2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

8.2
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
7.0
Expert Rating
Performance
8.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
8.0
Expert Rating
Safety
9.0
Expert Rating
Features
9.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
5.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Rugged looks and lower gas mileage put the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class in an SUV state of mind, but its ride and handling are more carlike than you'd think.

Luxury brands have gone all-in on compact crossovers, and Mercedes-Benz fields its own GLK-Class in the pitched battle that pits X3 against Q5, SRX against LR2. New in 2010, the GLK is essentially unchanged for the 2012 model year, carrying over its surprisingly carlike handling and tall-wagon packaging.

The GLK delivers the usual blend of strong performance and flexibility, but its buff, rugged appearance casts a conservative shadow. It takes the opposite tack of crossovers like the Q5, the SRX, and Volvo's XC60, and even avers from the softer look adopted by the larger, American-made Mercedes M-Class. The GLK's a clean, distinctive-looking ute, but its styling is something we've had to let grow on us. While the same angular ideas work well on the bigger GL-Class ute, on the small GLK they remind us more of some smaller, lackluster efforts like older Mitsubishi Outlanders and Subaru Foresters. The same doesn't hold true inside, where a dash strikes a more Germanic tone, though it's dressed in some plastics that could bear another layer of refinement. The layout's straightforward, though, and there's a wide swath of wood trim to dress it up.

A turbodiesel's still on hold, so the GLK remains available with a single drivetrain. Its 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine earns it a GLK350 badge, and gets teamed with a seven-speed automatic and 4MATIC four-wheel drive, which uses anti-lock brakes to dampen wheelspin. The drivetrain's strong enough to give the roughly 4,100-pound GLK quite good acceleration of 6.7 seconds to 60 mph, and the GLK feels relaxed and swift in everyday driving. On-road performance is striking for its car-like cadence: the GLK scoots to speed quickly, corners neatly, and its steering has the kind of heft and accuracy we like in four-door sedans. The GLK's suspension is tuned to be taut but well damped; it doesn't allow much body motion, but soaks up most roughness while the cabin stays tight and quiet. It's not anything like a hardcore off-roader, but its 4WD system will cut its way through foul weather, delivering power smoothly through muddy ruts and tackling the usual all-weather challenges pretty easily.

Interior room and cargo space are ample in the 2012 GLK. The front seats are supportive and nicely tailored, and finding a comfortable driving position isn't difficult, even for taller drivers. Knee room is fine in the second-row seat, and the angular roofline preserves head room, too. The rear seats fold forward to expand the GLK's cargo bin, leaving 54.7 cubic feet of space if just two passengers are present. The standard upholstery in the GLK is a synthetic, and most passengers will never know the difference; leather is, of course, an option.

The GLK's standard-equipment list leaves no question that it's a luxury vehicle. It includes 19-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and Bluetooth connectivity. A six-CD changer, Sirius Satellite Radio; a rear-seat, twin-screen DVD entertainment system; a power liftgate; a navigation system; bi-xenon headlamps with washers; LED taillights; and 20-inch wheels are among the options. For the new model year, Mercedes has--hallelujah!--relocated the USB port from the glove box to the center console.

The Car Connection Consumer Review

2 Reviews
5 star
50%
4 star
50%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
June 7, 2015
For 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class

good value

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
very dependable car , never give me headache... nice sport utility .
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 17, 2015
For 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class

Really good, but not perfect

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I really like my GLK, but it does have a few issues. Mine only has the "Premier" package so it has electronics from the 1990's. No backup camera, nav, integrated car management system. All of that costs... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
October 12, 2015
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class 4MATIC 4-Door GLK250 BlueTEC

Replaced my f150 and my mini!

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
This is my 4th diesel, although they weren't consecutive, and I like the way the diesel torque feels. I did get the towing package as. Have a 5 x10 enclosed trailer and I use it for hauling materials, dump... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
See all user reviews »
Looking for other models of the Mercedes-Benz GLK Class?
Read reviews & get prices
Compare the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class against the competition
Compare All Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used
s