What is it?
Mercedes-Benz’s edgy retort to the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Land Rover Freelander – the GLK.
The new mid-sized SUV sits on modified underpinnings from the company’s C-class 4Matic, and just like that car, the GLK has not been engineered for right hand drive and will not be sold in the UK. At least, not until 2011 when the German car maker says it plans to launch a right-hand drive version following what officials describe as “a major modification to the four-wheel drive system and a repositioning of the steering rack”.
The GLK slots in at the bottom of Mercedes’ SUV hierarchy, below the ML, GL and G-Wagen.
What’s it like
Surprisingly butch, considering its C-Class underpinnings. The moment your backside slides onto the GLK’s driver’s seat you are aware that the interior feels different from the soft-roader norm.
It all centres around GLK’s upright windscreen. Mercedes says it took inspiration from the G-class in creating its latest SUV, and this is not only reflected with the 50-degree rake of the windscreen but in many areas of the interior as well.
To call it old fashioned is probably going a little too far. The materials and trims are all very modern. But the shallow dashboard and upright seatbacks immediately remind you of 4x4s from the past. This is no real criticism, but it does mean that the Mercedes GLK takes a little getting used to first time out. That said, it is extremely comfortable over long distances.