2012 GLK-Class New Car Test Drive
The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is a compact crossover SUV, with looks reminiscent of the larger Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. The GLK-Class was launched as a 2010 model so the 2011 GLK-Class carries over largely unchanged, though several important features are available.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class comes with new driver/passenger pelvic air bags and a driver's knee air bag. The steering wheel is covered in premium leather on the 2011 GLK-Class. A new rearview camera reduces fisheye distortion and there's a new headlight control switch. A new AMG styling package bundles unique bumpers, aluminum roof rails, LED daytime running lamps and 20-inch wheels (no 500-hp engine, though).
The GLK-Class seats five, offering two rows of seating, not three. The GLK-Class offers nearly 55 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.
A compact sport-utility, the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class competes with the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Acura RDX, Infiniti EX, and Land Rover LR2. The Lexus RX is also a competitor, though the Lexus is longer and has more cargo space. The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class appeals to those who want some of the capabilities of an SUV in a less expensive, scaled-down package. It's relatively small, and easy to park.
The GLK-Class comprises just two models, the GLK350 with rear-wheel drive and the GLK350 4MATIC with all-wheel drive. They are otherwise equipped identically.
The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 268 horsepower at 6000 rpm, with 258 foot-pounds of torque available from 2400 to 4500 rpm. Mercedes-Benz officials claim the GLK350 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 143 mph.
Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 16/23 miles per gallon, or 16/21 mpg for the 4MATIC.
We found the GLK-Class drives more like a car than a truck, which makes sense, considering the car-based vehicle is built on the same platform as the C-Class compact sedan. The GLK-Class accelerates quickly, cruises easily at high speeds and quietly soaks up bumps.
Off-road it performs admirably, better than most in this class, and the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system keeps it going through mud and over rocks.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is available as a GLK350 ($35,500) and four-wheel-drive GLK350 4MATIC ($37,500). Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, two-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, eight-way power driver's seat, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, tilt/telescoping steering column, cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, eight-speaker audio with CD player and aux jack, remote keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers, 19-inch alloy wheels.
Optional equipment includes the Multimedia package ($3,000) with rearview camera, navigation system, voice controls, digital music storage, 6CD changer and iPod and USB ports. The Premium 1 Package ($3,200) adds a power liftgate, sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, driver seat memory settings, driver seat power lumbar support, satellite radio capability and a 115-volt (a standard household) outlet. The Appearance package ($990) adds 20-inch wheels and aluminum roof rails. The new AMG Sport package ($1,990) includes the Appearance package plus AMG bumpers and LED daytime running lights. Standalone options include the Panorama Sunroof ($1,480) and PARKTRONIC ($800). Also optional is an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, heated front seats and a rear seat entertainment system with dual front-headrest-mounted displays.
Safety features on the 2011 GLK-Class include anti-lock brakes (ABS), multiple airbags including front, side-impact, roof curtain, driver/passenger pelvic airbags and driver's knee. Brake assist, traction control and yaw control come standard. Optional safety features include 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the rearview camera.