Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Volkswagen Touareg VS 2012 Mercedes GLK-Class Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2012 Volkswagen Touareg

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2012 Mercedes GLK-Class

Safety Comparison

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All Wheel Drive is standard on the Touareg. But it costs extra on the GLK-Class.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Touareg’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the Touareg and the GLK-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Volkswagen Touareg weighs 632 to 1123 pounds more than the Mercedes GLK-Class. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

Volkswagen’s powertrain warranty covers the Touareg 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLK-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLK-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Touareg’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the GLK-Class’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Touareg for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GLK-Class.

There are almost 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Touareg’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

The Touareg VR6’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 12 more horsepower (280 vs. 268) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 258) than the GLK-Class’ 3.5 DOHC V6. The Touareg Hybrid’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 hybrid produces 112 more horsepower (380 vs. 268) and 170 lbs.-ft. more torque (428 vs. 258) than the GLK-Class’ 3.5 DOHC V6.

The Touareg’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 258) than the GLK-Class’ 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Touareg Hybrid is faster than the Mercedes GLK-Class:



Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.1 sec

17.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

93 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Touareg’s engines produce their peak horsepower at lower RPM’s than the GLK-Class:

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Touareg TDI gets better fuel mileage than the GLK-Class 4Matic (19 city/28 hwy vs. 16 city/21 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Touareg Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the GLK-Class 4Matic (20 city/24 hwy vs. 16 city/21 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Touareg VR6 gets better fuel mileage than the GLK350 4Matic (16 city/23 hwy vs. 16 city/21 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Touareg Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Touareg Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The GLK-Class doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Touareg has 9 gallons more fuel capacity than the GLK-Class (26.4 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Touareg Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GLK-Class:

Touareg Hybrid


Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The Touareg stops much shorter than the GLK-Class:



70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Touareg has larger standard tires than the GLK-Class (255/55R18 vs. 235/50R19). The Touareg’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GLK-Class (275/45R20 vs. 235/50R19).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Touareg’s wheelbase is 5.4 inches longer than on the GLK-Class (113.9 inches vs. 108.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Touareg is 4.9 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than on the GLK-Class.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Touareg Executive is quieter than the GLK350 4Matic:



At idle

35 dB

39 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Touareg has .6 inches more front headroom, 4.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLK-Class.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Touareg’s rear seats recline. The GLK-Class’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Touareg has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the GLK-Class with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 23.3 cubic feet). The Touareg has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the GLK-Class with its rear seat folded (64 vs. 54.7 cubic feet).

The Touareg’s cargo area is larger than the GLK-Class’ in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Touareg Lux/Executive’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer power folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Touareg’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The GLK-Class’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Touareg to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Touareg’s headlight performance “Fair,” a higher rating than the GLK-Class’ headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Touareg has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The GLK-Class doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

The Touareg has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the GLK-Class. The Touareg Executive/Hybrid also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GLK-Class.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Touareg owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Touareg will cost $129 to $212 less than the GLK-Class over a five-year period.

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