Mercedes-Benz GLK Updated for 2013

March 22nd, 2012

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

It’s clunky, still, and goes against most present design trends, but the new Benz GLK-Class embodies many changes and looks better than its predecessors.

The thing most writers and commenters have criticized is the big chrome trapezoidal lip in front (a bumper, I guess). That’s a miscue, in both shape and finish. Otherwise, it looks like what it is, an SUV with class.

Two engines will be offered in the U.S.: The GLK350 will have a 3.5-liter V6 with 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. This gets you to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. The GLK250 BlueTEC gets a 2.1-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder, upgraded from the European version to meet U.S. specs and provide a bit more power. Output is 190 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.

You can’t get the diesel until early 2013, but that’s the one I’d want. It will offer extra torque and better mileage (figures yet to come). Front-wheel drive is standard; 4Matic 4WD is optional. A 7-speed automatic is standard, with speed controls on the steering column to free up space for larger cupholders, per the press release and Motor Trend. See photo after the break.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, interiorThe official debut will come next month at the New York Auto Show.

There will be all kinds of techno-goodies, of course, including Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Park Assist, Fried Chicken Assist (to find the nearest KFC store; not available in Europe) and other “improved” infotainment features.

The interior has been upgraded and trimmed out better than in the 2012 models. Prices for 2012 cars now range from $35,500 to $37,500. You can be sure the new GLKs will cost more, but they still may offer better value than competing cars from Audi, BMW and Infiniti.

Would you want a nice, new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class? Why, or why not?

—jgoods

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  1. Randy
    March 23rd, 2012 at 17:40 | #1

    I really can’t complain about your coverage– you cover everything from Datsuns to Diablos. While I don’t always agree, there’s always something interesting to read and comment on.

  2. jgoods
    March 22nd, 2012 at 21:43 | #2

    @ panayoti
    I suppose it was an X5, maybe 4-5 years ago. Great transmission, nice handling for a big bulky car, and so-so mileage. You know, cars like this are not for the mass market and probably cost too much, but they are truly more exciting and less pedestrian than the affordable Hondas, Fords, etc., and that’s why we write about them. And we have our differences: tgriffith likes Mustangs; I think they’re awful.

    We come back to the old point about car writers and “enthusiasts” writing about furrin and specialized cars vs. the stuff that we can more readily afford. I read hi-fi magazines and have been a hi-fi person for years. The stuff advertised and reviewed therein, some of it, is horrendously expensive, but I read most of those reviews because it’s nice to know what state-of-the-art is, even if I will never be able to afford it. And certainly there’s a point of diminishing returns, after which you’re just throwing money away on status, sounds you can’t hear, and miniscule differences.

    The other point is practicality and consumer need vs. engineering, style and driveability. You know how our comments run: If we wrote more about Hondas and Chevys, would be doing CarGurus readers a favor? They can get all the info they need about such cars on many other sites, including ours. We do, however, cover stuff like the Impala (see tgriffith today), Datsuns and Buicks (me last week).

    Put it like this: I’d much rather have a used GLK than a new Honda CRV for the same money. But it all depends on what you need–and what you find “uninteresting and boring.” Doesn’t it?

  3. panayoti
    March 22nd, 2012 at 19:12 | #3

    To this day I do not understand the inordinate amount of space, type and hype these foreign vehicles get. They are not vehicles that largely draw the praise of reviewers in the SUV or CUV segment. Their cars do much better than in this segment. What I have deduced is that scribes think that since they build a great car they must therefore make a great SUV and that they must therefore write or test that vehicle. I hear owners of these luxury SUVs constantly whine about the breakdowns, garage time, outrageous parts prices and horrible mileage. They are largely equipped with technology packages and safety features that drives the price to extraordinary levels.

    Most, though certainly not all, of these foreign brands do everything at least as well if not better than standard issue Hondas, Toyotas, Fords and Chevys. Most however cannot be purchase for less than $40K and more than some call for premium fuel. I’m not writing to rag on what people want to buy since that is their choice. There is an ass for every seat and we live in America where you can do anything you want to do, within reason. I’m also not ragging on the fact that there can be a lot of money involved for a so so vehicle. My point is the space given to vehicles that are for the most part pedestrian and not very exciting, fill up too many blogs, magazines, and papers and for the most part are not selling in huge numbers. So why do we spend so much time writing and talking about largely uninteresting, dull, boring vehicles. Are you really excited about talking about an MDX, ML500, X-5, QX45?? What was the most “exciting” large SUV you’ve ever driven, senor??

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