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2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Overview

The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class luxury compact SUVs join the German automaker's lineup for 2010 and add a fresh jolt of excitement, thanks to their distinctly sedan-like front end, attractive side profile, and sporty overall design, as well as their luxury-oriented interior and generous cargo capacity. As Mercedes' new entry-level SUV, the GLK-Class joins a stable of highly capable, luxury-oriented SUVs, including the midsize M-Class, the big GL-Class, and the quirky yet rugged G-Class SUVs, which carry on the tradition of the old Gelandewagens of the 1970 and '80s.

The 2010 GLK-Class includes the rear-wheel-drive GLK 350 and all-wheel-drive GLK 350 4Matic trims. A 3.5-liter V6 engine generating 268 hp powers both trims. (Mercedes has apparently put the brakes on a GLK 320 CDI trim powered by a four-cylinder clean diesel engine, at least for this year.) The gas-powered V6 generates 258 lb-ft of torque and drives the SUV from 0 to 60 in a respectable 6.5 seconds. The GLK-Class posts fuel economy numbers of 16/22 city/highway mpg and has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

The engine links to a seven-speed automatic transmission, which provides smooth shifting and helps improve fuel efficiency, according to Mercedes. Drivers who prefer to take more control of their driving experience can shift the transmission manually using paddle shifters located on the multifunction steering wheel.

The GLK-Class delivers agile handling, thanks to its Agility Control suspension system, which delivers a sporty yet comfortable ride as well as off-road capability. Equipped with amplitude-dependent damping, the suspension adjusts automatically to various driving conditions. During normal driving conditions, the suspension offers a softer ride to ensure passenger comfort, but when the driver pushes the SUV, the suspension responds by becoming firmer to provide
optimal stability. Speed-sensitive power steering also helps improve agility and maneuverability, especially at lower speeds, while 19-inch wheels provide a more stable and comfortable ride.

The GLK 350 4Matic's all-wheel-drive system features a 45/55 torque distribution between the front and rear axles. Along with the AWD system, the GLK 350 4Matic comes equipped with an Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and a four-wheel Electronic Traction System (4-ETS) as standard features. ESP applies the brakes and/or reduces engine power as necessary to aid the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle in emergency situations, while the 4-ETS system takes similar measures to further help the driver maintain control of the vehicle. Other standard features for both trims include adaptive brakes and hill assist, which keeps the vehicle from rolling backward when stopping or starting on a steep slope.

The GLK-Class's upscale, well-equipped interior includes such standard features as dual-zone automatic climate control, an adjustable steering column, and front seats with electrically adjustable height and backrest angle, as well as Bluetooth wireless connectivity for hands-free use of mobile phones. A central 5-inch color information display also comes standard, while Sienna Pine wood trim on the dashboard and door panels adds to the interior's luxury feel.

Options include Mercedes' COMAND (Cockpit Management and Navigation Device) communication system, which enables drivers to control the audio, entertainment, and communication systems using a central controller knob that operates much like a computer's mouse. To add convenience, cupholders are integrated into the driver's armrest. The GLK-Class offers a respectable 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, which expands to 54.7 cubic feet with the split rear seat folded forward.

As befits any Mercedes vehicle, the GLK-Class comes equipped with a wide range of safety features, including two-stage front airbags, front side-impact airbags, window airbags for both rows of seats, and a crash-optimized pedal system. In addition, the SUVs' specially designed front bumper has an impact absorber made with a softer foam, which helps protect pedestrians in the event of an accident.


Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in California.

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Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Questions

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