You may have first seen the new Mercedes-Benz GLK appear as a fun trolley for those fashionistas in the Sex and the City movie, bringing oohs and ahs to the theater from car guys and gals alike. Or maybe you saw the concept in January at the North American International Auto Show and you were surprised to see it in production already for 2010. Whichever culture you choose to tap info from, Mercedes' reach is all encompassing. They've been making four-wheel-drive vehicles for more than 100 years, so they're fairly confident there's nothing to prove with this newbie to the line. What we get with the GLK is a classic beauty made more comfortable.
In the U.S. ours is the GLK350 4Matic, a smaller, lighter interpretation of a GL but with the strong anthropology of a G-Class, like a GL on a no-carb diet. The engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that provides 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque--87 percent of it available at 1500 rpm. These may seem like standard numbers, but true to Mercedes' reputation, it's the symphony of technology that makes the car impressive. For one reason, there are seven: a seven-speed transmission that allows for a skip of three gears in the downshift, should you, say, decide to test this darling's worth up a hill. Plus, they're all available at the steering wheel paddle shifter Touch Shift, without even having to move the lever to manual from Sport or Auto mode.
Add all this to features like the all-four-wheel, all-the-time 4Matic, agile suspension and variable-valve timing tech, and you have a model that fits in fine with the car-like SUV market. To find out how all this applies on the road, check out the upcoming Dec. '08 issue.
Longitudinal, 4MATIC all-wheel drive
3.5-liter V6, aluminum block and heads, double OHC, 4 valves per cylinder
F: McPherson struts with two-piece lower control arm
F: 13.0-inch ventilated rotors
R: 11.8-inch ventilated rotos
Length/Width/Height (in.): 178.3/74.25/66.9
Wheelbase: 108.5 in.
Curb Weight: 4,036
Peak Power: 268 hp @ 6000 rpm
Peak Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 2400 - 5000 rpm
0-60 mph: 6.5 sec. (est.)
Top Speed: 143