2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

GLK350 RWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6 auto trans

2013 mercedes-benz glk-class Reviews and News

2013 Mercedes Benz GLK250 BlueTec 4Matic Front Right View
After a lunch of bruschetta, pizza, and gelato, which is an ironic way to fuel up for testing a German car, Mercedes-Benz product manager Bart Herring gets straight to boasting. "No one is better positioned to bring diesel models to the market," he says. "Diesel is very well suited to what people want." Even setting aside Herring's praise, the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTec 4Matic is clearly something unique. Not only is it America's only diesel compact crossover, it also handily tops its segment in fuel economy.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 returns 24/33 mpg (city/highway), giving a cruising range of 515 miles per tank. The existing GLK350, which has a 302-hp gasoline V-6, manages just 19/24 mpg with all-wheel drive. No other compact luxury crossover comes close to the BlueTec's ratings, even those with thrifty 2.0-liter turbo-four gas engines like the Audi Q5, the BMW X3, and the Range Rover Evoque. None of those competitors can crack 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway when fitted with all-wheel drive. Only hybrids come close: the Q5 hybrid returns 24/30 mpg, yet it's $12,300 more expensive than the Mercedes, while the Lexus RX450h manages 30/28 mpg but costs $9110 more. In other words, the GLK250 offers a lot of fuel-economy bang for the buck.
The GLK250 BlueTec uses a 2.1-liter, twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine codenamed OM651. The twin-turbo setup is designed to increase responsiveness: a large turbo helps provide maximum power, while a smaller one spools up quickly to reduce lag in low-load conditions. The engine computer opens and closes a bypass valve so that the large turbo is only used at higher speeds when more boost is needed. Peak torque of 369 lb-ft is available from just 1600 rpm.
An AdBlue injection system cleans up the exhaust so the GLK meets particulate-emissions requirements in all 50 states. In Europe, this engine gets an automatic stop/start feature to save more fuel, but it's not installed on the U.S. version. Peter Lückert, director of diesel powertrain development, says stop/start doesn't help U.S. fuel-economy test results, and American drivers are less interested in the technology than are Europeans. The 2.1-liter diesel is also used here in the Sprinter cargo van and will launch in the E250 BlueTec sedan this September.
Around town, the GLK250 moves off the line just as easily as a comparable SUV with a gasoline turbo-four engine. The accelerator has the precise, progressive tip-in of other Mercedes products, and there is barely any turbo lag. Most drivers will never suffer the wait-wait-wait- power delivery long associated with diesel engines; only if you floor the accelerator from a stop is a second of lethargy evident.
Speed builds in a smooth, deliberate manner, aided by a seven-speed automatic transmission that shifts quickly but gently. Mercedes says the GLK250 takes 7.9 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is 1.5 seconds slower than the gasoline GLK350, and it certainly isn't athletic or sprightly. But the engine's calling card is a deep font of torque that makes passing, merging, and powering up hills effortless. Put your foot down to overtake, and you can pick up 20 mph with no drama. The GLK250 never feels underpowered, despite having 102 fewer horsepower than the GLK350.
The one demerit is a persistent diesel clatter that is especially noticeable in low-speed urban driving. A gentle pitter-patter permeates the firewall, and the engine note under acceleration is a gruff, low-pitched thrum. None of the noises are offensive, but they're a constant reminder that a compression-ignition mill is at work under the hood. It's a very small price to pay for the efficiency on offer -- we saw an indicated 30.4 mpg on our 90-mile test drive.
Business As Usual
Aside from power delivery, the BlueTec model drives just like any other Mercedes SUV. Body motions are well-damped and the GLK250 is controlled and stable, though not particularly sporty, on undulating rural roads. The suspension soaks up bumps so all but the biggest impacts are heard rather than felt. The upright seating position and windshield provide excellent visibility in cut-and-thrust city traffic. A refresh for 2013 brought tauter front and rear fascias, an updated instrument cluster, circular air vents from the SL-Class, and a column shifter that makes room for a storage cubby in the center console. The 2013 GLK250 is handsome inside and out.
Only the BlueTec badging betrays the difference between a GLK250 and a GLK350. The standard equipment list is identical for both versions and includes dual-zone climate control, roof rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-speaker sound system, and power front seats; options include a self-park feature, a panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels, leather seats, adaptive cruise control, and push-button start. Although there's a rear-wheel-drive version of the GLK350, the diesel comes only with 4Matic to help Mercedes reduce its number of vehicle variants.
The GLK250 BlueTec is efficient, well-sorted, and just as appealing as the gasoline-powered version. Picking the diesel requires almost no compromises yet brings the twin benefits of lower fuel consumption and a $500 cheaper entry price (compared with the GLK350 4Matic). Customers looking for an economical luxury crossover owe it to themselves to consider the BlueTec. Even so, it will surely not sell in big numbers: diesels account for just six percent of all new Mercedes sales in the U.S.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTec 4Matic

On sale: Now
Price: $39,495 (including $905 destination charge)
Engine: 2.1L turbodiesel I-4, 200 hp and 369 lb-ft
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drive: 4-wheel
Towing: 3500 pounds
Fuel Economy: 24/33 mpg (city/highway)
2013 Mercedes Benz GLK250 Front Left Side View
The Mercedes-Benz GLK first went on sale at the beginning of 2009 as a 2010 model, which means Mercedes' baby G just celebrated its third birthday. So the corporate parent is lavishing some attention on its littlest SUV. Outside, there's more chrome, LED lighting front and rear, and a slightly redone front end. Inside, the driver is presented with a new dashboard with a sportier, richer-looking instrument cluster, and bisected by a large trim piece featuring prominent, round air vents.
The GLK350's 3.5-liter V-6 is a new, direct-injected unit, and with it, output increases to 302 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque -- up from 268 hp and 258 pound-feet. The seven-speed automatic returns, although a dainty little column stalk now handles gear selection, as per popular Benz practice. (There are paddles for up- and down-shifts). Mercedes' automatic stop/start system comes standard with this engine. The system works well, although it's not quite as seamless as you'll find in the best hybrids. (It can also be switched off.)
The bigger powertrain news arrives in January, in the form of a diesel engine option. Unlike the six-cylinder oil-burner in the ML and the GL, this is a four-cylinder diesel, the first four-cylinder diesel in a U.S. Mercedes since the 1984 190D. Although a four-cylinder diesel is unusual for a Mercedes-Benz in the USA, that's hardly the case in Europe. Indeed, the 2.1-liter turbodiesel that we're getting in the GLK250 CDI is widely used in the home market, where it's found under the hood of Benzes big and small, from the A-class right on up to the S-class. In the GLK250, it makes 190 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the gasoline V-6, which is available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, the diesel will be 4Matic only.
EPA fuel economy figures for the diesel are still a ways off, but we can tell you that in the European test cycle it's nearly 25 percent more efficient than the GLK350; ours probably won't do quite as well, however, because the U.S. diesel doesn't get the auto stop/start system. Will the diesel engine cost extra? Mercedes isn't saying, only acknowledging that the GLK250 will be equipped similarly to the GLK350 4Matic.
In a test drive in the French Alps, we found the diesel's characteristic clatter to be quite muted, but it's there. In contrast, the super-smooth gasoline engine emits a subtle growl when provoked. Although the hefty torque makes the turbodiesel generally quite responsive, in flat-out acceleration it can't match the much larger gasoline engine. Mercedes estimates a 0-to-62 mph time of 8.0 seconds for the diesel, versus 6.5 seconds for the V-6.
In most other ways, the GLK is as we remember. On the tightly coiled mountain roads it exhibits a fair degree of body roll -- it's not as athletic as a BMW X3. The ride is firm and controlled but not harsh, despite the standard 19-inch wheels -- twenties are optional. Electric power steering is new for the GLK, and its efforts are natural enough to pass for a well-tuned hydraulic system; the electric assist also enables a newly optional automatic parking feature.
As before, the GLK feels small from behind the wheel. The upright windshield makes for a shallow dash, and the windshield itself is quite narrow. The side glass, though, is relatively large, which staves off claustrophobia. Also, the rear seat is surprisingly roomy. The cargo hold, though, is quite petite, unless the rear seats are folded.
One thing we definitely did not remember was how the GLK handles itself off road, probably because -- like most owners -- we had never driven it off road. But we had a chance to do just that, in a GLK250 equipped with a special package consisting of hill descent control, an off-road mode for the throttle mapping and shift points, a slightly higher ride height, and underbody skid plates. Thus kitted out -- and wearing all-terrain tires -- the GLK ably picked its way around an off-road course of slick mud, some rocks, and a few hill climbs and descents. The electronic all-wheel-drive system was able to stop in a muddy two-track on a fairly steep hill and easily start up again. Alas, the off-road package won't be offered to U.S. buyers. Instead, the 2013 GLK adds a phalanx of new driver-assistance options, including lane departure warning, blind-spot assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive high-beams, and the aforementioned active parking assist.
The additional equipment is perhaps a sign that Mercedes-Benz is looking to make the Baby G more of a full-fledged member of the family. But what the GLK needs most in order to be a more convincing Mercedes is to trade its dowdy look for some more stylish duds. That day, unfortunately, is still a few years off.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK

On sale: August, January (GLK350, GLK250CDI)
Base price: $36,000 (GLK350, estimated)
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6
Power: 302 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drive: Rear- or four-wheel
Curb weight: 4079 lb
Wheels: 7.5 x 19-inch wheels
Tires: 235/50R19
2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

New For 2013

The GLK benefits from a much-needed freshening for 2013. The V-6 engine is replaced with a more powerful unit, and a 2.1-liter diesel four-cylinder is a new offering in the U.S. The update brings the small Benz’s interior in line with our expectations. All the GLK needs now is to trade its dowdy look for some more stylish duds.


Although the German home market gets to enjoy the C-class in wagon form, Mercedes-Benz has wisely chosen a small SUV to take on the role of a compact utility vehicle here in the U.S. The GLK-class looks nothing like the C-class on which it’s based, of course. The boxy, upright exterior is a departure from its carlike competitors (chiefly, the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5) and gives the GLK an advantage in passenger and cargo space and in outward visibility. The rear seat is roomy, and the driver reaps the benefits of a redesigned interior with a more stylish dashboard and instrument cluster. We don’t, however, count the flimsy gear selector on the steering column as an improvement. It’s all good under the hood, though, where there are two new engines. The 3.5-liter V-6 is a polished, powerful mill with the ability to save fuel by automatically shutting down when the car comes to a stop. Those seeking even greater efficiency will want to opt for the new diesel four-cylinder. Sold as the GLK250 BlueTec, the 2.1-liter engine is suitably lively and well mannered to serve in this $38,000 luxury crossover. The GLK rides comfortably on standard nineteen-inch wheels, but it exhibits too much body roll in corners. The X3 and the Q5 offer better handling and a sporty character that is absent in the Mercedes.


ABS; front, front side and pelvis, side curtain, and driver’s knee air bags; traction and stability control; and tire-pressure monitoring are standard. Optional equipment includes swiveling headlights, lane-departure warning, blind-spot assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive high-beams, and active parking assist.

You'll like:

  • Pleasant ride
  • Plenty of space
  • Great engines

You won't like:

  • Frumpy styling
  • Unimpressive handling

Key Competitors For The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

  • Audi Q5
  • BMW X3
  • Infiniti EX37
  • Volvo XC60
2013 Mercedes Benz GLK250 BlueTEC Front Three Quarter
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).
Mercedes Benz GLA Class Rear Three Quarter
We’ve already seen no less than three models based on the Mercedes-Benz MFA platform and if you think the automaker is finished developing variants from the chassis, think again. Shown in the following photos is the newest MFA family member, a compact crossover expected to be called the GLA. The BMW X1 and Audi Q3 are just a couple expected competitors once it hits the market. The tester is debadged and covered up, but a number of Benz styling cues are visible including its door handles, two-bar front grille, and headlights that mimic the A-Class. Unlike the A-Class hatch, this test mule has a slightly higher ride height and a sharply angled rear hatch, both of which give it a distinct crossover appearance. Earlier this year Mercedes-Benz confirmed it would produce the GLA at its Rastatt, Germany plant, where the new A-Class is currently being built. Details haven’t been released, but it should share the same front-drive powertrain options as the A and B-Class, as well as the CLA sedan unveiled at the 2012 Beijing auto show. The CLA is expected to arrive in the U.S. with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas I-4 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. We expect all-wheel drive will be optional and wouldn’t be surprised if AMG got their hands on this model as well. Should Mercedes decide to bring the GLA to our shores, expect to see it here sometime in 2014. For now, the only MFA-based model confirmed for the U.S. market is the CLA sedan, which is scheduled to arrive next summer or fall. No word if we’ll see the A-Class in the U.S., but current rumors speculate that the B-Class could arrive here as an electric vehicle in 2014.  

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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
GLK350 RWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
19 MPG City | 25 MPG Hwy
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
GLK350 RWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
GLK350 RWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.5L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
19 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
25 MPG
302 hp @ 6500rpm
273 ft lb of torque @ 3500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD
  • Navigation
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Unlimited miles / 999 months
IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $43,214 What's This?
Value Rating: Poor