I'm sorry, but until Mercedes makes this car look better than a 2004 Subaru Forester with a three-pointed star in the grille, I'm going to have a tough time taking it seriously. It's perfectly nice inside, drives well and functions perfectly at its assigned tasks, but there's not enough here to get over the lackluster styling and make you take this little SUV over a host of cheaper, and more attractive, alternatives.
- Matt Tierney, Art Director
Only two years into its tenure in our market, the Mercedes-Benz GLK-class small crossover is being eclipsed by the Audi Q5, the Volvo XC60, and I would venture the new BMW X3, although I have not yet driven the latter. I find here loosey-goosey steering and a somewhat recalcitrant transmission. The exterior lines are not aging well; this is definitely not one of Mercedes-Benz's best styling efforts in recent years. This is still a very competent vehicle, but the aforementioned competitors outshine it.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
Well, unlike Matt and Joe, I happen to like the GLK's styling, although the red paint on this particular test vehicle, doesn't do the car any favors. The available AMG styling package-not present here-helps matters, too.
Like Joe, I found the steering disappointingly sloppy, as GLKs I've driven before handled more crisply. Perhaps this is simply the difference between nineteen- and twenty-inch wheels.
I cringe slightly whenever a given car manufacturer adds a model in order to fill a perceived "gap" in its lineup, but the GLK seems to make good business sense, since it's part of a relatively new, fairly hot category. Over the last two years, this Benz's sales numbers have been competitive with those of the Audi Q5 (about 20,000 units in the U.S.) and smoked the old BMW X3 but come nowhere near the 95,000 or so RXs that Lexus dealers move annually.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor