POSTED: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - 5:10pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - 5:12pm
I’m trying to think of a way to conceptualize the Mercedes-Benz GLK. Think of it as the worlds most well equipped, best assembled Chevy Equinox. That's the size class we're in here.
And, if your need to haul family stuff is roughly equal to your need to impress the socks off the Joneses, then this is the truck for you. And I call it a truck only in the loosest terms because this is Mercedes’ first attempt at a small crossover.
The engineers at Mercedes don’t seem to have bolted upright at 2am in a cold sweat with the idea for this vehicle. Instead they went into the parts vault and pulled out the C-class sedan, the 3.5-liter inline 6-cylinder engine used throughout the lineup, and all the interior features that make Mercedes still the benchmark, and put them all together into a station wagon package with a subtle 3-pointed star on the grill only slightly smaller than a Dominoes extra large.
So, OK, it’s not the most original concept in the world, but it is a Mercedes. That’s means it is the world’s best example of one of these things. The GLK has the 268-horsepower six that could take a cannon shell and keep running, mated to a 7-speed automatic box and the kind of workmanship that makes bank vault manufacturers scratch their heads wondering why their products are so flimsy.
It handles the road with the assurance of the C-class that is under the skin and all the while coddles you in the kind of European ambiance that no one else can match.
Mileage isn’t exceptional at 16 city and 22 highway for our two-wheel-drive model. And the tab for all this? Base price is just under $35,000 and our loaded model came to 43-large. You can get a nice Tahoe for that, and haul a lot more stuff.
But then again, there are the Joneses to think of.