The littlest Mercedes-Benz SUV will pack a big fuel-economy punch, but only a modest price tag when it goes on sale nationwide tomorrow. The diesel-powered GLK250 BlueTec 4Matic will cost $39,495 (after a $905 destination charge) and returns 24/33 mpg (city/highway).
That price actually undercuts the existing gasoline-powered Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4Matic, which starts at $39,995 after destination. The BlueTec's fuel economy figures easily trounce those of the standard model, too; the GLK350 returns 19/25 mpg with rear-wheel drive or 19/24 mpg with all-wheel drive. The car has a 302-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
Mercedes announced the GLK250 BlueTec at last year's New York auto show, when the revised GLK-Class was publicly introduced. Under the hood is a 2.1-liter turbodiesel inline-four, rated for 200 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive are standard.
The Mercedes GLK250 BlueTec is thus the most efficient model among its competition, although it's worth noting that there are no other diesel compact crossovers on sale in the U.S. Compared to gasoline luxury models with all-wheel-drive, however, the Mercedes looks impressive. It beats the BMW X3 xDrive28i's ratings of 21/28 mpg and the Audi Q5 Hybrid's ratings of 24/30 mpg.