The Mercedes-Benz GLK is a compact luxury crossover SUV manufactured and marketed by the German automaker Mercedes-Benz from 2008 to 2015. The name GLK is an acronym for Geländewagen Luxus Kompaktklasse, taking its name from the larger Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, which in turn was named after the G-Wagen or Geländewagen. Thus, the GL is the luxury-oriented version of the G, and GLK is the compact version of the GL.
History of the Mercedes-Benz GLK
Mercedes-Benz GLK (X204; 2008–2012)
Two concept vehicles appeared in 2008: The Vision GLK Freeside and the Vision GLK Townside. The former was designed to handle light off-road duty, while the latter was intended for exclusively on-road driving. The Freeside incorporated design aspects of the original Mercedes-Benz G-Class with typical design features from the contemporary Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. The concept included a 2.2-liter BlueTec four-cylinder Diesel engine rated at 168 hp (125 kW) with 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle was unveiled at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show.
The vehicle's design was heavily influenced by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The GLK-Class shares the C-Class W204 platform, and production plans continued after the demise of the similar Smart Formore. The vehicle was unveiled in Auto China in 2008. Even if it came late to the party, Mercedes-Benz GLK appeared with a good stance and a bold look in its eyes like it was a descendant of the mighty G-Class. At least, that's what Mercedes-Benz tried to tell the world. The underpinnings of the GLK were more related to the C-Class than to the G-Wagon. The only connections between the GLK and its famous ancestor were the G from its name and the V6 turbodiesel engine. Nevertheless, it was a fierce contender for the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Infiniti EX. Its sharp lines resembled the angular look of the G-Wagon, but the headlight's shape was closer to the C-Class W204. The interior showed few similarities with the C-Class W205, especially for the dashboard with the extended instrument cluster over the infotainment system. For the technical part, GLK featured an all-wheel-drive system (4Matic), which could send the power to the wheels with the most traction. Depending on the market, it was offered a wide choice of gasoline and diesel engines. Most versions were paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission standard, while selected versions were available with a 6-speed manual. European models went on sale on June 30, 2008, with deliveries beginning in the autumn the same year.
Vision GLK Bluetec Hybrid
A concept vehicle demonstrating a Bluetec engine with a hybrid module was developed. It includes a 4-cylinder Bluetec Diesel engine with a maximum 160 N⋅m (118 lb-ft) electric motor.
Mercedes-Benz GLK (2012–2016)
The vehicle was unveiled at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. Following the world premiere, the new Mercedes-Benz GLK is displaying its full credentials on- and off-road. Its claim to leadership of the compact SUV segment is underscored by trailblazing assistance systems, engines matching efficiency with agility, a new design, and an extended range of equipment and appointments. The newly designed exterior lends the GLK added dynamism. The body combines classic elements of all-terrain vehicles with the design idiom of the current Mercedes-Benz models. Designing the new interior for the GLK was an exacting task. The compact SUV's width was to be emphasized so as to further heighten the feeling of space inside the vehicle. At the same time, the developers were also intent on enhancing the impression of quality.
In 2015, Mercedes-Benz retailed the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK with a starting original MSRP of $37,900 for the base GLK350, rising to $39,900 for the top-of-the-line GLK350 4MATIC variant.
- GLK350 - $37,900 ($47,653 in 2022)
- GLK250 BlueTEC 4MATIC - $39,400 ($49,539 in 2022)
- GLK350 4MATIC - $39,900 ($50,168 in 2022)
Features of the Mercedes-Benz GLK
Whereas most of its rivals favor softer, rounded shapes, the Mercedes-Benz GLK stands out by standing upright with a more angular, blocky shape. It's not exactly the military-derived G-Class, but the GLK's stout and aggressive stance give it an air of toughness. Practically speaking, large windows combined with slender structural pillars provide exceptional outward views. The available AMG Styling Package adds aluminum roof rails and LED daytime running lights and replaces the standard 19-inch wheels with massive 20-inch twin-5-spoke wheels. Despite its tall appearance, the 2014 GLK is as easy to step in and out of as a traditional sedan.
The 2015 GLK features two rows of seats and seating for up to five passengers. Despite its lower price point, the GLK compact-luxury SUV has superb fit and finish and high-quality, soft-touch materials. Genuine leather seating costs extra, but the standard MB-Tex upholstery does a good job of imitating the real stuff. The GLK features a 60/40-split rear seat and 54.7 cubic feet of cargo space with seats folded. While the front seats are not quite as comfortable as those in a Lexus RX or Audi Q5, they can be tailored to a variety of bodies, especially the 14-way power driver's seat.
Specs and Performance of the Mercedes-Benz GLK
Two engines are offered in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK. The GLK350 model uses a 3.5L gasoline V6 that makes a hearty 302 horsepower, while the GLK250 employs a 2.1L turbodiesel 4-cylinder that offers up a stump-pulling 369 lb-ft of torque. Both models use a 7-speed automatic transmission and are rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. GLK350 models come in rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), while the diesel GLK250 is AWD only. The GLK350 is the quicker of the pair from 0-60 mph – 6.5 seconds – while the GLK250's 0-60-mph time is pegged at 7.8 seconds. But for the fuel-savings afforded by the diesel, the compromise seems worth the difference. Dimension-wise, the Mercedes-Benz GLK measures 4,526–4,529 mm (178.2–178.3 in) long, 1,839–1,887 mm (72.4–74.3 in) wide, and 1,699 mm (66.9 in) high. Its wheelbase measures 2,756 mm (108.5 in) and has a curb weight of 4,079 lbs (1,850 kg).
Mercedes-Benz first released the Mercedes-Benz GLK when they unveiled it during the 2008 Beijing Auto Show. In 2015, the GLK-Class was replaced by the GLC as per the revised nomenclature adopted by the brand. Under this scheme, SUVs use the base name "GL", followed by the model's placement in the Mercedes-Benz hierarchy.