2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Review

Pros & Cons

  • Solid feel
  • sophisticated ride and handling balance
  • impeccably crafted cabin
  • ample safety features.
  • Less interior and cargo space than competitors
  • small rear doors
  • middling fuel economy.
Other years
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class for Sale
List Price Range
$13,620 - $16,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

It may not be the roomiest or the cheapest, but the 2012 Mercedes GLK350 is an impressively built compact SUV that should meet the needs and desires of many luxury buyers.

Vehicle overview

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 is the second-cheapest Mercedes you can buy in this country, and yet you'd never guess it by the way it looks, feels and drives. Close the GLK's doors and the metallic thump is reminiscent of closing a bank vault -- all that's missing is that spinning wheel thing. Drive over railroad tracks and the GLK feels as if it's made from a solid block of concrete -- there's no jarring or jiggling greeting your backside. This sort of impenetrable feeling is a hallmark of Mercedes' current lineup and certainly makes any sort of anticipated GLK price premium seem worth it -- though in reality, the GLK is actually quite competitively priced.

Aside from sharing that iron-clad feel with the C-Class sedan upon which it is based, the GLK's well-sorted steering and ride are remarkably similar as well. The C and GLK now differ in engine fitment, however, as the GLK350 soldiers on with its 268-horsepower V6, while the C350 has been upgraded for 2012. This isn't exactly a problem, as the GLK still offers class-competitive power, though fuel economy is below average.

The GLK's cabin is a chip off the old Mercedes block, with a distinct emphasis placed on the word "block." There's nary a curve in sight, with a design that harkens back to pre-1990s Benzes. When done up in black, it's quite austere and unmistakably German in its aesthetic. Whether you like the look or not will be a matter of preference, but the GLK's materials and construction are undeniably top-notch. An abundance of convenience, technology and especially safety features are available for further embellishing.

The main drawback to the GLK is that it may be a little too compact for some. Its backseat and cargo area are smaller than most vehicles in the class, making the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 better choices for families. For just a little more money, you could also step up to the much larger Acura MDX or Lexus RX 350. Yet for singles or couples with limited people- and/or stuff-hauling needs, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 is a well-made crossover that earns its hallowed three-pointed star.

2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class models

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class consists of only a single model: the GLK350. When equipped with all-wheel drive, it receives a 4Matic moniker.

Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, front and rear foglamps, roof rails, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, MB-Tex premium vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a cargo cover, Bluetooth, the COMAND electronics interface and a six-speaker sound system with a single-CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Premium 1 package adds a power liftgate, a panoramic sunroof (optional separately), rear parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver memory functions, front-seat four-way power lumbar adjustment, a compass and satellite radio (optional separately). The COMAND package adds a navigation system, a larger infotainment display, real-time traffic, digital music storage and voice controls. The Multimedia package is similar, but adds a rearview camera and an iPod interface (optional separately). A six-CD changer can be added to both of these packages.

The Lighting package adds bi-xenon headlamps, headlamp washers and LED running lamps. The Full Leather Seating package adds interior accent lighting and extended leather trim further available in special request colors. An AMG Styling package adds 20-inch wheels and special styling flourishes inspired by Mercedes' high-performance AMG lineup.

Stand-alone options include Mercedes-Benz "mbrace" emergency telematics, front and rear parking sensors, a trailer hitch, running boards, keyless ignition/entry, heated front seats, a rear-seat entertainment system and an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system. Also available is a less advanced navigation system that includes iPod integration.

2012 Highlights

There are no significant changes for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. 4Matic all-wheel drive 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. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined with rear-wheel drive. The highway number drops to 21 with 4Matic, which is on the low side for the segment.


The GLK comes standard with stability control, antilock disc brakes with brake assist and brake drying, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver 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 a compact luxury crossover.

In crash testing done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the GLK received the top rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests.


The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK's most notable characteristic is the rock-solid feel its chassis and unibody construction display over every bump and road imperfection. Even the worst potholes and railroad tracks are greeted with a muted thump and absolutely no body shudder or unpleasantness transferred to your backside. The ride may be on the firm side for some people, but the GLK is otherwise a nicely tuned luxury vehicle that glides along freeways with confidence and comfort.

Through corners, the GLK feels very much like the tall C-Class it is. It remains well-planted despite its top-heavy nature, and its steering is well-weighted and offers plenty of feedback. We wouldn't describe the GLK as particularly fun compared to an Audi Q5 or BMW X3, but it seems just right for its likely clientele.

The same could be said for power, as the V6 provides sufficient, though not breathtaking, acceleration. On the highway, though, it is remarkably quiet, emanating an almost imperceptible purr. When pushed aggressively, the dual exhausts give off a notably Germanic growl. The seven-speed transmission is remarkably smooth -- even in Sport mode -- but it can be a bit slow to downshift at times.


The GLK's cabin looks as if its designers stuck exclusively to rulers when penning the many surfaces -- there's barely a rounded edge to be found. While this produces a rather austere and stark environment (particularly in black), the interior is solidly crafted with top-notch materials and tight panel fits. The standard MB-Tex vinyl upholstery is not only nicer than many makers' real leather, but we actually thought it was leather until we peeked at our GLK test car's equipment list.

Cabin controls can seem a little complicated at first, but the combination of physical dash buttons, steering wheel controls and the multifunction COMAND knob are a reasonable solution to complicated stereo, navigation and telephone functions. The climate controls are the standard Benz units, which means they are fairly simple to use. They are mounted a little low in the GLK, though.

Maximum cargo capacity is 54.7 cubic feet, which is less than every compact and midsize competitor (often considerably so). The same goes for backseat room, making it a better choice for singles or couples without kids rather than families. Headroom is ample for all passengers.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Actually believe this car has added to my life
GLK350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
I have owned and test driven numerous automobiles in my life, none of which could be described as luxury class. This car handles, accellerates and rides so much better than the others, I now know the distinction of what a luxury mid sized suv is. This car's handling and accelleration litterally took my breath away the first few times I drove it on a highway that parallels a river. It still, over two years later, is scintillating to drive and I actually look forward to driving it. The "set and forget😈"cruise control astounds me, especially going down a curvy hill. I just cannot say enough about this car. It is now April, 2018 and I still like my GLK as much as when I first purchased it. I, just yesterday, traded it in for a 2018 GLC 300. The main reason for trading is the incredible improvements in safety features. The GLC 300 has blind spot notification, forward collision protection, lane violation warning, brake assistance, etc. as well as a back up camera and a built in gps and better gas mileage. I must admit that I was disappointed with the trade in allowance I received.
Solid, great features, smooth ride
I had a Volvo XC60. Within 2 years, it was a rattletrap. I have gone back to MB with the GLK350 4Matic and love it. Solid - go over bumps and no rattles, just a solid thump. Command launch package gives you everything in Multi-media except for rear-view camera for 2K less. Ride is great. The car fits like a glove and is comfortable for hours
Got what was expected
GLK350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
The GLK is a pretty good choice if want a small suv that is solid, quiet, and fairly powerful. It has a smoother ride than others in its class. I bought the car used with about 17K miles on it and have owned it for two years now. Scheduled maintenance at the dealer is expensive, but they give you a nice MB loaner and turnaround time is quick. At around 35K miles, the car had an intermittent check engine light. The dealer said the codes pointed to the alternator and a fresh air sensor in the radiator. I took it to an independent mechanic and he said the low voltage electronics are sensitive to small current fluctuations and replaced the original 4 year old battery with a good AGM battery. Eight months later and that issue has not returned. Other than that, I replaced the original Continentals with Yokohamas at 32K miles to quiet the ride more. It has been a great car for long trips because it so comfortable. The cabin electronics are not especially intuitive compared to the current standards, but I am used to them now. In all, I think the GLK is a good value.
Awesome so far
Great so far. Ride is smooth, quiet and acceleration in Sport Mode is excellent. I would like to refute a few negative points that I read prior to buying. 1)the backseat- yes it is small and most times a tall driver will have to put his seat up for someone to even sit behind him. However, unless you have a family, realistically how many times do you really have people in the back? If you do have a family there are plenty of other options(ML, GL etc) 2) Fuel Economy- It's not terrible. about 22 highway/15 city for me so far I laugh when people spend 40,000 on a car and then complain about gas. If you have 40K to spend you shouldn't be sweating gas. if you are, get a Honda CRV or Civic.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Overview

The Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is offered in the following submodels: GLK-Class SUV. Available styles include GLK350 4MATIC 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A), and GLK350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 7A).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class GLK350 4MATIC is priced between $13,620 and$16,995 with odometer readings between 44470 and90906 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2012 GLK-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,620 and mileage as low as 44470 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.

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Find a used Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $13,341.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $10,357.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $22,928.

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Should I lease or buy a 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class lease specials