Ride & Handling

When I first saw the wheels on my test GLK350 Ч those 20-inch rims and low-profile all-season tires Ч I was a little worried about how it would ride on Chicago's crater-filled roads. To my surprise, the GLK350 handled this rugged urban landscape with ease, preventing ride quality from becoming jarring. Sure, the taut suspension controls body motions, but it doesn't do so at the expense of passenger comfort the way some crossovers do. The standard 19-inch rims come with tires that have slightly taller sidewalls, which should make for an even more compliant ride.

Whether you're driving in the city or the suburbs, the GLK350 is easy to maneuver, but it doesn't do much to engage the driver. The steering offers little in the way of feedback, and the wheel is very easy to turn. This is typical of Mercedes models in general, and while it works in a full-size sedan like the S-Class, it doesn't fit the GLK350 as well. Whereas some cars decrease the amount of power-assistance at higher speeds for a greater sense of straight-line stability, the GLK350 feels about the same then as when driving at slower speeds.

The GLK350 cruises comfortably on the highway, as the suspension limits the effects of bumps and holes in the road. Highway speeds further affirmed an impression that developed when traveling around town, and that's just how quiet the cabin of the GLK350 is. Ambient and wind noise are effectively muted, leaving you to enjoy the audio system or just the silence. Even when accelerating aggressively, engine noise isn't intrusive.

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