2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Review
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK is a strong performer with a low (for a Mercedes) starting price, but others in the class are better all-around compact SUVs.
The compact luxury SUV class is a tough place. Even though the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class gets high marks for its car-like performance, it loses points for its somewhat small interior. Most reviewers agree that the GLK is a very nice SUV, but they simply like some rivals better.
Consumer Guide writes that though the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK “is not as outright sporty as many premium-compact-SUV competitors . . . it does provide a more practical package and better ride than most.” Highlights include a smooth, carlike ride and a powerful V6 engine that easily handles the GLK’s bulk, even when equipped with optional all-wheel drive. The GLK also has a low base price for a Mercedes, but when you piling on optional features, that price rises quickly. Plus, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK lacks some standard features, like leather upholstery, that test drivers expect in this class. Gas mileage is decent for a small SUV, but others in the class, like the Audi Q5, get more miles per gallon, even with the Q5’s standard all-wheel drive.
All in all, test drivers say the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK is a pleasing package, but before you commit, make sure you take the competition for a spin.
Other SUVs to Consider
If you’re considering the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK for its German driving dynamics and luxury cachet, also check out the Audi Q5. Reviewers say the Q5 is more practical, with better seating and more cargo space. It’s also more stylish than the boxy GLK.
Shoppers who are after performance and don’t mind leaving European brands behind to get it should look at the Infiniti EX. While it doesn’t beat the GLK in terms of practicality, it’s one of the top performers in the class and gets slightly better fuel economy than the GLK.
Details: Mercedes-Benz GLK
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class comes in one trim, the GLK 350, with optional 4Matic all-wheel drive. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK is unchanged from the 2011 model year, so this review uses reviewer insight from earlier model year reviews.
- "The longer I drove the GLK, the more it grew on me. During long weekend drives, the GLK felt like a bigger vehicle, planted solidly on the road. Its boxy interior turned out to be larger than expected, with plenty of headroom and legroom for my 6-foot-1 frame. The car runs smoothly and quietly enough to take the fatigue out of long stints behind the wheel." -- The Wall Street Journal
- +"Compared with the X3, the Benz brings more power and torque, an additional cog in the transmission, superior interior room, and, based on our drive in Spain, a more solid and ‘SUV-like' character." -- Motor Trend
- "The new GLK350 is a likeable package with a very high level of standard and optional equipment - pity about the average fuel economy, though. Still, we think this car's impressive dynamics and capability make a strong case for those who want a quick and sporty wagon." -- Popular Mechanics
- "Overall, I liked the GLK. Ditch most of the options, and you've got an excellent all-wheel drive vehicle that's both stylish and relatively affordable ... for a luxury vehicle." -- Chicago Sun-Times