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Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

The brand has always been a big player in the luxury SUV realm, and with the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, it makes a strong move to corner the compact genre of that market, which Mercedes largely ignored in the past.

More on the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Origins

The Mercedes-Benz GLK350, a compact crossover that combines elements from throughout the brand’s lineup, fills the gap nicely. Technically based on the C-Class sedan, the GLK-Class combines some of Mercedes’ best classic features with some great new features.

About the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class also goes by the name X204. It released as a 2009 model elsewhere and as a 2010 model in North America after its public debut at the 2008 Beijing Auto Show.

MBUSA partnered with four tuners to develop custom designs for the newly released GLK-Class for the 2008 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Boulevard Customs, Brabus, RENNtech, and Legendary Motorcar Company comprise the four tuners that took this unique opportunity to design their vision.

Gas mileage remains decent for a small SUV; the GLK-Class gets an estimated highway mileage of 23 mpg, but others in the class, like the Audi Q5, get more miles per gallon, even with the Q5’s standard all-wheel drive. Still, the GLK-Class can get going quickly, with a zero to 60 mph time of just 6.4 seconds.

Highlights also include a smooth, carlike ride and a powerful V-6 engine that easily handles the GLK-Class’s bulk, even when equipped with optional all-wheel drive.

With its angular exterior styling, the GLK350 bears a strong resemblance to its big brother, the GL-Class. Horizontal bars divide the GLK350’s large front grille, and in the middle, a large Mercedes three-point star sits. Upright roof pillars make for tall side windows, and the back of the crossover finishes off with a liftgate spoiler and twin exhaust outlets. Exterior features include standard 19-inch alloy wheels, optional 20-inch wheels, an optional panoramic moonroof, optional adaptive bi-xenon headlights, and LED taillights.

Mercedes intends the GLK-Class primarily for on-road duty, with a four-wheel independent suspension fine-tuned for a sporty feel, but it does have the ground clearance and skid plates for off-road fun as well. The 4MATIC system reverts to sending 55 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels under normal conditions and works with the stability control system to help maintain traction and stability.

The GLK-Class also has a low base price for a Mercedes, but when you start adding optional features, that price rises quickly.

2010 GLK-Class interior features include a two-zone automatic climate control system, five-inch color display, an optional rear-seat entertainment system (featuring two eight-inch screens), and wireless headphones with a dual-source DVD player. A sophisticated Agility Control suspension provides agile on-road comfort with off-road capability.

Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Features

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class remains the same in the most notable areas, and road test reviews state that the rock-solid feel the chassis and unibody construction display over bumps and road imperfections surpasses any other small SUV.

Even the worst potholes and railroad tracks meet with almost no thump, and absolutely no body shudder or unpleasantness reverberates to the backside of the driver. The ride may be on the firm side for some people, but the GLK-Class is otherwise a nicely tuned luxury vehicle that glides along freeways with confidence and comfort.

Through corners, the GLK-Class rides a lot like the taller version of the C-Class that it builds on. It remains well-planted despite its top-heavy nature, and its steering is well-weighted and offers plenty of feedback.

The same could be said for power, as the V-6 provides sufficient, though not breathtaking, acceleration. On the highway, though, it stays remarkably quiet, emanating an almost inaudible purr.

Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Evolution

In 2010, Mercedes-Benz released the GLK-Class. The GLK-Class comes with a low fuel consumption, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and available 4MATIC four-wheel drive.

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 column, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD player.

In performance testing, a GLK350 4Matic accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 16/21 mpg city/highway and 18 mpg combined with 4Matic.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class remains largely unchanged following its introduction for the 2010 model year. It retains all of the old familiar features, such as 4MATIC all-wheel drive; a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine; a seven-speed automatic transmission; ABS; traction control; and side curtain airbags.

Newly optional on the 2011 GLK-Class is an AMG Styling Package, which features specific exterior trim and 20-inch wheels.

Select a Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Year

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
ESTIMATED RESALE: $22,468

MPG
19-33
Seats
5

2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

SUV, Utility/Offroad


Entering the 2012 model year, the GLK only receives one minor change. The optional media interface cable, used for connecting an iPod, has been relocated to the center console.

ESTIMATED RESALE: $21,841

MPG
16-22
Seats
5

2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

SUV, Utility/Offroad


For the second year of the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, changes inside include a new premium leather steering wheel and a new headlight control switch. A knee airbag, pelvic airbags, and a rearview camera are available. There’s also an AMG sport package, with AMG bumpers, 20-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, and aluminum roof rails. Pearl Beige is a new color for 2011.

ESTIMATED RESALE: $19,804

MPG
16-23
Seats
5

2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
ESTIMATED RESALE: $17,875

MPG
16-22
Seats
5

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