The compact GLK sport utility represents in the U.S. the newest member of a highly successful Mercedes-Benz SUV family that includes the full-size M-Class – which spurred the trend toward more car-like luxury SUVs – as well as the larger, award-winning GL-Class, the crossover R-Class and the rough-and-tough G-Class.
In addition to its standard front, side and window air bags, the 2011-model GLK comes with new driver/passenger pelvic air bags and a driver’s knee air bag. The steering wheel is covered in premium leather for 2011, a new rear-view camera reduces the usual “fisheye” distortion, and a tilting passenger-side mirror makes parking easier.
A new option for the 2011 GLK, the AMG Sport Package includes deeper front and rear aprons, 20-inch, five-twin-spoke AMG wheels, LED daytime running lights and aluminum roof rails. Other options include the convenient Keyless-Go system, in which the doors are unlocked, and the car starts at the push of a button, with the key still in a pocket or purse. SIRIUS real-time traffic for the GPS navigation system is also available.
Just the Right Size for Today’s Family
Launched in the United States to rave reviews in 2009, the GLK appears to be a smaller version of the GL at first glance, but a closer look reveals a modern interpretation of the iconic G-Class. In sharp contrast to the relatively soft forms of similar-sized vehicles, the striking, angular nose of the GLK sets it apart from the competition.
From its projection headlights and steeply-raked windshield to the integrated rear spoiler on its tightly styled roof section, the bold profile of the GLK suggests power and agility. At the same time, the GLK is just the right size for today’s family, whether it’s parking in town while running errands or making a cross-country trip.
Agility and Comfort
Smaller and lighter than its well-known SUV siblings, the Mercedes-Benz GLK brings a special combination of agility and comfort to the SUV market. Like nearly all Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, the GLK features four-wheel independent suspension worthy of a sports sedan.
Standard Agility Control suspension provides the benefits of both soft and stiff shock absorbers. Each twin-tube shock absorber is fitted with a hydraulic by-pass piston that acts like a very soft shock absorber to effectively dampen road noise and tire vibration. However, over bumpy or uneven roads, the by-pass piston is out of the picture, preserving the outstanding steering and handling response of a stiffer shock absorber.
With respectable ground clearance for off-road driving, its standard roof rack and optional running boards of the GLK emphasize its versatile SUV character. Its powertrain features a 3.5-liter V6 engine, a sophisticated seven-speed automatic transmission and available 4MATIC full-time four-wheel-drive. Standard equipment also includes 19-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, roof rails, privacy glass and chrome detail touches inside and out.
Impressive Interior Design and Safety Technology
The GLK broadens and extends the Mercedes-Benz sport utility line with cutting-edge engine and available four-wheel-drive technology packaged in a stylish vehicle that’s the perfect size for today’s busy families. Inside, the eye-catching SUV has all the impressive design ambiance and safety technology of Mercedes-Benz cars.
A High-Performance Instrument Cluster
The instrument cluster features three analog gauges that show engine speed, road speed, fuel level and coolant temperature. A 4.5-inch display in the center of the speedometer is linked to a 12-button multi-function steering wheel that can call up a variety of helpful information such as phone and audio system information – radio station, CD track or MP3 playlist.
Similar to the popular system launched on the top-of-the-line S-Class sedan and CL coupe, an electronic controller on the lower console works like a computer mouse to provide easy, quick operation of many functions that previously required scores of separate buttons and switches. By turning and pressing the aluminum controller, menus and sub-menus on the center-console display are displayed and selected for the audio system as well as the optional navigation system and integrated phone. The controller is also linked to the rocker switches on the multifunction steering wheel.
Standard equipment in the new GLK is an 80-watt Audio 20 system. In addition to its eight speakers, the Audio 20 includes a single CD slot, telephone keypad, a MP3 plug in the glove box and a Bluetooth interface. Optionally available is a harman/kardon LOGIC7 Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 discrete multi-channel, surround-sound system, delivering 600 watts of true studio sound experience. The LOGIC7 system comes with 11 surround-sound speakers and a sub-woofer.
As part of the Multimedia package, the GLK includes a MusicRegister feature, which enables CD “ripping” (saving) to a six-gigabyte hard drive that can store up to 1,000 tracks from a CD. A Gracenote database automatically identifies each track with its title, artist, album name and other information. The audio system can also play tracks stored on a DVD or PC memory card.
The optional COMAND navigation system features a seven-inch color TFT display screen in the center console (the standard Audio 20 system has a five-inch display) and a hard drive with map data covering all of North America. In addition to the high-resolution map display at the top of the center console, next-turn navigation instructions can also be shown in the instrument cluster central display.
Bluetooth Integrated Phones
Bluetooth-enabled phones connect wirelessly to a standard hands-free system, which facilitates safe cell phone use while driving. The audio system is automatically muted during calls, and phone conversations make use of the audio speakers and two microphones built into the rear-view mirror. Call lists and phone address books can be shown on the standard central dash display or the optional COMAND screen.
Mercedes-Benz Safety is Standard
The GLK comes standard with ESP® stability control, ABS anti-lock brakes, two-stage adaptive air bags for the driver and front passenger, driver’s knee air bag, seat-mounted side and pelvic air bags in front, curtain side air bags and adaptive belt tensioners and belt force limiters. In addition, NECK-PRO active front head restraints move forward nearly two inches and upward by about an inch in the event of a severe rear collision, helping to support the head and reduce the likelihood of whiplash injuries. A rollover sensor can activate the belt tensioner and curtain air bags if the vehicle senses an imminent rollover.
Source: Daimler AG