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2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

$15,428 — $38,960 USED
Sport Utility
5 Seats
21-28 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Diesel fuel efficiency
  • Nimble in tight spaces
  • Great visibility
  • V-6's responsiveness
  • Easily accessible Latch anchors

The Bad

  • Small cargo area
  • Cramped backseat
  • Highway wind noise
  • Aged interior technology
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
  • Standard V-6 (GLK350)
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Seats five
  • Diesel-powered GLK250 (AWD only)
  • 19-inch wheels
  • Stop/start technology

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

by Joe Bruzek -

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class' small footprint and nimble, refined driving experience stand out, despite its otherwise dated luxury experience.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4Matic could very well be the last GLK — in name, anyway. Mercedes is revamping its model nomenclature, so the successor to the GLK-Class crossover will be the GLC, which is rumored to be released as a 2016 model. Even after a mild 2013 refresh, the GLK is showing its age compared with Mercedes' latest and greatest cars, like the 2015 C-Class sedan.

Introduced for 2010, the GLK received a minor refresh for 2013 with a new engine, an interior update and a slightly tweaked exterior. Compare the 2015 with the 2013 and 2010 here. I tested a simply optioned GLK350 with 4Matic all-wheel drive; its cost was $45,025 with a destination fee. The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 starts at $38,825 with rear-wheel drive, while an all-wheel-drive, diesel-powered GLK250 is available starting at $40,325.

Exterior & Styling
The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class' chiseled appearance and square roofline stand out in a crowded segment of mostly soft-styled luxury SUVs. The GLK's traditional SUV styling makes it appear larger than it really is: Bumper to bumper, the GLK is 4.3 inches shorter than the Audi Q5, 5.2 inches shorter than the Acura RDX and a sizable 9.5 inches shorter than the Lexus RX 350. It's even shorter — by 0.9 inches — than a segment newcomer, the 2015 Lincoln MKC. Compare the GLK ...

by Joe Bruzek -

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class' small footprint and nimble, refined driving experience stand out, despite its otherwise dated luxury experience.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4Matic could very well be the last GLK — in name, anyway. Mercedes is revamping its model nomenclature, so the successor to the GLK-Class crossover will be the GLC, which is rumored to be released as a 2016 model. Even after a mild 2013 refresh, the GLK is showing its age compared with Mercedes' latest and greatest cars, like the 2015 C-Class sedan.

Introduced for 2010, the GLK received a minor refresh for 2013 with a new engine, an interior update and a slightly tweaked exterior. Compare the 2015 with the 2013 and 2010 here. I tested a simply optioned GLK350 with 4Matic all-wheel drive; its cost was $45,025 with a destination fee. The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 starts at $38,825 with rear-wheel drive, while an all-wheel-drive, diesel-powered GLK250 is available starting at $40,325.

Exterior & Styling
The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class' chiseled appearance and square roofline stand out in a crowded segment of mostly soft-styled luxury SUVs. The GLK's traditional SUV styling makes it appear larger than it really is: Bumper to bumper, the GLK is 4.3 inches shorter than the Audi Q5, 5.2 inches shorter than the Acura RDX and a sizable 9.5 inches shorter than the Lexus RX 350. It's even shorter — by 0.9 inches — than a segment newcomer, the 2015 Lincoln MKC. Compare the GLK to its longtime competitors here and to the MKC here.

The GLK's upright shape provides fantastic visibility from the driver's seat thanks to tall windows, thin body pillars and a squared roofline. Small side mirrors are the only weak spot in the GLK's otherwise commanding view of the road.

How It Drives
A well-sorted suspension and tight steering connect the GLK to the road with supreme levels of sure-footedness. The available full-time all-wheel-drive system does the same in snowy and slippery conditions; it's well worth the $2,000 premium it commands. A tight 37.6-foot turning circle and extremely nimble nature make the GLK a master of city driving; U-turns and tight corners are easily conquered by the sprightly SUV. Benz calls the GLK-Class midsize, but it drives like a much smaller compact SUV.

Small turbocharged engines are gaining popularity in other Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs for their increased fuel economy, and it's possible you'll see a turbocharged offering in the GLK's successor. If that's the case, I'll miss the current GLK's standard powertrain: a naturally aspirated 302-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. Sure, fuel economy could be improved from the all-wheel-drive's 18/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined figures, but it's hard to replicate in a turbocharged one the punchiness of a good naturally aspirated engine. The GLK's V-6 offers a potent punch of acceleration, with instantaneous accelerator response and a healthy V-6 growl under the hood. A BlueTEC diesel-powered GLK250 is rated 24/33/28 mpg with standard all-wheel drive and is one of a few diesel-powered SUVs in the segment.

Other noises inside the GLK aren't as pleasant, like the intrusive wind you'll hear whistling past the exterior at high speeds. The excessive noise is almost like a light switch that turns on at 50 mph and above, marring an otherwise refined highway driving experience, as the GLK tracks true on the highway with minimal fuss.

Interior
The GLK's cabin isn't claustrophobic despite having a decidedly more compact exterior than competing SUVs. The rear seat, however, is tight. It's not an uncomfortable experience, like you'll find in Mercedes' smaller GLA-Class SUV, but it's snug and the backrest is raked at an awkward angle without any adjustable reclining function. Much larger SUVs like the RX 350 have hugely roomy backseats; I even found the Q5's slightly larger backseat more comfortable than that of the Mercedes-Benz GLK.

The interior is put together with decent materials, providing a satisfactory luxury experience. Not one particular finish stands out, however, and the design as a whole is somewhat uninspiring. Our test car was equipped with the standard MB-Tex imitation leather upholstery, which I find convincing enough. Leather upholstery, which is standard on the base Acura and Audi, is an $1,850 option here. Our GLK test car featured no-cost burl walnut wood trim, heated front seats ($750) and the Premium Package ($3,450), which included a panoramic moonroof, power liftgate, 115-volt AC household outlet and more.

There isn't much new blood in this aging class of SUVs except for the Lincoln MKC, which provides a surprisingly luxurious experience for the money and a much more interesting, high-tech interior than the GLK. You'd think the GLK hadn't been redesigned for some time, and from the ground up it hasn't been, but it was touched up for 2013 with a new dashboard and interior materials. The update, though, merely brought the GLK up to an average level of quality. Given what we've seen Mercedes accomplish with the all-new 2015 C-Class compared with its previous generation, there's promise for a GLK successor to make a big leap in the interior finish and design department.

Ergonomics & Electronics
Multimedia technology is moving at lightning speed, and the GLK's standard multimedia system is stuck in the Stone Age. The system might not have been as big a disappointment if we hadn't already grown enamored with Mercedes' latest high-resolution-plus-touchpad technology in the C-Class.

The GLK-Class' standard 5-inch screen is simply not enough real estate to legibly display the many functions of the GLK's central controller system, which is used to control radio, media and car functions. The graphics are also dated. A 7-inch screen is available with navigation and a backup camera as part of a $2,970 Multimedia Package. Lincoln's MKC includes a standard 8-inch touch-screen with much higher-quality graphics, plus two USB ports.

Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, Bluetooth streaming audio and a USB port for thumb drives are standard, and a Media Interface option allows the use of an iPod or iPhone through the GLK's audio controls (it's a $310 stand-alone option and is also part of the aforementioned $3,450 Premium Package). Our test car came with an Apple 30-pin connector for older iPhones. Mercedes' website says an Apple adapter is required for use with the eight-pin Lightning connector used on later-model devices.

Cargo & Storage
The GLK's small stature doesn't show on the inside until you need to use the cargo area, which measures just 16.5 cubic feet behind the backseat. The RDX has 26.1 cubic feet, the MKC 25.2 cubic feet, the Q5 has 29.1 cubic feet and the RX — as its significant size suggests — has the most, at 40 cubic feet. Using the cargo area was at least easy thanks to our test car's power liftgate, which is included in the Premium Package.

With the 60/40-split folding backseat down, the GLK has a maximum cargo capacity of 54.7 cubic feet. That's smaller than its competitors; the closest in size is the Q5's 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

Safety
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest score of good in all crash tests to which it's been subjected, which currently excludes the small overlap front crash test. A score of good or acceptable would earn the agency's Top Safety Pick Plus designation for the GLK. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had not crash-tested the GLK as of this writing.

See here for a full list of standard safety features; a backup camera isn't one of them. Instead, the camera is packaged into an expensive $2,970 Multimedia Package. Luxury automakers haven't adopted the standard backup camera as readily as some non-luxury automakers, such as Honda.

Mercedes includes six months of its mbrace telematics system standard, which includes emergency response and 24-hour support. Active-safety options include a Lane Tracking Package with blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assist for $875. Available Pre-Safe Brake — as part of a $2,950 Driver Assistance Package — can help prevent an impending collision by sounding an alert and braking the vehicle when an imminent collision is detected. That package also includes blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

Value in Its Class
The compact-to-midsize luxury SUV segment isn't the freshest lineup at the moment. The GLK, Audi Q5 and RX 350 all have a few years under their belts, and the GLK-Class feels the most dated of the three. An all-wheel-drive GLK350 like our test car starts at $40,825, and with $750 heated front seats and a $3,450 Premium Package, it added up quickly to our $45,025 as-tested price.

At $45,025, the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class didn't include a backup camera, smart keyless access with push-button start, or navigation — features you can add to the Q5 and MKC easily for the same price. Those cars also bring much more contemporary interiors and additional cargo space. The GLK is one of the best-driving luxury SUVs in its segment, but it's less well-rounded — in usefulness and design — than its competitors.

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Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
56 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Great looking car for petite woman

by TT from Santa Ana, ca on November 7, 2018

Car met all my needs. I?m a small petite woman and the size of the car does look like a giant with me driving it. Just enough trunk size for me to put all my equipments for camping and hiking Love it ... Read full review

(5.0)

Great vehicle

by LovemyGLK from Sylva,NC on November 5, 2018

This vehicle met my list of needs and wants. I needed AWD for our driveway. It?s compact for around town driving but big enough foto comfort on a trip. The only thing about the interior is the lack of ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Base

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The GLK-Class received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker