Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is a line of small luxury crossover SUVs with fresh design and upscale features you'd expect from the German brand. Although it's not the roomiest of the class, the GLK-Class has refined driving dynamics and a distinct personality all its own.

Sharing its unit-body chassis with the C-Class compact sedan, the GLK-Class is a crossover SUV. Its four-wheel independent suspension with McPherson struts in front and a multi-link arrangement in the rear is the stuff of cars, and it's perfectly suited to the GLK-Class.

The current-generation Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class was refreshed for the 2013 model year. For 2014, the GLK-Class carries over mostly unchanged, save for a few color, package and option changes.

Introduced late last year, the newest GLK-Class variant is the GLK250 Bluetec, which uses a four-cylinder diesel engine designed to meet strict U.S. emissions regulations. The 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel is rated 190 hp and 369 lb.-ft. of torque, which kicks in between 1600 and 1800 rpm. The GLK250 comes standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive. For road trips and long freeway commutes, we're a fan of the clean-diesel engine, which offers plenty of range and low-end grunt and an EPA-estimated 24/33 mpg City/Highway, making it the most efficient of the GLK-Class.

The 2014 GLK350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine with direct fuel injection, rated at 268 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque from 2000-5000 rpm. It's available with rear-wheel drive (2WD) or Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic all-wheel drive. Fuel economy estimates for the 2014 GLK350 are 18/25 mpg City/Highway and 19/25 mpg City/Highway on 4Matic versions. Premium unleaded gasoline is required for both versions.

There's no mistaking the 2014 GLK-Class for anything but a Mercedes-Benz. Bold bumpers, headlights and front end all bear a clear family resemblance, complete with the giant three-point star integrated into the front grille. Design features are reminiscent of the GL-Class full-size SUV, including the sharp crease along the sides of the hood.

Inside is an attractive, functional cabin with a design and materials that are improved over previous generations. Large air vents have are stylish and easy to aim. We found the standard vinyl upholstery is nice, and very close in look and feel to genuine leather. The driver's seat was comfortable. The rear seats were comfortable for two adults, and a nicely trimmed cargo compartment opens up to a nearly flat space when the rear seatbacks are flipped down.

We found the new GLK350 delightful to drive. It's quick, capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 6.4 seconds, which is impressive performance, and we found it stable at 95 miles per hour. Handling is crisp and responsive on winding roads, while on the highway it's quiet and comfortable. We felt no fatigue in five hours of driving.

We're also impressed by the GLK250 Bluetec. Though the characteristic ticking of the diesel engine was audible from outside the vehicle and in the cabin at lower speeds, we didn't find it obtrusive. Acceleration is smoother and quieter than one might expect, and the low-end torque typical of diesels didn't disappoint. We'd recommend this variant for freeway commutes and long road trips.

Those considering the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class might also want to look at the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Cadillac SRX, most of which offer more backseat and cargo space than the GLK-Class.


2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class has been thoroughly revised for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and the new GLK250 BlueTEC feature fresh styling and redesigned cabins with the latest technology, and each boasts new engines.

The 2013 GLK350 comes with a redesigned 3.5-liter V6 engine with the latest-generation direct fuel injection (which replaces the conventional port injection). Engine output increases by 34 horsepower and torque by 15 pound-feet. EPA fuel economy ratings have been improved with the addition of a start/stop function that shuts the engine off when the car is stopped.

The 3.5-liter V6 in the 2013 GLK350 is rated at 268 horsepower at 6000 rpm, 258 pound-feet of torque from 2000-5000 rpm. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2013 GLK350 at 16/22 miles per gallon City/Highway. Premium unleaded gasoline is required. Rear-wheel drive (2WD) is standard, 4MATIC all-wheel drive is optional.

We found the new GLK350 delightful to drive. Its quick, capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 6.4 seconds, which is impressive performance, and we found it stable at 95 miles per hour. Handling is crisp and responsive on winding roads, while on the highway its quiet and comfortable. We felt no fatigue in five hours of driving.

The 2013 GLK250 BlueTEC is a new model that features a four-cylinder diesel engine designed to meet strict Bin 5 U.S. emissions regulations. The 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel is rated 190 hp at 4200 rpm, 369 lb-ft of torque from 1600-1800 rpm. The GLK250 comes standard with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The GLK250 BlueTEC is expected to go on sale in early 2013, and pricing and fuel economy ratings will be available then.

The 2013 GLK-Class are good-looking SUVs. The revised styling presents a more athletic appearance than before. Its lines are more angular, intended to share the design language of the new 2013 GL-Class full-size SUV. The new styling doesnt attract much attention and people dont seem to see it as a new design, but its a handsome mid-cycle update and owners will likely not tire of looking at it.

Inside is a more attractive, more functional cabin than whats found in pre-2013 models. The new dash looks more elegant, more upscale than before. Big round air vents have been modernized and are easy to aim. New connectivity features have been designed with the goal of helping us simplify our lives. We found the standard vinyl upholstery nice, it was hard to tell it wasnt leather. The drivers seat was comfortable. The rear seats were comfortable for two adults, and a nicely trimmed cargo compartment opens up to a nearly flat space when the rear seatbacks are flipped down.

The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class competes primarily with the BMW X3 and Acura RDX (all-new for 2013).


 

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