2013 GLK-Class New Car Test Drive
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. 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.
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 doesn't attract much attention and people don't seem to see it as a new design, but it's a handsome mid-cycle update and owners will likely not tire of looking at it.
Inside is a more attractive, more functional cabin than what's 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 wasn't 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.
The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class competes primarily with the BMW X3 and Acura RDX (all-new for 2013).
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class comes in two versions: GLK350 with 3.5-liter V6 ($37,090) and GLK250 BlueTEC with 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel (early 2013). GLK350 comes with a choice of rear-wheel drive (2WD) or 4MATIC all-wheel drive ($39,090). GLK250 BlueTEC comes standard with 4MATIC. All GLK-Class come with a 7-speed automatic transmission.
The 2013 GLK-Class comes with dual-zone automatic climate control with dust filter, MB-Tex upholstery, eight-way power adjustable front seats, Burl Walnut Wood Trim, central controller with 5.8-inch color display, 4.5-inch color instrument cluster display, trip computer, three-spoke multifunction premium leather steering wheel with shift paddles, tilt and telescoping steering column, cruise control, automatic headlamps with twilight sensor and locator lighting, intermittent wipers, rear-window intermittent wiper and washer, 6-speaker sound system with auxiliary input, single CD player with MP3 capability, AM/FM radio with weather band, Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling, folding second row seat, rear cargo cover, roof rails, exterior chrome accents and chrome load sill plate, power windows with express up and down, privacy glass, front and rear cupholders.
Options: Full Leather Seating Package ($2,100) upgrades to full leather seating, leather-trimmed door panels, front passenger-seat memory, comfort headrests, interior ambient lighting. Premium 1 Package ($3,450) includes Panorama sunroof, power liftgate, driver memory for power seat settings, four-way lumbar support for driver's seat, power tilt/telescope steering column, with four-way iPod/MP3 interface, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, 115-volt AC outlet in cargo area, integrated garage door opener, compass in rearview mirror. A Lighting Package ($1,290) includes a headlight cleaning system, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, bi-xenon headlights with active curve illumination. An Appearance Package ($990) substitutes 20-inch wheels and aluminum roof rails. The AMG Styling Package ($1,990) features AMG body styling, AMG LED daytime running lamps, aluminum roof rails, 20-inch AMG alloy wheels. We recommend getting the Driver Assistance Package ($2,950) with Distronic Plus and Pre-Safe Brake, Brake Assist Plus, Active Blind Spot Assist, and Active Lane Keeping Assist. Standalone options include heated front seats ($750); Keyless Go ($650); harman/kardon premium audio ($810); Parktronic with Active Park Assist ($970); trailer hitch ($550); brushed aluminum running boards with rubber studs ($670); special 19-inch wheels; pre-wiring for a rear-seat entertainment system; and some of the features included in the packages. (All prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include $875 destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
Safety features include dual-stage driver and front-passenger airbags, driver and passenger side-impact airbags, driver and passenger pelvic airbags, window curtain airbags for front and rear, driver kneebag, active front head restraints, rear-door child safety locks, LATCH system, top tether anchors for child seats, Attention Assist, mbrace2, adaptive brakes with Hold feature, brake drying, Hill Start Assist, precharging, ABS, Electronic Stability Program with Trailer Stability Assist, Brake Assist, and the federally mandated tire pressure monitor.
The optional rearview camera can help a driver spot a small child behind the car when backing up, a feature we highly recommend getting. Optional Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist can help the driver avoid an accident. Optional Distronic Plus with Pre-Safe Brake and Brake Assist Plus can help the driver lessen the severity of a crash. Available 4MATIC all-wheel drive electronic traction system can improve handling stability in slippery conditions.