2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK - By Design

1 The only really good part of the generic rear end, apart from nice exhaust tips, is the three-pointed-star badge.

2 A fixed glass panel allows the main window to descend fully into the rear door.

3 The vestigial rear fender form is a new Mercedes shtick, reminiscent of late-1940s pontoon-fender car styling.

4 Standard nineteen-inch wheels make the GLK seem a bit handier and more compact than it really is.

5 This slashing diagonal line gives a little thrust to what is, after all, just a box, and it allows the windowsills to suggest a wedge shape as well.

6 The very awkward intersection between the hood edge and the A-pillar is exacerbated by a cutline at the pillar's base.

7 There are a lot of sharp edges between the hood and the actual wheel opening.

8 Little round lights in a big rectangular opening are not nearly as nice as the rectangular lamps in last year's concept car.

9 The windshield is inset behind the leading edge of the A-pillar, presumably to force airflow over the roof rather than around the corners to reduce wind noise.

10 The lower part of the grille opening is hard-edged, the upper portion softened, perhaps for pedestrian safety considerations.

11 Multifaceted lamp covers occupy the entire upper corners of the front end. Notice the little joggle at the inner baseline. Why is it there?

A There is a nice grouping of minor controls on the driver's door panel.

B This square-cut visor above the square vent is very old-fashioned, but at least the multimedia screen is slanted toward the driver.

C Seat side bolsters would be useful in severe off-roading or high-speed cornering, neither of which is particularly likely with this vehicle.

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