Boasting intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD), the well-heeled 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4Matic compact SUV is ready to take on winter with style and comfort. This 5-door, 5-passenger luxury-oriented ute may not flaunt the most spacious cargo area at only 54.7 cubic feet, and the three-place rear seat in reality fits three small children, but standard appearance amenities, creature comforts and convenience goodies abound.
Outside, look for 19-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, rear spoiler and heated power-adjustable mirrors, while a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood and alloy cabin accents, premium leatherette upholstery and power-adjustable front seats adorn the inside. Of course, full power accessories, dual-zone climate control, Sun Sensor technology and a cooled beverage compartment also come standard, as do cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering.
Meanwhile, standard techno-goodies include M-B's COMMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth hands-free calling and a 100-watt audio system boasting a 6-CD changer, 6 speakers, auxiliary MP3 input, a USB port and steering-wheel-mounted controls.
Options packages, meanwhile, include the Premium 1 Package with power liftgate, universal remote garage door opener, power sunroof, power-adjustable steering wheel, auto-dimming rear-view mirrors and satellite radio, and the Multi Media Package, with voice-activated navigation, DVD-capable touch-screen, a rear-view camera and real-time traffic. The AMG Package and the Full Leather Seating Package, meanwhile, offer 20-inch upgraded alloy wheels and an aluminum roof rack, and leather trimmed upholstery, premium interior lighting, heated seats and added wood cabin trim, respectively.
Standalone options, finally, include a Class II trailer hitch, front under-seat storage and rear-seat DVD entertainment, not to mention a number of items found in the above packages.
The ubiquitous variable-valve-timed (VVT) 3.5 V6 engine remains the sole powerplant offering for the 2012 GLK350 4Matic. Mated with the standard 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission, the six-banger will put out 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, good for up to 3,500 pounds of towing capacity with the available trailer hitch installed. The standard AWD system allows rear-wheel-drive (RWD) cruising in normal conditions, with automatic switching of torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip—even to a single wheel—when things get dicey. Mileage, meantime, remains 16 mpg city/21 highway.
Notable standard safety features in Mercedes’ downsized AWD ute, finally, include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, a driver’s side knee airbag, front pelvic airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Daytime running lights and front fog/driving lights remain standard, as do turn-signal-integrated mirrors and a remote antitheft alarm, while front and rear parking sensors are optional (with the Premium 1 Package), as is Benz’s touted mbrace safety alert system.