Test drive the agile 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class compact SUV, and you’ll feel like you found a sport sedan with a large backpack behind it. The GLK-Class inherits its looks from the full-size premium luxury GL-Class SUV, while its sporty driving genes come from the C-Class.
The five-passenger 2012 GLK-Class SUV – the GLK350 (MSRP $35,880) – shares chassis engineering with the C-Class sedans, including a similar four-wheel independent suspension system with Agility Control shock absorbers. These smooth out bumpy road surfaces, even those “washboard” surfaces with lots of ripples, while also giving the GLK350 crisp, responsive handling.
Standard 19-inch alloy wheels do much to contribute to that handling prowess, as well. With the available AMG Styling Package, the GLK350 rides on 20-inch, twin five-spoke AMG wheels while looking sportier with special front and rear aprons, LED daytime running lights and aluminum roof rails.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 features a dual overhead cam 3.5-liter V6 with continuously variable timing of the intake and exhaust valves. This helps it deliver all its 258 lb/ft of peak torque starting at a low, 2,400 rpm. The advanced, 268-hp V6, which comes paired with a standard seven-speed automatic transmission, can take the GLK350 from zero to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds.
That’s quick, but the way a vehicle responds to the gas pedal and the way it confidently accelerates to highway speeds often leave the biggest impression. In that regard, the Mercedes-Benz GLK350 really delivers. The available 4MATIC™ all-wheel drive system not only gives the GLK350 extra traction in slippery or snowy weather, but its 45:55 power split also enhances handling on any surface.
How does a compact SUV with such sport-sedan bona fides measure up in the utility department? The sharp-edge styling pays dividends inside the GLK350, where you’ll find 54.7 cubic feet of carrying space with the rear seatbacks folded down. Some luxury SUVs, in the name of style, slant the rear of the hatch area, which reduces how much of the load floor can be used to carry tall items. In the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, the height of the cargo area front-to-back maximizes the usefulness of the carrying space.
The standard 12-volt socket and an available household-type 115-volt power outlet expand utility in the cargo area. If you need more space, choose the optional trailer hitch and the GLK350 is ready to tow a trailer up to 3,500 pounds.
When people talk about the “Mercedes ride,” they’re referring to that smooth, quiet quality engineered into the vehicle. Onto this solid foundation you can layer in all the comfort and amenities you want or need.
The standard six-speaker audio system will play music from CDs, an MP3 player or streamed from a Bluetooth® compatible phone. You can also place calls through this system. The optional Media Interface, located in the center console, expands listening sources to include iPods and more.
For studio-quality music performance, the available harman/kardon® LOGIC7® surround-sound system divvies up 510 watts of power among 11 speakers. It’s part of the Multimedia Package that also equips the GLK350 with the COMAND system with hard-drive navigation and a rearview camera. Use the Music Register feature to store around 1,000 songs on the system’s hard drive, and you can also play music from memory cards.
Making navigation more convenient, you can view maps on the system’s seven-inch center screen or on the five-inch display between the speedometer and tachometer in the instrument panel. The same screen can display a wide array of information including phone and audio system information, which you call up using steering wheel buttons.
With a complimentary six-month trial subscription, you can sample all of the nearly 20 security and convenience services in the Mercedes-Benz mbrace telematics system, as well as try the Mobile App for iPhone® or iPad®.
That’s a lot of performance, luxury and technology to pack into a compact SUV. Come in and see how adroitly the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 does all that while driving like a sport sedan.