Vehicle Type: Crossover SUV
History/Description: Back in 1998, Mercedes helped pioneer the luxury SUV scene with their ML series. This machine helped kick off a new vehicle genre that was quickly joined by a flood of competition from around the globe. And, as the full-size posh-ute scene got rolling, shoppers started demanding the capability of larger models in a milder and more compact package.
Despite their pioneering efforts in the luxury utility scene, Mercedes is one of the market’s last automakers to offer a machine in its mid-size segment. Mercedes prefers that you call their GLK an SUV, not a crossover. The GLK launched for 2010 with a blocky and rugged look that flew in the face of more swoopy and wind-swept machines, targeting test drivers of machinery like the Acura RDX, BMW X3 and comparables. The GLK boasted great visibility on account of its square proportions and thin window pillars, generous maneuverability, and a full complement of upscale feature content fitting of the badge.
Engines / Trim: At launch, all models ran a 3.5L V6 with 268 hp, a seven-speed automatic, and 4Matic All-Wheel Drive (AWD). The GLK rode an Agility Control suspension system, which works towards maintenance of a softly-sporty ride character on all surfaces. Note that no control over the AWD system, or suspension system, was possible by the driver.
From 2013, the GLK’s 3.5L V6 gets a power bump to just past 300 horses, and a 2.1L twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder engine becomes available, in the GLK 250 Bluetec.
Feature content specifics included a 120-volt power outlet, panoramic sunroof, memory seating, navigation and more.
What Owners Like: Styling, classiness, comfort and the GLK’s upscale cabin are highly rated by owners. Many report a perfect blend of agility, sportiness and comfort is maintained on all surfaces. A solid and robust feeling of quality is noted, and even the standard stereo system is said to be potent. Outward visibility and intelligent, confident traction in all conditions is praised, too. Finally, numerous tall drivers go out of their way to mention the GLK’s generous head-room.
What Owners Dislike: Some owners wish for larger side mirrors and more rear seat legroom, and question the engine’s need to be fed premium-grade fuel.
Here’s a list of owner reviews.
The Test Drive: By and large, the GLK owner’s community seems to be impressed with the reliability of their ride, though a few checks are advised on a test drive of any potential used candidate.