Overview

Brimming with genuine character, the new Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is set to take the world of compact SUVs by storm. Yet it is not just the distinctive all-rounder's practical and appealingly compact body form that sets it apart from the competition. It also brings together what were previously seen as entirely contradictory attributes. The Agility Control suspension serves up a unique blend of outstanding handling dynamics, exceptional driving safety and superlative ride comfort. Meanwhile the sophisticated, variable 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system joins forces with the latest electronic control systems to deliver consummate on-road performance and superb off-road suitability. It is precisely this kind of combination that lends the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class such immense appeal. The GLK-Class may be one of the more road-oriented Mercedes-Benz SUVs, but the "G" - alluding to the archetypal Mercedes off-roader - still has a rightful place in the model name.

Superlative performance comes courtesy of the powerful yet economical and eco-friendly four and six-cylinder engines. The BlueEFFICIENCY version of the GLK 220 CDI features the new entry-level four-cylinder diesel engine from Mercedes-Benz, which develops 125 kW/170 hp yet only consumes 6.9 litres of diesel per hundred kilometres. And the unshakeable foundations of the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class are similarly impressive. The highly robust body is key to the pioneering passive-safety setup, the extremely low noise levels, the exceptional degree of interior comfort - to produce that typical Mercedes feeling of wellbeing - and the high value retention. Furthermore, exemplary appointments and attractive equipment packages make the GLK stand out from the compact-SUV masses. Plus state-of-the-art systems such as the leading-edge PRE-SAFE safety concept and the Intelligent Light System (ILS) are available in this market segment for the very first time.

With its poised, confident presence, the mere look of the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class leaves one in no doubt about its intent to conquer the compact premium SUV segment. It is arguably the most sophisticated of all takes on this particular theme. And it displays echoes of the G-Class, the founding father of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family. Design chief Prof. Peter Pfeiffer takes up the story: "With the G-Class we created a style icon that has been a benchmark in SUV design for the past 30 years. Combining this bold concept with the latest Mercedes-Benz design idiom makes the GLK a vehicle of genuine character."

No other model in the compact-SUV segment, past or present, comes close to matching the GLK's distinctively expressive appearance. The body is beautifully proportioned (length 4528 mm, width 1840 mm, height 1689 mm), while there is a special allure in the interplay between the classic angular shape and the typical design features found in all contemporary Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Here the unmistakable design idiom, consisting of taut lines and large, expansive surfaces, is combined with the typical body features of a practical off-road vehicle, such as short overhangs, an upright front end, slim roof pillars, a steeply raked windscreen and taut roof lines. Rather than being a stylistic end in itself, however, the body design allows the typical advantages of an off-road vehicle to be introduced to the more road-oriented compact-SUV category for the first time. Large angles of approach and departure plus good ground clearance make off-road ventures a sheer joy. The outstandingly clear layout of the body and good allround visibility, combined with the raised seating position, enhance everyday practicality and ensure relaxed driving, even in dense city traffic.

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Checklist after driving off-road
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