The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class doesn't have enough ratings to earn a Valid Total Car Score.
First introduced three years ago, the GLK-Class underwent a thorough freshening for 2013 to keep it competitive in a very crowded -- and talented -- vehicle segment. The GLK’s exterior gets a new look thanks to revised bumpers, a new grille and newly shaped headlamps. Inside, the instrument panel has been redesigned, the shift lever has moved to the steering column, and there’s extensive use of walnut burl trim to enhance the cabin’s premium feel.
Most significant, though, are changes to the GLK’s powertrain. The GLK350’s previous gas V6 has been replaced by a direct-injection V6 that produces substantially more power -- 302 horsepower versus the previous V6’s 268 -- but should also be more fuel efficient, thanks to a new start/stop system and a seven-speed transmission tuned for economy.
The true fuel misers, though, may want to wait a few months for the GLK250 and its 2.1-liter turbodiesel, the only diesel engine option available in this segment. Fuel economy numbers haven’t been released, but Mercedes-Benz expects it to be best-in-class.
There is a trade-off, though, as early road tests have found the little diesel struggles to move the GLK with much authority, especially from a stop. Once the engine gets up in its power band, though, responsiveness improves.
Mercedes-Benz has equipped the GLK with a number of electronic safety aids, including a standard Attention Assist system that nags drowsy drivers, and optional Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control, parking sensors (and a park-assist system), lane alert and blind-spot warning devices.
All those features, and Mercedes-Benz’s quality reputation, will certainly put the 2013 GLK-Class at the premium end of the entry-luxury crossover segment. Whether these traits will keep it competitive in the class remains to be seen.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is a five-door five-passenger entry-luxury crossover vehicle. At its debut in the summer of 2012 it will be available with a single gasoline engine (the GLK350 model), though early in 2013 an optional diesel engine will become available (and called the GLK250).
The gas engine is a new 3.5-liter direct injection V6 that makes 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The late-availability diesel is a 2.1-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 190 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Backing both engines is a seven-speed automatic transmission (with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters) that powers all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4Matic permanent AWD.
The GLK-Class is available in a single trim level that can be upgraded with stand-alone options and a number of option packages. Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, Mercedes' Attention Assist driver-alert system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt/telescope steering column, power front seats, and a 5.8-inch touch screen to control in-cabin functions, including Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system.
Stand-alone options include satellite radio, a premium Harmon-Kardon audio system, parking assist, a panoramic sunroof, powered liftgate, heated front seats and a rear-seat entertainment system. Option packages run the gamut from a full-leather seating package (that also includes ambient lighting) to a multi-media package (with a rearview camera, enhanced voice controls and hard-drive-based navigation), a driver assistance package (with adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot and lane-keeping assist), and an AMG styling package (with AMG body pieces, 20-inch wheels and LED daytime running lamps).
The EPA has not yet released fuel economy data for the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.
Properly equipped, the 2013 GLK-Class, equipped with either engine, will tow up to 3,500 pounds.
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