The Mercedes GLK350 (X204) is a compact luxury SUV made by Mercedes between 2006 and 2015. During this period Mercedes has managed to sell more than 200,000 of these in the USA alone. This means that there are quite a few of these knocking around and waiting to be bought.
The GLK350 is the standard run-of-the-mill GLK model that uses a 6-cylinder engine and comes with the Mercedes 4MATIC. The GLK350 is also one of the most popular GLK models ever since it was first released and many people deem it to be the best bang for the buck GLK model out there.
Design-wise, the GLK tends to split opinions quite a bit as many deem it to be overly senior-looking. However, AMG packages tend to liven up the exterior design significantly. The interior is not all that special because it uses a Mercedes interior design language from two decades ago.
The GLK350 is a surprisingly reliable car, but only if you maintain it correctly. Practicality-wise, the GLK is more than decent as it offers lots of head space, leg space, and cargo space. It can also be had for not all that much money which makes the GLK350 worthy of your consideration.
Mercedes GLK350 – The powerplant
The first iteration of the GLK350 uses a 3.5L 6-cylinder engine with 272hp and 258lb-ft of torque. It comes with the Mercedes 7G-Tronic automatic transmission, 4MATIC AWD system and it is able to return 28MPG combined which was a fairly decent result for the time.
Later on, Mercedes also incorporated the Blue Efficiency technology into the GLK350 which means 306hp, 272lb-ft of torque. The 7G-Tronic is also present in this model as well and so is the Mercedes proprietary 4MATIC AWD system.
The Blue Efficiency GLK350 was introduced for a better MPG result which meant that the BF GLK350 is able to return 34MPG which is a lot better when compared to the previous generation. It’s safe to say that the powertrain found in the GLK350 is more than plenty for the weight and size of the GLK.
The 3.5L engine is tuned for linear and sophisticated power delivery which means that it feels like a true Mercedes SUV should.
Mercedes GLK350 – Design and chassis
The pre-facelift GLK350 looks boxy and fairly unimaginative for a Mercedes. Many Mercedes enthusiasts believe that the pre-facelift GLK is the least attractive-looking Mercedes compact SUV in history as it looks overly senior-friendly and boring.
The AMG package is more or less a necessity for both the pre-facelift and post-facelift GLK even though the facelift on itself is a significant design upgrade over the pre-facelift model. The interior of the GLK looks and feels premium and durable, yet it uses older generation components which do make the interior feel dated these days.
It’s also safe to say that the GLK is fairly spec-dependent which means that some versions of the GLK look more promising than others. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but hardly any beholder is going to deem the GLK beautiful.
Mercedes GLK350 – Reliability and potential issues
The Mercedes GLK350 is an above-average Mercedes when it comes to reliability, especially if maintained properly. This means that the GLK is one of the most reliable newer Mercedes models. However, this does not mean that the GLK does not come with its fair share of issues.
The most common GLK350 issues are associated with airbags, electricals, suspension issues, and engine cooling-related issues. The most stressful issues the GLK tends to experience are those associated with the dreaded Takata airbag recall which is indeed a huge safety hazard.
Mercedes GLK350 – Practicality and value
Nowadays you can find a decent GLK350 model between $15k-$30k. This means that a newer GLK350 with fewer miles on the clock can be bought for about $25k which is indeed worth it. Pre-facelift higher mileage GLK350 models can even be bought for close to $10k.
The GLK350 is positioned as a family SUV and that is rather apparent when you take a look at all the available space the GLK350 offers. There is more than enough room for up to 5 passengers thanks to a fairly high roofline and lots of foot space. Cargo room is also more than plenty for 99% of people.
Is the Mercedes GLK350 safe?
The Mercedes GLK350 is indeed a safe car because Mercedes has always managed to offer superior safe cars. It is true that the GLK350 does not come with all the state-of-the-art Mercedes active software safety systems, but some of them are present even in the oldest GLK models.
It’s also safe to say that the GLK is fairly spec dependent when it comes to safety. You also need to remember that some GLK models still experience airbag-related issues that need to be addressed if you want to own a safe car overall.
Is the Mercedes GLK350 an off-road car?
The Mercedes GLK350 is an SUV, but it is not really a true off-roader as Mercedes has designed the GLK350 to be a family SUV first. Most people who bought the GLK have never intended it to go off-road and Mercedes is aware of this.
That is why Mercedes designed the GLK to be a road-compliant car first. This does not mean that the GLK is useless when it comes to off-road, yet that it can only do mild off-roading. Some additional equipment packages were available for the GLK in order to make it more off-road friendly, but rarely anyone opted for them.
Is the Mercedes GLK350 worth it?
The Mercedes GLK350 is indeed worth it because it is a relatively modern and reliable Mercedes SUV that does not cost exorbitant amounts of money to maintain. It offers decent space, decent technology and it is an SUV that is now part of the most popular car segment on the planet.
The value of the GLK350 is also fairly attainable, especially if you go for the post-facelift versions. All in all, the GLK350 is indeed worth it, but only if you maintain it adequately.