Right after the vehicle’s debut at the 2008 Auto China motor show in Beijing, the German company lifted the embargo on publication of photos and technical specs of its 2009 Mercedes-Benz GLK compact SUV.
Designed to compete against the 2007 BMW X3, the 2008 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2009 Audi Q5, the entry-level SUV is more than a sum of its parts.
Well, the last statement may sound rather pretentious, but a crossover that shares its underpinnings with the best C-Class sedan that money can buy just can’t be bad. Although its styling clearly belongs to love it or hate category (I don’t really dig its boxy design, but must admit that the GLK gradually grows on me: those G-Class connotations and all) and the vehicle is clearly not suitable for more or less serious off-roading, but with their class-leading all-wheel drive system and luxurious interior with lots of comfort features this is so far the best offer in the segment.
The vehicle is reported to be available with either RWD or a full-fledged 4Matic full-time AWD transmission and will be powered by a 268hp 3.5-liter V6 capable of accelerating the two-ton GLK from zero to 60mph in some 6.5 seconds while delivering a nice average fuel economy of 23mpg.
European motorists will have much wider choice of powerplants though, including the 220CDI and 320CDI diesel engines.
Despite being an entry-level model, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz GLK bears such classy details as Sienna Pine wood trim, chrome detailing, an optional COMAND interface, a panoramic sunroof, SIRIUS satellite radio (U.S. only) and bi-xenon headlights.
The rest of the list includes standard 19-inch alloy wheels, two-zone automatic climate control, an adjustable steering column, electrically adjustable front seats, Bluetooth connectivity and a 5-inch color display.
See also: 2008 VW Tiguan