GLK350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

Was looking to down size our SUV and found the GLK a great option AMG package set it off! Drives like a sports car with feel of an SUV. I've been a truck/American muscle guy my whole life and the GLK might have won me over!

Full 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class remains largely unchanged. A driver-side knee airbag and lower front-seat side airbags have been added. On the options list there's a new AMG Sport package.


It is no accident that the GLK350, Mercedes' smallest and least expensive SUV, leaped into the crowded compact crossover market last year as an immediately desirable contender. After all, Mercedes-Benz pioneered the combination of SUV utility and luxury-car trappings with its ML-Class SUV in the late 1990s. About five years ago, Mercedes showed it could put together an excellent full-size luxury SUV as well with the GL-Class. The company still lacked an entry for the growing small crossover segment, however. So last year the GLK350 came along to fill the gap.

Drawing from Mercedes' well-stocked store of components, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK is based on the C-Class sedan and features Mercedes' familiar 3.5-liter V6 and seven-speed automatic transmission. And despite being one of the cheapest Benz models, the GLK is built to such a high standard that its price premium over most similarly equipped competitors seems well worth it. Go over railroad tracks and the body doesn't flex a bit, nor does any jiggling greet your backside. This little SUV feels like you could drive over a land mine and experience nothing but a muted "thump." The GLK350 might not be perfect, but when it comes to meticulous build quality, it simply has no equal in this segment.

The interior is also a chip off the old C-Class block -- and we do mean block. The controls are virtually identical, but they're placed on an upright dash with nary a curved surface in sight. When done up in black, the GLK's austere cabin is the most stereotypically Germanic environment short of a Stuttgart beer garden. What it may lack in flair, though, the GLK interior more than makes up for with superior materials and impeccable fit and finish.

However, there are a couple of minor downsides to the GLK. Its maximum cargo capacity and rear legroom measure slightly behind the leaders among luxury SUVs, so if you're looking for the extra room, there may be better choices. Families who often utilize the rear seat will likely prefer the 2011 Volvo XC60 or the even larger 2011 Lexus RX 350, and those who care more about dynamic driving than luggage capacity would do well to consider the 2011 Acura RDX, 2011 Audi Q5, 2011 BMW X3 and Infiniti EX35.

Even if it's not the quickest or largest of the compact crossovers, the GLK350 stands out because it so effortlessly blends the elements of luxury motoring with utility as well as any vehicle on the road. Not all Benzes have upheld these traditions, but the GLK most certainly earns its three-pointed star.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Mercedes GLK-Class luxury crossover SUV is available in one trim level known as the Mercedes-Benz GLK350. When equipped with all-wheel drive, it is the GLK350 4Matic. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, cruise control, automatic headlamps, eight-way power front seats, MB Tex premium vinyl upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Premium 1 package adds a panoramic sunroof, a power tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, driver seat memory settings, driver seat power lumbar support, a 115-volt household outlet and satellite radio. The Multimedia package adds a navigation system, a rearview camera, the electronics interface, voice controls, digital music storage, an iPod/USB audio interface and a six-CD changer.

The Appearance package adds 20-inch wheels and aluminum roof rails. The AMG Sport package offers the roof rails, 20-inch wheels, AMG bumpers and LED daytime running lights. Other options include a styling package, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, heated front seats and a rear seat entertainment system with dual front-headrest-mounted displays.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with an output of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission with Comfort, Sport and Manual settings is standard. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive (known as 4Matic) is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a GLK350 4Matic accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, an average time for this segment. Estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined with 4Matic. The rear-wheel-drive GLK bumps the highway number up to 23 mpg.


The GLK comes standard with stability control, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and, new for 2011, a front knee airbag and driver/passenger pelvic airbags. Parking sensors and Mercedes' mbrace emergency telematics are optional.

In Edmunds brake testing, a GLK 4Matic came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet -- a good number for this type of vehicle.

Interior Design and Special Features

There isn't a hint of French curve to be found anywhere inside the GLK, but the geometric lines are softened by an abundance of amenities and framed within an elegant simplicity that echoes the exterior's no-nonsense character. The craftsmanship and materials are of an obviously high standard, and even Mercedes' vinyl upholstery could be mistaken for real leather. Headroom is ample all around but rear legroom is tight, and climbing in and out through the small rear door openings can be difficult.

A few systems are overly complicated to operate and the climate controls are mounted a little low, but the overall combination of physical dash buttons, steering-wheel controls and the optional multifunction COMAND knob make the GLK no less friendly than other cars with extravagant electronics. Maximum cargo capacity is 54.7 cubic feet, which is less than most luxury competitors, but the rear seats are easy to fold flat when the need arises for more luggage room.

Driving Impressions

Given the compromises of ride height and weight commensurate with its class of vehicle, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK is beautifully balanced and evokes comparison to the C-Class sedan, its closest showroom relative. If the GLK is not quite as sporty as the X3 or Q5, its incredibly solid structure, compliant ride quality and maneuverability through tight urban streets are sure to appeal to the GLK's likely buyer.

With its 268-hp V6, the GLK's acceleration isn't breathtaking, but the dual exhausts give off a pleasant Germanic growl during aggressive driving. On the highway, the V6 is remarkably quiet, emitting an almost imperceptible purr. The seven-speed transmission is remarkably smooth even in Sport mode, but it can be a bit slow to downshift at times.

Talk About The 2011 GLK-Class

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs