Bold, intelligent, and pricey. That’s the Mercedes-Benz GLK sport-utility vehicle.
Sharing its platform with the C-Class, the GLK holds a distinct position of rugged-looking SUV that drives like a car and feels much like a tall station wagon. The GLK is for those who want to unleash their inner brutes; those who want to leave the sedan at home and head off to points unknown at a moment’s notice. It’s perfect for the executive who wants to get away on the weekend and be back at the office for that early Monday morning meeting with the board.
The side angle, the short overhangs, the upright front end, and the stiff roof lines all attest to the vehicle’s GL-Class pedigree. It is equipped with a powerful H7 headlamp system, including an H7 main beam that features the tested free-form reflector technology. The front fog lamps are integrated into the front bumper, while indicator repeaters in the exterior mirror (each composed of four LEDs) provide more turning signal visibility especially at night.
You can tell the Mercedes engineers gave a lot of attention to detail. The GLK Edition-1 model sits on huge five-spoke 20-inch wheels that match the SUV’s ruggedly handsome, angular exterior. (The standard model has 19-inch wheels.) And regardless of the tire size mounted, the standard-specification light-alloy rims are almost flush with the outer edge of the wheel arch lip. But don’t let the lavish styling fool you. These wheels mean business and can dig in the dirt with ease.
Inside, the cabin takes a new element similar to B and C-Class sedan. Standard equipment includes silver-coloured instrument cluster with multifunction display, power operated rear hatch, leather and chrome shift/selector lever, stainless-steel-look sports pedals, power windows, and THERMATIC 2-zone automatic climate control.
Crank the ignition and a 3.0-liter V6 engine came to life. It is guided by a 7-speed G-tronic transmission with 4MATIC 4WD system.
The agility control selective damping system automatically adapts the suspension setting to prevailing road conditions, making the GLK at home in both city streets and rough roads. The front has an independent 3-link suspension, while the rear is supported by multi-link suspensions. Both have anti-squat and anti-dive features, gas pressure shock absorbers, and coil springs.
Aside from its bold design, the GLK boasts an outstanding performance, advanced safety features, and exceptional riding comfort with its agility control suspension and ergonomic interior design. The PRE-SAFE safety concept, the Intelligent Light System (it gives you wider vision at night as the lamps illuminate the blind spots normally missed by conventional headlights when you enter a bend), and the TELEMATICS are three options available in the GLK.
But the question is, does the GLK-class stand a chance in a market saturated by all brands of SUVs? The global economic slowdown will affect sales, that’s for sure. Still, I won’t be too quick to count the GLK out. After all, it’s a Mercedes.
- Superb handling
- Outstanding comfort
- Safety features
- Excellent fit and finish
- Fuel consumption
- Some hard plastic interior parts
Vehicle 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK 280
Type Premium Compact SUV
Engine 3.0-liter V6 engine
Maximum power 231 hp at 6,000 rpm
Maximum torque 222 lb-ft at 2,500-5,000 rpm
Transmission 7-speed G-Tronic A/T
Length 4,528 mm
Width 1,840 mm
Height 1,689 mm
Wheelbase 2,755 mm
Wheel size and type 19-inch alloy
Tire size 235/50 R19 Dunlop Sport Maxx
Price as tested P4.480 million