2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class Performance

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Performance
All 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class models for the U.S. remain powered by a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine—and called the GLK350. The V-6 makes 268 horsepower, more than enough to give the roughly 4,100-pound GLK strong acceleration—about 6.7 seconds to 60—and feels relaxed during normal driving. That ample power is transmitted to the road through 4MATIC four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The GLK looks like an SUV and is billed as a luxury compact SUV, but its performance leans much more toward large sedan—that is, it accelerates faster and turns better than its styling would lead you to expect. Our editors, in fact, tend to like the GLK's light but precise and well-weighted steering feel as well or better than in M-B's cars. The queasy body motions and pitchiness you find in some other comparable vehicles during abrupt maneuvers is remarkably absent here. Shift paddles and an aggressive throttle tip-in also underscore that this crossover SUV is truly meant for the open road, not the boulder-strewn one.

Off-roading is not the GLK's forte. But its four-wheel-drive system adjusts as the various traction systems determine where torque is needed most. What the GLK does do well is get you home safety in foul weather; the 4Matic system excels in distributing power smoothly on a snowy road and avoiding wheelspin.

Don’t let the chunky styling of the GLK mislead you; brisk handling, strong acceleration and great on-road performance defy expectations.

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