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.
The 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?