Decidedly evolutionary in its refresh, the 2013 GLK is characterized largely by the same sharp lines as the model it replaces, but now, the creases and sculpting is slightly more rounded and more dynamic in appearance. While the exterior has had its sharp edges smoothed out, the interior has likewise been updated, with those SLS AMG-derived retro air vents dominating the restyled dashboard and the gearshift lever moving to a stalk on the steering column in similar fashion to other recent Three-Pointed Star vehicles.
The biggest news, however, comes under the hood. While the existing GLK was only offered with a single engine, the new model will be available in two specs: the GLK350 with direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 now good for 302 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque (up from 268hp and 258 lb-ft), or the GLK250 BlueTEC diesel that, at 190 hp and 369 lb-ft, offers less power but far more twist from its 2.1 liters and four cylinders. While the updated GLK350 will be available starting in the summer, American buyers intent on the diesel will have to wait until early next year. Both are mated to a seven-speed automatic with stop-start system, and can be had in either rear-drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive.
There's plenty more to delve into in the press release after the jump, and a whole mess of high-resolution photos in the gallery, so check 'em out and watch this space for live coverage from the vehicle's unveiling in New York.
With a fresh new design, exclusive equipment, pioneering assistance systems and efficient and agile engines, the restyled 2013MY GLK-Class reaffirms its leadership in the entry-level SUV segment. The newly designed exterior provides an even more dynamic character, combining classic SUV styling with the design language of the current Mercedes-Benz sedans. High-quality materials, new equipment, fully redesigned trim and new infotainment systems – nearly 1,000 new parts in total – are all part of the new GLK driving experience. The 2013MY GLK impresses with a range of state-of-the-art assistance systems and comprehensive efficiency features such as the ECO stop/start function, which is standard equipment. In addition, the BlueTEC diesel emission control system makes its debut in the GLK line on the GLK250 BlueTEC. "In the GLK, we have a dynamic lifestyle SUV offering a winning combination of intelligent technology and character in abundance," says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It will further bolster our SUV portfolio, making a vital contribution to Mercedes-Benz's global growth in this market segment." Assembled in Bremen, Germany the 2013MY GLK350 will be in U.S. showrooms this summer, followed by the GLK250 BlueTEC in early 2013.
The GLK offers outstanding driving dynamics, excellent safety and superlative ride comfort. In addition to the rear-wheel drive version, the 4MATIC model with permanent all-wheel drive delivers phenomenal grip even in the most adverse conditions – both on and off-road. Like all SUVs from Mercedes-Benz – if it says "G" on it, then there's "G" in it. In fact, the forefather of all modern-day Mercedes-Benz SUVs – the G-Class – is now in its 33rd model year and is also undergoing a significant restyling.
New interpretation of the characteristic GLK design
The exterior gives the GLK an even more athletic look. The body combines classic offroad elements with the design language of the current Mercedes-Benz sedans. Tight lines, taut surfaces and the smooth, well-proportioned front and rear ends blend perfectly with the GLK body design that clearly identifies it as a functional SUV. These include short overhangs, an upright front end, slender roof pillars, a steep windshield and taut roof line. The body design is not simply a matter of styling; it takes the features of classic all-terrain vehicles and applies them to the entry-level SUV class. Key off-road details, like approach and departure angle and ground clearance make the GLK fully capable of mastering hostile terrain. Its compact body and good all-around visibility combine with an excellent seating position to enhance everyday usability and relaxed driving.
Beneath the newly-designed headlamps, both models feature LED daytime running lights framed in chrome. The radiator grille with two louvers and the Mercedes-Benz star at the center reflects the design language of current passenger car models. The louvers are painted silver with chrome inserts. The headlamps are a reinterpretation of the signature Mercedes lighting design. The standard automatic headlamps feature LED daytime running lights and locator lighting, while the optional Lighting Package comes with bi-xenon headlamps with active curve illumination, Active Highbeam Assist and a headlamp cleaning system. The redesigned roof rails enhance the side profile of the 2013MY GLK-Class.
The rear bumper gives a bold, sporty character to the GLK's rear end, styled to emphasize breadth and incorporating a sophisticated tail light design. The new chrome skidplate and chrome-plated tailpipe trim are further visual enhancements. The tail lights have been completely redesigned in both appearance and function. Light guides and LEDs give the rear end of the GLK a unique and characteristic night design, which is further enhanced by new LED lights for the license plate.
Brushed aluminum running boards with rubber studs and a power panorama sunroof are both available as standalone options, delivering further premium appeal and functionality to the GLK.
As part of the restyling, the designers have also developed new 5-triple-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels with 235/50 R 19 all-season tires as standard equipment. The Appearance package offers 20-inch 5-twin-spoke wheels.
The AMG Styling Package for the GLK
A further wheel option is available with the AMG Styling Package for customers who appreciate that extra shot of sporty elegance. The 20-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke alloys are complemented by AMG front and rear skirts, AMG grille with two chrome louvers, AMG LED daytime running lights and aluminum roof rails.
GLK interior – even more premium, greater comfort
The revised interior of the 2013MY GLK offers design, premium feel and a choice of materials comparable with a higher class of vehicle. The interior designers at the Mercedes-Benz Design Studio in Sindelfingen have completely redesigned the dashboard. A large trim piece in burl walnut spans its entire width, while the new round air vents and further trim elements in Silver Shadow add to the premium feel of the interior. Standard equipment also includes a premium leather multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and a premium 4.5-inch color display in the instrument cluster. New upholstery colors and seat designs in a range of MB-Tex and leather are also offered, while the Full Leather Seating package includes interior ambient lighting featuring LED fiber-optic technology for the first time in the GLK. In addition to full leather seating (including door panels in MB-Tex), the package also incorporates front passenger seat memory and comfort headrests. Heated front seats are available as a standalone option.
The range of standard MB-Tex upholstery includes Black, Almond/Beige and Grey, while the choice of available genuine leather is Black, Mocha and Almond.
New for the 2013MY, the Direct Select shifter for the seven-speed automatic transmission is ergonomically located on the steering column. This frees-up space in the center console for cup holders set in a precision-finish Silver Shadow frame, which can be covered by a retractable cover finished in burl walnut.
Infotainment – better entertainment, better information
Standard infotainment equipment for the new GLK includes a six-speaker sound system with an AM/FM radio, single CD player and MP3 capability, as well as a Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling and a central controller with a 5.8-inch color display. The optional Multimedia package incorporates a larger 7-inch display with a rearview camera, enhanced voice control and the COMAND system with hard-drive navigation. SIRIUSXM satellite radio and an iPod/MP3 media interface are included in the Premium1 package or are available individually as standalone options.
Audiophiles can opt for the Harman Kardon® Logic 7® surround sound system including 7-channel DSP amplifier and 2-channel booster with a total output of 510 W in conjunction with 12 high-performance speakers, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS.
Assistance systems take the GLK to the top of its class
Available assistance systems familiar from the S- and E-Class deliver even greater active safety and improved driver fitness, taking the compact SUV to the very top of its class.
The available Lane Tracking package features Blind Spot Assist & Lane Keeping Assist, while the Driver Assistance package offers DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE® Brake, Brake Assist Plus, Active Blind Spot Assist & Active Lane Keeping Assist.
Available as a standalone option is PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist for automatic maneuvering in and out of parking spaces. And for added comfort and convenience, there is KEYLESS-GO.
Efficient, clean, powerful – the GLK's drivetrain
The 2013MY GLK350 and GLK350 4MATIC are both powered by a fuel-efficient 3.5- liter direct-injection V6 gasoline engine generating 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque from 3,500 to 5,250 rpm.
This refined engine delivers dynamic and smooth performance, accelerating the GLK350 and GLK350 4MATIC from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds (est.). Top speed is 130 mph. This new motor also features Mercedes-Benz's ECO stop/start system for even better fuel economy, particularly in city and suburban driving conditions. The ground-breaking technology in this leading generation of V6 & V8 engines from Mercedes-Benz includes third-generation spray-guided direct fuel injection with piezo injectors. In combination with multi-spark ignition, this technology offers further potential for fuel savings.
The GLK 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC boasts the most powerful four-cylinder diesel engine in the SUV world. The direct-injection engine rated at 190 hp and generating 369 lb-ft of torque from 2,143 cc enables the GLK to perform superbly. Key merits are the engine's torquey character, its top speed and its flexibility. Despite its formidable performance, this GLK model is extremely frugal when it comes to fuel consumption.
The seven-speed automatic transmission, which is standard equipment on the GLK, boasts even lower torque-converter slip and optimized efficiency. The new torsion damper plays a central role by effectively eliminating torsional irregularities and vibrations in the transmission. The lower the rpm and the number of cylinders, the more severe these can be, resulting in a conflict between comfort and fuel-efficient operation. Mercedes-Benz engineers resolved this by using what is known as a twin- turbine damper. Depending on the rpm, this shifts the center of mass and allows comfortable operation even in the most economical operating range. Furthermore, optimized damping delivers a significant reduction in the slip of the torque converter lockup clutch even under low loads, which also contributes to fuel savings. This technology allows an even faster response to accelerator input. Friction-optimized bearings and new transmission oil thermal management offer further improvements in fuel economy. The new transmission is also designed to work best with a new type of low-drag ATF fluid, colored blue instead of the usual red.
An ECO display in the instrument cluster is standard equipment, and enables the driver to monitor how driving style impacts fuel economy.
Refined chassis for outstanding handling
The 2013MY GLK displays exceptional handling characteristics for enhanced on-road performance and comfort. The new electromechanical steering setup is precise and responsive, harmonizing perfectly with the Agility Control suspension system with selective damping system for excellent cornering and a refined ride. The new GLK features independent suspension at all four corners, with a 3-link geometry up front and a multilink setup at the rear.
Highly effective braking is delivered by ventilated discs measuring 13 inches at the front and 11.8 inches at the rear. The front brakes feature dual-piston calipers.
Outstanding active and passive safety as standard
The restyled GLK-Class again incorporates the integral safety concept in keeping with Mercedes-Benz's brand philosophy, which is based first and foremost on real-life accident scenarios. The GLK's highly robust occupant cell provides an effective foundation for the occupant protection systems in conjunction with the front and rear deformation zones.
Standard equipment in the 2013MY GLK includes ATTENTION ASSIST drowsy driver detection, 3 additional airbags for a total of 9 –dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags, driver kneebag, driver and passenger pelvic airbag and window curtain airbags front and rear – plus NECK-PRO active front head restraints. Child safety is enhanced with rear door child safety locks, the universal LATCH system on the 2nd row outboard seats and Top Tether anchors for child seats (2nd row seats). Further standard equipment includes:
- Seat occupancy recognition for front passenger seat
- Crash-responsive pedals
- 3 head restraints in the rear, adjustable for height and tilt.
- 3-point seat belts including mechanical belt height adjustment and belt force limiter for driver and front passenger plus automatic belt height adjustment on the outer rear seats.
Active safety is supported by the following items of equipment:
- ADAPTIVE BRAKE including Hill-Start Assist, HOLD function, brake drying in the wet and priming
- AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system
- Antilock Brake System (ABS)
- Acceleration Skid Control (ASR)
- Brake Assist (BAS), assisting the driver with additional brake power when emergency braking is detected
- Direct-Steer system with speed-sensitive power assistance and variable steering ratio
- ESP® Electronic Stability Program including trailer stabilization
- 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with 4ETS electronic traction system
- Advanced tire pressure monitoring system
Impressive range of standard features and premium packages
The 2013MY GLK-Class offers an outstanding array of premium equipment, including details that are generally reserved for larger premium vehicles.
Both the GLK350 and GLK350 4MATIC come with a comprehensive range of equipment designed to optimize safety, comfort and agility for the occupants and to relieve the strain on the driver both on long trips and in urban traffic. The standard scope of interior features includes 8-way power adjustable front seats with height and backrest adjustment, armrests for driver and front passenger with a storage compartment beneath, front and rear cup holders, dual-zone automatic climate control with dust filter, 12 V sockets in the center console and luggage compartment, power windows with express up and down and automatic reversing function, and a trip computer with current consumption indicator.
Rain sensor, central locking with infrared radio remote control, and cruise control are all standard features, as well as privacy glass and heated, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors in body color with integrated indicators.
The exterior paint choices for the new GLK extend to twelve metallic and non-metallic paints.
With the Premium 1 package, GLK customers are offered an extensive array of enhancements, including auto-dimming mirrors, driver-seat memory with 4-way lumbar support and power tilt/telescoping steering column, a power liftgate, iPod/MP3 media interface, SIRIUSXM satellite radio, panorama sunroof, 115V AC power outlet, integrated garage door opener and a compass in the rear view mirror.
Other available packages are the Full Leather Seating package, Lighting package, Appearance package, AMG Styling package, Multimedia package, Lane Tracking package and Driver Assistance package.
Mercedes offers the most diverse range of SUVs
The most diverse range of SUVs in the premium segment comes from Mercedes-Benz globally. A total of five model lines are available around the world. R, M and GL-Class round off the successful family alongside the compact GLK and the classic "G" allterrain vehicle.
The G-Class is the longest-serving model series from Mercedes-Benz, and has been in production now for 33 years. Originally designed back in 1979 as a vehicle for tough off-road use, the G-Class has undergone an astounding evolutionary process. Over the course of 33 years, Mercedes-Benz has refined the initially function-oriented off-road specialist, providing it with a premium interior and on-road handling improvements. The G-Class is recognized as the top model among luxury off-road vehicles, also providing the gene pool for the other successful SUVs from the Mercedes-Benz brand. The G-Class has been voted off-road vehicle of the year countless times over the past decades – most recently last year.
The most successful Mercedes-Benz SUV, with sales topping 1,000,000 worldwide, is the M-Class, which went on-sale in the U.S. in 1997 and is regarded as the forerunner of all modern premium SUVs. The third generation made its U.S. debut in September 2011.
The beginning of 2012 marked another milestone for the SUV models from Mercedes- Benz. From the market launch of the G-Class 33 years ago until the end of 2011, over two million models have been delivered to customers. SUVs account for around one fifth of Mercedes-Benz's global sales. The U.S. is by far the largest market for the entire SUV family, including the M-Class, the GLK-Class and the GL-Class. The secondlargest market for off-road vehicles as a whole is China, followed by Germany. The GClass off-road classic enjoys its greatest popularity in Germany, while strongest demand for the R-Class comes from China.
Performance/Availability: o Summer 2012 – 2013 GLK350: 302hp, 273 lb-ft (Previously 268hp, 258 lb-ft) o Summer 2012 – 2013 GLK350 4MATIC: 302hp, 273 lb-ft (Previously 268hp, 258 lb-ft) o Early 2013 – 2013 GLK250 BlueTEC 4MATIC: 190hp, 369 lb-ft New Standard Feature Highlights: o Direct-injection 3.5-liter gasoline V6 engine o 2.1-liter diesel I4 engine o ECO Stop/Start o Direct Select Shifter o Color instrument cluster display o Electromechanical steering o Nearly 1,000 new parts o ATTENTION ASSIST New Optional Feature Highlights: o Ambient Lighting o Active Parking Assist o AMG Exterior Styling Package o Driver Assistance Package o Adaptive Highbeam Assist